Comics : Secret Wars #4

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Crossover Crisis!

This review was first published on: 2006.

Background...

Marvel's greatest heroes and villains are transported to Battle World by the God-like Beyonder, who commands them to battle. The winners get whatever they want. With Doom leading the villains, and Captain America leading the heroes, its Heroes: 1, Villains: 1, but the villains are leading up on their latest victory with a brutal move: They are going to destroy the Hero Base, and wipe out the heroes for good!

In Detail...

Secret Wars #4
Aug 1984 : SMURF 251.715 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Editor:  Tom DeFalco
Writer:  Jim Shooter
Pencils:  Bob Layton
Inker:  John Beatty
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Review
 Reprinted In: Secret Wars (Reprints) #4
 Reprinted In: Secret Wars (UK) #6
 Reprinted In: Secret Wars (UK) #7
Articles: Doctor Doom, Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius), Human Torch, Titania, The Wasp

In a huge explosion, Molecule Man destroys the Hero Base. Approaching the rubble, Doc Ock is astounded that the heroes could have escaped. Doom knows, though, that without their base, the heroes days are numbered. Volcana, meanwhile, has fallen in love with Molecule Man, admiring his power. Doc Ock spots the heroes hurrying away with his binoculars. The heroes are lugging along their fallen about five miles away, and Ock suggests firing a canon.

Titania doesn't need a canon, however. She lifts up a chunk of the base and lobs it at them. Molecule Man, though, has a better idea. He lifts up a huge mountain range, and says that all he needs to do is drop it on them.

Meanwhile, all of the heroes are present, but Reed Richards, Spider-Man, She Hulk, Ben Grimm and Captain Marvel are unconscious. They're trying to work out a plan, when Spider-Man wakes up and warns them that his spider-sense is ringing. Looking up, Hulk realises that the huge chunk of the base Titania threw is coming right at them! Hulk can't drop the people he's holding in time to stop it, so Hawkeye fires off an explosive arrow that splits the chunk in two. Iron Man does some fancy shooting, and manages to keep the remainder of the chunk from landing on them.

All of it goes to waste, however, when Molecule Man drops an entire mountain range on top of them! According to the cover, that's fifty billion tons! Things do not looks good for the heroes. The villains celebrate a grand victory, but Doom reminds them that there are still the X-Men and Magneto to deal with.

Elsewhere, Thor and the Enchantress talk. She tells him that she loves him, that she always has. She has often tried to steal his love, but Thor says love is something that can only be given. They are about to kiss, when a huge earthquake interrupts them. Hurrying to Hero Base, Thor is surprised to find it leveled, and the villains all around him. Doom offers the chance for Thor to surrender, but Thor says he would never. Doom only offered because it was 13 to 1. "Perhaps" Thor says, looking to the Enchantress, but she leaves him "Aye! So be it!"

The villains attack! Thor whips his hammer at Ultron. Titania, the former- little-girl-bully-victim-turned-super-strong-got-something-to-prove woman, is proudly boasting that people will always remember her as the person who killed Thor. In response, Thor says "May hap, woman, when icicles ornament Surtur's fiery realm!" In modern day language, that's "Yeah, when Hell freezes over". Anyway, he grabs his hammer and smacks her to kingdom come.

Ock, Absorbing Man and the Wrecking Crew try to pin him, but Thor smashes them all away. He uses his command over thunder to defeat the Wrecking Crew. Doom sends in Ultron, who tests his new dis-integrator ray on Thor. It works, and Thor is dead! Or so it appears, for as the villain leave, we catch glimpse of a hand leaning in to hear what is being said. Doom, angry that Kang tried to kill him, employs Ultron to disintegrate him as well. The villains leave, feeling that they've just put in a good, long days work.

The X-Men approach Magneto's lair. All of them are doubting about something: Colossus is worried about Kitty back home, Professor X is guilty about having manipulated Spider-Man, Rogue wonders whether she will stick with the X-Men if the going gets tough and Wolverine can't wait to kill someone (sorry, did I say doubting?)

Manipulating the magnetic particles from the air, Magneto creates a brush for Wasp. The X-Men arrive, hoping to strike an alliance. Magneto details his plans: Since this battle may decide the fate of the Universe, they need to fight to kill. They must battle with absolute savagery, and if the other heroes stand in the way of that plan, they must also be treated as enemies. Wasp suddenly reveals that she was playing Magneto for a fool; she wasn't in love with him, or agreeing with his plans, she wanted to find out what was going on. Shrinking down, Wasp zaps Magneto and the X-Men, and flees in a space ship.

Magneto is enraged, and wants to crush the ship Wasp is in. Xavier intervenes; after his actions against Spider-Man, he does not believe they should take away someones freedom to do what they want. No matter, since Wasp has no idea how to fly the ship, and is flopping around like crazy.

Deep down, underneath fifty billion tons stands the Hulk-- and he's not happy! Captain Marvel awakes and offers some light. The Hulk is suspending a small hollow for the heroes to operate within, but he says he can't hold it up much longer. Reed Richards wakes up and tries to come up with a plan. Using Iron Man's armor as an amplifier, he takes Spidey's web shooters and Hawekeye's electric arrows, all the while detailing his brilliant plan. Hulk gets angry, and tells Reed to shut up, and that Hulk is the one lifting up the mountain. "I see. Well, that's exactly the kind of self pitying mewling we've come to from you Hulk. You're correct; you are a brute! So keep using your muscle! That's all you're good for!" Reed goads, causing the Hulk to get really angry.

With the added power of Captain Marvel and the Human Torch, Reed uses Iron Man's armor and blows a huge hole in the mountain, allowing them to escape to freedom. Once outside, Reed tells Hulk it was all a ploy just to get him angrier. Thor finds them. "I thought that tapping might have been you!" Cap comments, and Thor states that they must have been deep if his mightiest blows sounded like tapping. Captain Marvel circles Battle World, looking for a place where the heroes can rest and use as a base. She finds a small town full of aliens at the feet of Galactus, and decides they need to stay there. The natives are startled by their presence, but eventually welcome them.

Though they don't speak the same language, Johnny Storm takes a liking to the town's healer. Ben Grimm suddenly turns into the Thing again. He's angry; why does this keep happening at the worst times possible? Reed has his suspicions, but he walks off to think. Suddenly, Galactus moves, and Reed realises something terrible is about to happen!

In General...

The Hulk carrying an entire mountain was the coolest thing ever. I mean, nothing compares to that. Nothing.

Spider-Man has another nothing appearance. All he does is give away his web shooters, which is a bad thing. The fight where Thor beat up the villains was well done, though it seemed a little like if no one could defeat him, why didn't he just kill them all and win the war?

I was happy that Spider-Man had beaten the X-Men last issue, but the Wasp beating both the X-Men and Magneto? Now it just seems a little silly.

All in all, this issue was a good blend of action and story, but it was nothing special. The cliffhanger with Galactus seems like it could build up to something.

Overall Rating...

3 webs. The Hulk lifting up a huge mountain was mind blowing, but other than that the issue was pretty standard.

Footnote...

Heroes: 1 and Villains: 2! Things don't look so hot for the good guys!