With a title like Battleworld, you might think this is a must purchase to understand the new Marvel summer event, but you would be wrong. Is it good?
Secret Wars: Battleworld #1 (Marvel Comics)
I’ll start off by saying I had no idea what to expect from this new tie-in, but I was hoping there would be some battles going on. It’s right there in the title, right? Instead this is more of an anthology of smaller stories to let writers play around with the setup of the event with characters who won’t be appearing in any of the main books. In this issue we get M.O.D.O.K. and Punisher 2099…or is he? Each story is fun in their own right, but I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed as they didn’t feel all that important to the main series.
The first story focuses on Punisher 2099 who has a ghost version of Doctor Strange following him around. Written by Joshua Williamson, this story is straight up badass as he takes on the Infernal Four. He calls them the “Hounds of Limbo” and they’re all demon versions of Hulk, Spider-Man, Wolverine and Ghost Rider. I won’t lie, this 10 page story is awesome in all kinds of ways. Punisher fights them efficiently and with deadly force. This is a good example of a writer using disposable characters in a fun way. By issue’s end it feels like something meaningful occurred and a hero went out on his own terms. It doesn’t tie-in too closely with the main event; the only detail really is that Punisher has been crossing boundaries which is a big no-no, but it’s a lot of fun.
That was quick!
The art by Mike Henderson fits the demonic villains very well with a great attention to detail when it comes to explosions. The fight sequence is very well choreographed too with your eyes always moving forward through the action just as efficiently as Punisher does.
The second M.O.D.O.K. story is more of a comical one this time written by Ed Brisson. Lets face it, M.O.D.O.K. has become a running joke in Marvel comics and here he’s just as bumbling and silly. The story has M.O.D.O.K. bringing together other versions of himself with the plan to overthrow Doom. Quickly his other selves disagree with his plan, or at the very least think they can do better. It’s your typical story of ego crushing the characters and it’s not without a few chuckle inducing moments. It does run a bit long, or feel like more should happen. It ends nicely though and weaves in Doom’s Thor troops in an effective way.
The art by Scott Hepburn fits the story nicely too with a more cartoony and bright colored nature to the tomfoolery. The absurdity of M.O.D.O.K. is made very clear by some spectacularly wild splash pages.
It gets a little crazy in the M.O.D.O.K. story.
Is It Good?
An unnecessary tie-in, but the first half is exciting and badass and the second half is fun and silly. Punisher 2099 steals the show and makes this one worth picking up.