Marvel’s Secret Wars has been chugging on since May of this year. Each new installment giving us just a taste, and teasing bit by bit, as to what the grander story or scheme is behind this event title. While I had my own grand theories for this event, hoping for an epic duel of LITERAL GODS (Not your standard Thor, Loki, Hercules stuff), it appears none of that will come to pass. We have reached issue 5, just past the halfway mark of this event title, and still NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. Only in this most recent issue, do we truly learn WHY Battleworld is as it is, and let me tell you right now….. it was…. unexpected. Let me break it down for you.
Doom and his royal subject mourn the loss of Doctor Stephen Strange, the man who was the right hand of doom, yet fell at that very same hand. Nobody knows the true circumstances of his demise, which allows Doom to easily send them off of his trail and send his forces after the 616 heroes. The ceremony is short, and is quickly followed by Doom’s descending into a hidden chamber beneath Stephen’s tomb. This is where we meet a man named Owen Reece, aka, the Molecule Man. molecule Man is a very C list super-villain. Whil his powers to manipulate the molecular structure of all things in creation is great, he was never utilized very extensively until the past 10 years.
In the past 10, or more specifically 5, years Molecule Man has been under the control of Doctor Doom who made use of him to attempt to stop the decay of the structure of reality, and the destruction of the multi-verse. The entire backstory to how Doom became God of this new realm, and how the Multi-verse cam crashing down is explained here. But not in great enough detail to actually make sense. No, in fact, this story is watered down and abridged. Why is that? Because this story has already been told through the pages of another book in the past few years, one of the numerous Avengers titles.
This is where Secret Wars falls apart. While it is common practice for a comic book event to tie into the events of one or two series in particular, it is detrimental when it is not made clear WHICH series that it. When the Spider-verse event started, it was obvious it was related to the Spider-man books. When the AXIS event of 2014 began, it was made clear and advertised FROM THE START that the story was linked to what was going going on in the pages of Uncanny Avengers. Secret Wars made no effort to warn readers as to which books they may wish to catch up on in order to follow the story. All new readers are left with is a half explained backstory involving a Doomsday plot by the Celestial beings called the Beyonders, and how the Molecule man was a linchpin to the entire plot.
As i said, unless you were reading a specific book, and knew about these events beforehand, you are left completely in the dark on the entire backstory of this event. It does not help that it has become more and more apparent, that the purpose of Secret Wars was not for readers to focus on the epic story of how our heroes managed to save the multi-verse and recreate their home dimension, or some semblance of it. No, the true star of the Secret Wars show were all of the tie-in stories. Month after month, nearly every book in the Marvel line-up has been replaced by some form of tie-in storyline to the Secret Wars event, where-in fan favorite characters are thrust into unfamiliar situations and what-if scenarios.
SECRET WARS IS JUST AN EXCUSE FOR MARVEL TO PRINT AN ENTIRE SLEW OF WHAT-IF COMICS. While I, like many readers enjoy off-the-wall hypothetical scenarios featuring my favorite heroes, I don’t want them to overshadow the on-going plots I was invested into in their previous story-lines. Now, thanks to Secret Wars, many plot threads will likely be abandoned or left to hang for all eternity in the post Secret Wars reboot.
I will continue to read till the End of Secret Wars, but now i can say for certain, that Marvels attempt at a reboot was just as bad as DC’s Flashpoint reboot event of 2011. The entire story boils down to an imaginary scenario that may, or may not, have lasting effects on your favorite comic heroes and villains. All we can do now is hope that Marvel does not adopt DC’s policies of arbitrarily changing aspects of their heroes to fit a new demographic. That is easily the only thing left i have to fear from this reboot, as every other fear has come to pass.