Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Secret Wars

For me at least one of the high points in Comics was the 1980's, a post I made on the Pulp City Forums reminded me of the fact.

And in 1984 one of my favourite Comic Titles of all time was Published . . . . .


To give it its FULL Title "Marvel Super Heroes - Secret Wars" was a twelve-issue crossover series that was published between May 1984 and April 1985 - and (IMHO) its one of the best things Marvel Comicshave ever done.

Secret Wars was written by Jim Shooter -and utilized the artistic talents of Mike Zeck and Bob Layton.

Its not the flashiest or shiniest title in the Marvel Universe - but its one of the most interesting and engaging Marvel story lines I've ever read.

The plot itself is amazingly simple and has been used before in Star Trek (The Savage Curtain - Season Three - March 7th 1969), yet Shooter and team manage to make it so vibrant and fresh - and so much fun to read.

A cosmic entity called the Beyonder has been watching the Marvel universe.

Utterly fascinated by the presence of superheroes on Earth and their potential, this Beyonder chooses a group of both superheroes and supervillains and teleports characters against their will to "Battleworld", a planet created by the Beyonder in a distant galaxy.

Battleworld has been stocked to the gunnels with alien technology.

The Beyonder declares: "I am from beyond! Slay your enemies and all that you desire shall be yours! Nothing you dream of is impossible for me to accomplish!"

The heroes contingent comprised of the Avengers (Captain America, Captain Marvel II, Hawkeye, Iron Man - Jim Rhodes was filling in for Tony Stark at the time, She-Hulk, The Mighty Thor, and the Wasp); three members of the Fantastic Four (Human Torch, Mister Fantastic and Thing), Spider-Man, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter) and the Hulk, and the mutant team X-Men (Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine and Lockheed the Dragon). Magneto is initially present as a hero but immediately becomes non-aligned when the Avengers question his presence!

The villains were the Absorbing Man, Doctor Doom, Doctor Octopus, the Enchantress, Kang the Conqueror, Klaw, the Lizard, Molecule Man, Titania, Ultron, Volcana, and the Wrecking Crew (Bulldozer, Piledriver, Thunderball and the Wrecker).

Galactus is also included in the villains camp - but immediately decides to become "non-aligned'.

The heroes - with the X-Men choosing to fight as a separate unit have several minor skirmishes with the villains.

While all this is going on there are several significant developments - villainesses Titania and Volcana are created; the second Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter) is introduced - Spider-Man finds and wears the black Spider-Man costume for the first time, initially unaware that it is actually the alien symbiote that comes to be known as Venom) - Doctor Doom temporarily steals a portion of the Beyonder's power (nice one Doc) - Colossus, having fallen in love with the alien healer Zsaji (who eventually sacrifices her life to save the heroes), Colossus then ends his romantic relationship with a devastated Kitty Pryde - and the Thing chooses to remain behind on Battleworld and explores the galaxy for a year, leaving the She-Hulk to temporarily join the Fantastic Four as his replacement.

PHEW it was all go wasn't it!

There have been LOADS of spinoff stories and re-tellings, but NONE had the impact of the original!


Anonymous said...

In retrospect, the part that amuses me the most is Spidey's black costume. It was so unpopular with the fans, they had to come up with an excuse to change it back, which lead to the creation of Venom, probably the most enduring legacy of the Secret Wars

Doctor Warlock said...