Welcome back to the MC2, Multiversity’s panel of noted Marvel experts. The three of us (MC3 sounded weird) are covering Marvel’s straight up CALVACADE of “Secret Wars” tie-ins! This week, we tackle “Civil War″, “Marvel Zombies” and “A-Force” whilst giving up our own thoughts! Feel free to join in the conversation in the comments and let us know what you think about Marvel’s latest crossover. Spoilers below!
Civil War #5
Written by Charles Soule
Illustrated by Leinil Francis Yu
Reviewed by Jess Camacho
“Civil War” wasn’t a bad tie-in, in fact, it could have been great if it didn’t forcibly explain everyone’s ideologies to us. Like many of the other “Secret Wars” tie-ins, it wraps things up in a pretty sad way with lots of major characters being killed off. That’s kind of the fun of these tie-ins and in the case of “Civil War”, it at least made a lot of sense. The political overtones of “Civil War” got in the way most of the time but this finale feels logical in such a short window of time. What we get as an ending feels like something final, which in contrast to some of the other minis, it gains points in my book for that. Yu’s art is very good with much of it being action sequences. The angles and bold aerial fights combine for something fairly cinematic but it does make this issue a very fast read.
Final Verdict: 7.0 – “Civil War” ended as I expected and that’s just fine.
Marvel Zombies #4
Written by Simon Spurrier
Illustrated by Kev Walker
Reviewed by James Johnston
“Marvel Zombies” #4 is probably the biggest roller coaster “Secret Wars” has provided yet. I don’t think a book has gone in so many insane directions in such little time. To try and best evaluate what happened I’m just going to give a frank synopsis of this comic. So, full spoilers ahead.
Elsa Bloodstone is traveling in the zombie wastelands with a small orphan girl when she discovered HER ZOMBIE FATHER. Except this isn’t her dad, it’s an ALTERNATE UNIVERSE ZOMBIE DAD who has LIKE TWENTYB LOODSTONES and has been HUNTING DOWN ALTERNATE VERSIONS OF HIS FAMILY across Battleworld. ALTERNATE ZOMBIE DAD tries to get Elsa to have a TEAM-UP against the impeding forces of ZOMBIE MYSTIQUE AND HER DISMANTLED DESTROYER. However, Elsa attacks her dad. Ulysses Bloodstone almost kills Elsa’s little orphan friend only for Elsa to realize that the girl is actually A LIVING METAPHOR FOR HER CRAPPY CHILDHOOD. Elsa turns into a SUPER ZOMBIE kills her dad and all the zombies while absorbing the power of HER CHILDHOOD. After the battle, Ulysses has been RESURRECTED INTO A HUMAN WITH NO CLOTHES and Elsa orders him to be a better person. The comic book ends with Elsa walking off into the sunset with her NAKED FATHER. Damn. You could write a thesis about this comic.
As, uh, exciting as that story sounds, “Marvel Zombies” almost has the energy to pull that kind of insanity off. A Destroyer shooting lasers at extra dimensional zombies is the kind of thing Kev Walker was born to draw. In fact, the whole conflict with the zombie dad who was only introduced at the end of the last issue already feels like a more significant fight than anything else this series has had yet. Hell, that character even ties in a number of the book’s themes in a way that’s almost coherent. Almost. That little kid who is Elsa’s LITERAL CHILDHOOD is probably the most unbelievable part about a comic where multiple people turned into a zombie and back. I’d argue that this comic, more than any other tie-in, felt like it was the most written by the seat of its pants. If Walker and Spurrier were to go back and re-do this whole series from the top, it would probably come together in a much more organic way. Until then, its conclusion was an awesome, yet totally rushed, conclusion that left more questions than answers.
Final Verdict: 6.8 – I can’t in good faith hate on a comic that uses the Bloodstones so prominently, but I can hate on characters turning out to be literal metaphors.Continued below
Written by G. Willow Wilson & Marguerite Bennett
Illustrated by Jorge Molina
Reviewed by Alice W. Castle
The weird thing about the ending to “A-Force” is that it isn’t really an ending. And not in the way that most of these “Secret Wars” tie-ins have non-endings where the story mostly wraps and the characters ride off into the sunset for more adventures we won’t see because we already know the main Marvel Universe is coming (has come back, in some ways). I mean, the fact that we already “A-Force” will be coming back in the form of an ongoing series in December means that this series is basically concluding the first chapter of the story.
With that said, the first chapter was pretty hit or miss, overall. While Wilson and Bennett are amazing character writers and populated the series with a veritable who’s who of Marvel women, the plot of the series was something that was pretty predictable. This is yet another “Secret Wars” tie-in that ends with The Shield (you know, the unbreakable wall keeping out all the “Walking Dead” rejects in Marvel cosplay) has been destroyed in some way. In this issue, it forces all of Arcadia to come together to repel the undead horde. And… that’s about all that happens. There’s a sacrificial deus ex machina that saves the day, characters are said, an epilogue is had and then you get what is essentially a “Come back in December for the rest.” It’s not a bad ending to the series and, like I said, Wilson and Bennett keep it engaging by really nailing the characters and bringing a lot of fun banter to the fight, but I’m a little disappointed that it boil down to such an easy climax.
It’s somewhat made up by the fact that Jorge Molina drawing a team up between pretty much every major female character in the Marvel Universe against a mass of zombies is maybe one of the greatest things ever. He also brings a lot of character to the story and focuses on the small team-ups between recognisable characters, showing off their unique powers while the dialogue highlights their personalities. It’s the kind of thing where sacrificing a more complex plot kind of paid off in some ways.
Final Verdict: 6.8 – I can’t wait to see the series come back, but I hope the plot is a bit more engaging and doesn’t just coast on the novelty of all these characters coming together.
James: I get a sick satisfaction from all these comics wrapping up. “Marvel Zombies” #4 was probably my favorite out of the three (thank god there were only three this week) tie-ins. “Civil War” just didn’t tickle my fancy and I think I’ll enjoy “A-Force” way more when its not beholden to whatever Battleworld’s doing. I still consider that a good comic, but one that could have waited to debut properly.
Jess: I’ve been working so much this week that I barely had time to read Civil War. It wasn’t great but it also wasn’t something I’ll be talking about when this is all said and done. I am very happy this is almost over.
Alice: I mean, only three books came out this week, so I don’t know if I have many thoughts about this week. Most of my thoughts are about the event as a whole and I want to save them for the wrap up we do (if we ever get to do one). I will say this, though: I am very glad this is nearly over and I can go back to never, ever, ever, ever reading an event from Marvel ever again.