Comics : Secret Wars #5

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

This review was first published on: 2006.

Background...

The Beyonder transports Marvel's greatest heroes and villains to Battle world, where he commands them to duke it out. The winning side gets whatever they desire. He can do this because he's the Beyonder. So far, its Captain America's Heroes: 1, and Doctor Doom's villains: 2, with the X-Men and Magneto sitting on the sidelines.

In Detail...

Secret Wars #5
Sep 1984 : SMURF 251.730 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Editor:  Tom DeFalco
Writer:  Jim Shooter
Pencils:  Bob Layton
Inker:  John Beatty
Staff Only
Issue
Review
 Reprinted In: Secret Wars (Reprints) #5
 Reprinted In: Secret Wars (UK) #8
 Reprinted In: Secret Wars (UK) #9
Articles: Doctor Doom, Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius), Human Torch, Titania

All of the heroes look up in awe as Galactus gives orders to his giant space ship. Reed Richards thinks that Galactus may be planning to eat the planet. The aliens in the village are freaking out, and Johnny Storm tries to comfort the Healer, but is dismayed that he can't understand her. She takes him to a room and makes him inhale a mist. They 'touch souls' and understand who each other truly are. Either that, or we're talking about some hallucinogens that can do some crazy stuff. With this new understanding, Johnny kisses the Healer (whose name is Zsaji, by the way.)

Meanwhile, Colossus is waiting for Magneto and Xavier to come up with a plan. He wishes he were back on Earth so he could see his love, Kitty Pryde. Suddenly, Professor X commands the X-Men to come to the main room. Magneto comments how Xavier has trained them well; they arrived in seconds. Xavier believes they should have come faster, but either way, they are there. The X- Men and Magneto observe Galactus' ship and decide action must be taken. Xavier and Magneto will use their combined powers to try and find out what Galactus is doing, while the X-Men will hurry to the scene in case there's trouble with Galactus that needs to be dealt with. Wolverine doesn't like taking orders from Magneto, but Xavier assumes control, saying that he is (for the time being) going to be the leader of the X-Men along with Magneto.

"Yes, life was very difficult before the atomic accident" Molecule Man tells Volcana as the former geek lovebirds walk pass the other villains (who are-- get this-- comparing wrecking balls) "People always made fun of me! Did I tell you about the chicken feather incident in Junior High School?" Volcana, for some reason, has completely fallen for this guy. Yeah, it is pretty mind blowing, but Piledriver can see the fun in it, saluting Molecule Man and Volcana as 'Mr. and Ms. Geek'. This doesn't go over so great with Molecule Man, who turns Piledriver's suit into steel and kicks him over. The lovebirds run off in a flare, and Molecule Man assures the other villains they'd better leave him alone-- or else!

Suddenly, the villains notice the sky-engulfing space structure directly above them. Doom orders a red alert, telling his villains they need to get ready for battle. Secretly, though, he's been waiting for this. The Enchantress goes to Doom, trying to strike a deal with him to get her off of the planet. She can't do it alone, so they need to combine their powers. Doom turns her down, even at the offer of her repairing his face. Enchantress is pretty pissed, and she teleports away.

Meanwhile, Magneto and Professor X are trying to pierce Galactus' natural mental defenses, and they're getting nowhere. They simply aren't powerful enough. Back at the alien village, Reed tries to communicate with Galactus. He figures that since he saved his life once, that he should be able to reason. Magneto gets angry, and tries to force his way into Galactus' mind without subtlety. As Reed hopelessly tries to get Galactus' attention, the big guy shoots Magneto's base with cosmic blasts, destroying it. Richards is thrown back to the heroes. He warns that Galactus is now aware of them as potential pests. "Whats he going to do? Sic his cat on us or something?" Iron Man quips. This is exactly what Galactus does, as a giant robot drops down from the space ship. The robot bats away the Hulk, and Galactus ignores the fight, glad to have some peace and quiet in which to build his world devouring device.

The robot knocks away Iron Man and smashes the Thing. As it picks up She Hulk, it shoots a paralyzing ray from its mouth at Thor and a few others. Johnny Storm despairs; now that Thor is out of the fight, there doesn't seem much hope. Cap raises the morale and whips his shield into the robot's eye. Spider- Man saves She Hulk, the Thing locks the robot in a wrestling hold, and the Human Torch blasts him with his 'super nova' intensity heat, burning him. But alas, the danger is not over: Spider-Man's spider sense is tingling!

From nowhere, the villains strike-- with another tripod! They blast away the Thing, and Iron Man, Spider-Man (although Spidey lasts longer than most) and pretty much everyone else. Meanwhile, Doom waits for his moment in a small space ship. With one last tripod shot, the heroes are pretty much sitting ducks. That is, until the sudden appearance of the X-Men (who survived Galactus' attack on their base thanks to Magneto)! Colossus, feeling really homesick, decides what he needs to do is beat up the baddies with a fury! He succeeds, too, until the Wrecker smashes his ribs, knocking the metal X-Man down. For less than a moment, Galactus looks away, wondering if he should do anything. He decides he doesn't need to, but that one moment was enough for Doom, who speeds into Galactus' giant space ship.

The villains flee-- they can't take much more of the beating. The X-Men also run off, without the injured Colossus. Magneto says they couldn't move him since he was too severely injured, but Wolverine won't buy that. Xavier agrees with Magneto, though, so its no argument. Professor X believes that they should continue operating as a third force, fighting only where they're needed. Colossus is approached by Zsaji. Johnny warns that her powers might not work on him, since he's a mutant. "Lemme get this straight" says Iron Man (who, by the way, is currently an African American under the suit) "A guy who can burst into flames doubts that this broad can help this mutant dude? Thank God he ain't black, huh?" Johnny didn't mean it that way, but Iron Man has taken offense. Spidey is healed, and then Colossus, who is stricken with love for Zsaji instantly.

At first, it seemed obvious that Galactus was going to eat the planet, but now Reed thinks otherwise. Galactus seems to be calculating, planning something other than just winning the Secret War. Doom, meanwhile, is in Galactus' ship. He's planning to try and become as powerful as Galactus, and then usurp the Beyonder! Its a great plan, really, but suddenly Doom sees something that surprises him!

In General...

This issue is full of action. The story doesn't really go anywhere, but there's tons of fighting. The X-Men creaming the villains is a good change from all of them getting whupped by the millimeter tall Wasp. Doctor Doom is, as always, trying to become more powerful, which is standard at this point, but still believable.

Spidey, again, does nothing this issue, other than last three seconds in the villains attack as opposed to everyone else's two, and save She Hulk from Galactus' cat. I've stated before what I feel about Spidey in previous crossovers, and I don't think I need to say it again.

Overall Rating...

There was some cool fighting, and even though the story kind of inched along, I'd say four webs is a fair rating.

Footnote...

With the battle with Galactus' cat, and the X-Men's sudden intervention, its Heroes: 3, and Villains: 2.