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 team and the X-Men: 4, and Doctor Doom's villains: 3, with Galactus making plans to eat the entire planet!
|Reprinted In:||Secret Wars (Reprints) #7|
|Reprinted In:||Secret Wars (UK) #12|
|Reprinted In:||Secret Wars (UK) #13|
|Reprinted In:||Secret Wars (UK) #14|
The story opens with the introduction of the new Spider-Woman! She is spied upon by Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four, who brings her to the other heroes. Captain America is quick to note that she is not the Spider-Woman he knows. She tells him she's a new Spider-Woman, brought to Battle World when a suburb of Denver was torn off of Earth to construct the Beyonder's battle field. Spider- Woman saw the fighting and decided to follow it so she could help the heroes. "What makes you think you can help us?" Hawkeye asks. Spider-Woman is strong, which she demonstrates by lifting up a boulder. As Spider-Man watches, he wonders if he could sue her for stealing his name. He knew he should have gotten a patent or trademark or something before he got into superheroing! Captain America dismisses the notion that she is a spy, but tells her that strength isn't everything, and that this war is too dangerous for her to be fighting. It can't be any less dangerous for the spectators, she reasons, but before her arguments can be heard, the villains show up in a mega tank!
They bulldoze their way through the city, using laser canons to cause a little more damage. As they pass through, they open a hatch in the tank and toss out the defeated Wasp! You'll remember that they shot her with a laser last issue in order to apprehend the Lizard. Rather than chase the villains, the Hulk and She Hulk rush to Janet Van Dyne's aid, frantically bringing her to the Healer of the town, Zsaji. The situation is grim, and Zsaji, though she gives it her best efforts, cannot help the Wasp. She Hulk pleas for Zsaji to keep trying, but Thor tells her that there is nothing anyone can do for Wasp now. The heroes meet and rabble to Cap, shouting about how they're going to kill all of Doom and his underlings for this! The good Captain says "No!" to the anger of the group, telling them that they can't risk leaving Galactus to start his machine without any confrontation from them! Cap swears he wants to beat on the villains as much as any of them, but they simply can't risk it. The Hulk says they should fight Galactus now. When he's told that would be suicide, he doesn't back down "Bah! Lets fight it out and see!". But as he has done for the past few issues, Cap holds his ground.
After having set off that range of volcanoes last issue, the X-Men are informed by Prof. X and Magneto not to return to base. They need to cut off the villains shipping the injured Molecule Man back to Doom base! The opportunity is too good to pass up, and the two teams of X-Men head for the villain's ship racing away. On said ship, Absorbing Man asks Titania if the Molecule Man will be okay after Wolverine's attack. Titania checks: "Hey Milksop!" Nope, the Molecule Mab is unconscious. Doc Ock warns them of what Doom will do to them if Molecule Man dies. "But he'll forgive you, huh Octopus? Keep driving, jerk!". Back at Doom base, Volcana, Molecule man's lover, begs the Enchantress to send her to her "Owie". Enchantress is reluctant; she doesn't really care, but she does it when Volcana promises her anything she wants. Its a foolish wish, but Volcana's a little blindsided with emotion.
On the villain ship, Volcana appears thanks to the magic of the Enchantress. No sooner does she run to Molecule Man's side do the X-Men attack, blowing Octopus and his ship out of the sky. Absorbing Man comments on Ock's 'amazing evasion skills', and leaving behind a stable Owen Wilson, the villains face the X-Men! Titania bats away Rogue while fending off attacks from both Nightcrawler and Cyclops. Absorbing Man faces Magneto, who he thought was a big time criminal who should have been fighting on their side! "On second thought, a cream-puff like you belongs with them losers!" Demonstrating once again the level of amazing grammar that villains tend to have. Magneto warns Absorbing Man that he will pay for his insolence! Storm dodges some shots from Volcana, who knows that eventually she'll land a hit on the X-Woman. Xavier is having trouble coordinating the battle because of all the noise and the fact that the Enchantress sealed off the villains minds last issue.
The Absorbing Man leaps to face Wolverine. With an "Outta my way!" Wolverine rushes by and slices the tough guy's arm off, chain ball and all! He doesn't get to enjoy his victory for long, for Volcana strikes down her lovers persecutor with a blast of fire. Cyclops prevents her from doing any more damage to the Canadian scrapper, and the battle is ended quickly when Magneto manipulates Ock's arms to beat himself up and Rogue takes down Titania with a boulder. Rogue gets over her issue about which side to be on: She made her choice when she joined the X-Men. She's sticking with them. The villains flee the scene, taking the Molecule Man with them and flying off in their damaged ship. Volcana holds them off with some serious volcano heat, which Magneto protects them from. Prof. X believes that this is an important milestone for them: They may have lost, but they've finally learned how to operate as a team and not trip over each other! Storm, however, still doubts Xavier's leadership skills.
Doom is still rummaging through Galactus' things on his ship, trying to find something that might be able to defeat the world devourer. Galactus observes the volcanoes exploding, sighing because he know needs to spend more time fixing the planet before he can eat it. Don't feel bad if you don't sympathise with him. Galactus also chances to notice the terrified (No! Fear is for lesser men! Doom is excited, thats all!) Doom, and sends him rocketing from his space bound ship to Earth.
At Doom base, Volcana pleads with several people to help heal Molecule Man, but no one wants to or cares. Ever the idiot, she makes ANOTHER deal with the sinister Enchantress so that Molecule Man can be healed. The one armed Absorbing Man decides to try and hold his arm to his shoulder and change back to his human form. It hurts, but the arms connects in place where it should be! Bulldozer and the rest of the Wrecking Crew force a struggling Lizard (who, as you remember from last issue, is angry because they killed the Wasp) into a holding cell 'even Thor couldn't break out of!' Nearby, the insane Klaw hears the Lizard's name and repeats it a few times. Maybe he's just a few rounds short of a full load, but maybe he's up to something. A weary Bulldozer returns to his room to find a breeze; its coming from the hole She Hulk punctured in the wall! She cans his butt, and easily defeats the rest of the Wrecking Crew as well.
Titania finds She Hulk beating up the Wrecking Crew and takes action against the angry-with-grief green woman. She Hulk dodges an attack from Titania and kicks her a few meters into the air. Titania isn't the pushover one would think she is, however, and whacks She Hulk down with a girder! The rest of the baddies show up and execute some serious smack down to She Hulk. Elsewhere, the Enchantress thinks about how dreamy Thor is when a ravaged Doom staggers into the fortress. She demands to know what his plans are and what has happened, for all of their fates hang upon his. Doom doesn't care. He's broken. Do whatever you want, he says, its over.
Cap watches as Galactus works on his machine, confused since it appears to be already complete. Hawkeye informs Cap that She Hulk has run away, presumably to face the villains. All of the heroes confront him, demanding they go to help her. Cap says his heart would make him go in an instant, but the rest of the entire planet outranks just She Hulk in importance. They can't make decisions based on heart in this situation. The excuse is getting old, so thank God the X- men arrive and volunteer to take their post watching Galactus. On a side note, Colossus searches for his secret love, Zsaji, to find her mysteriously collapsed! "Change of plans, everybody!" says Captain America "Lets go get those butchers!"
A very solid issue! The story finally picks up its pace again and several of the issues certain characters have had for the past 7 comics are finally resolved (i.e. Rogue finally deciding to stick with the X-Men, The X-Men not getting their cans handed to them every fight they enter into, etc.). The action was excellent, and a very good artist adds to the excitement of the large battles. Cap and his heroes finally getting off of their rear ends to do some fighting is also a welcome move. Spider-Man, though pretty much absent from this story, has a funny line at the beginning when he wonders whether he should sue Spider-Woman.
I just want to take a little sidestep here to say that there are a LOT of boulders on this planet! How many have been smashed over other people's heads since the beginning of this series? A lot, that's how many. Its kind of funny just how many boulders and debris of boulders are flying around.
An excellent issue, and a big step up from last issues draginess.
Its Heroes: 5 and Villains: 4 including She Hulk's beating, and the series is more than half over.