Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Secret Wars: Coming late to the event

I was somewhere deep into Jonathan Hickman's run on the X-Men when I realised I never really saw how his earlier Avengers comics had actually finished. Using the local library system, I had read almost all the tie-in trade paperbacks, across multiple Avengers series, but somehow missed the resolution.

And then I realised it was because I'd never actually read Secret Wars, which probably explained a lot.

I knew all about the Secret Wars series when it came out in 2015, and read a vast amount of weird comics that happened around the periphery of the event. The only one I actually bought with was the Phantom Eagle one that Garth Ennis did, because Ennis treating the Phantom Eagle like absolute dogshit is always funny to me.

But I did read what felt like dozens of the side things around it, set in different parts of Battleword. I saw bits of the story, enough to know what basically happened. Flashbacks in Miles Morales comics explained how an extremely gross burger saved his family from the destruction of their universe, and that I knew that something inspired Wakanda to look to the stars.

Keeping track of superhero series can feel like a chore, with constant reboots and multiple volumes with little changes. I can't shake the feeling that I'm missing some Daredevil ,somehow. But usually I can tell if I'v read one of the big event comics.

But they still slide by, which leaves me wondering how much of an event they ever really were. To bring it back to all things X, I've been reading that Krakoa thing all out of order, and I still haven't read X of Swords, so I feel constantly behind on all the Arakko stuff.  

Anyway, Secret Wars was a lot of fun. I'm still not 100% sure why the universes kept crashing into each other, or why characters created by Stan and Jack could only come up with ultra-genocide as a solution, but any story where Doctor Doom gets everything he ever wanted in life, and realises he's a still a piece f shit because it's still not enough, is all right by me.

Plus, the art by Esad Ribić was gorgeous, the slight smear on his detailed line giving everything a hazy, unreal resolution, topped off with bone-crunching action scenes.

It might have all hit better at the time, but better late than never. I got there in the end.

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