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Monthly (Comic) Book Club - March - Secret Wars19217

COLLECTOR dielinfinite private msg quote post Address this user
Monthly (Comic) Book Club - March - Secret Wars




Marvel Super Heroes: Secret Wars #1-12

Week 1 (2/27-03/05): Secret Wars #1-3
Week 2 (3/6-3/12): Secret Wars #4-6
Week 3 (3/13/-3/19): Secret Wars #7-9
Week 4 (3/20-3/26): Secret Wars #10-12



Discussion topic ideas:

* Thoughts on the story or artwork
* Details in the story, artwork, or presentation
* References to outside events or other works of fiction
* Making of/Behind the Scenes details
* Editions you will be reading from
* Items in your collection pertaining to this week’s selection
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Looking forward to seeing why it was so secretive.
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If the viagra is working you should be well over a 9.8. xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
#1 sets the stage, which is nice since I don't have an encyclopedic memory of where everyone was in their stories when Secret Wars started. A group of heroes and a group of villains are teleported to some kind of space stations far from Earth, and they know the Beyonder did it but they don't know why.

On the good guy side we have the Avengers, some of the X-Men (including, for some reason, Lockheed but not Kitty), the Fantastic Four (minus the pregnant Sue Storm), Spider-Man, the Hulk (apparently smart), and... Magneto. Magneto's presence causes some stress but he basically decides to leave and cuts it short.

On the bad guy side there's the Wrecking Crew, the Enchantress, Kang, the Absorbing Man, Doctor Octopus, Molecule Man (although he's apparently trying not to be the Molecule Man), the Lizard, Galactus, Doctor Doom, and Ultron (at least until he gets fried by Galactus). Galactus and Doctor Doom make an early attempt to go after the Beyonder, but he appears powerful enough to send them off easily.

There's some quick jockeying for who will be the leader of the two groups, but Doom isn't interested in fighting after seeing how powerful the Beyonder is. He sees that they are being set up as toys for the Beyonder to play with and isn't interested in being a guinea pig. The other bad guys aren't on the same page though, and Kang blasts Doom out of the sky as he goes to try talking to Reed Richards. The heroes find Doom and offer to help but a fight breaks out as Doom rejects their pity and the rest of the bad guys show up.
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If the viagra is working you should be well over a 9.8. xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
As a side note, I have actual copies of the books for the reading this month (a rarity). The copy of #1 I read is pretty rough but is the blue Galactus variant, so that was fun to see. https://blog.gocollect.com/do-you-own-secret-wars1-the-blue-galactus-error-variant/
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#2 has the heroes start on the ropes thanks to Doom's blast on the way out and the Wrecking Crew's tank thing from their base, but they turn things around quickly enough. The villains run off except for the Crew and Enchantress, who are taken prisoner. During the battle, Doom returns to the base and starts looking into all the fancy tech.

The heroes find a place to set up, apparently complete with detention area and med bay, and start thinking about next steps. Wolverine is either early in his career or being written broadly, since he argues with every suggestion and doesn't show any of the respect he has for Captain America in more recent stories.

The remaining villains make it back to base to find that Doom has reanimated Ultron, making him the de facto boss. They seem happy enough to fall in line as long as they get food and a bed (and, they were going to have Doom be in charge in #1 anyway).

And the third party is Magneto, who found another base elsewhere. But he sneaks into the heroes' base to do something with their energy reactor. It doesn't seem to pan out but he captures the Wasp during his escape, and the Thing turns back into Ben Grimm for some reason.

... And I guess the fourth party is Galactus, who is up to some kind of Galactus stuff.
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#3 has a few more history lessons. I'm guessing that Iron Man right now is Rhodey, since he doesn't seem to have the scientific know-how of Richards or the Hulk, and he's impressed by Thor out in the storm. Also, Professor X is walking around (as seen in #2) even though he showed up in his wheelchair.

Spider-Man is enjoying one of the more odd features of the planet (the headquarters is the size of Chicago? for like 15 people? it's generous to the point of being unhelpful, given how much ground they have to cover) when he finds the X-Men have set up shop elsewhere and are planning on going to join (find?) Magneto. Spidey makes the X-Men look like chumps and is about to tell Reed when Professor X recovers and makes him forget.

Magneto is somehow making moves on the Wasp, but not with Doom. In the meantime, Doom is using the technology in their base to give people superpowers. Did we see where these people came from? At any rate, two new villains are created - Volcana and Titania. They join the bad guys in time to go attack the good guys, who are caught unaware when Hulk was spacing out. The villains handle the good guys quickly and rescue their hostages.
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I’m reading from the omnibus which begins with a prologue showing the various heroes being lured to a strange building that appeared mysteriously in Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park. Most of these are only a few panels from the individual titles or up to a page or two in other cases

Spider-Man in ASM 251

Xavier, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Storm, and Colossus in X-Men 180

Captain America, Hawkeye, Thor, She-Hulk, Wasp, and Captain Marvel in Captain America 292/Avengers 242

Iron Man (Jim Rhodes) in Iron Man 182

Hulk in Incredible Hulk 294

Fantastic Four in Thing 10
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I guess the first thing that struck me in issue 1 is how different the style of writing is from the past few months. It’s very much written for someone who may not be familiar with the individual characters or their current place in their respective titles. Characters regularly refer to themselves and others by name. It feels strange since it’s not necessarily how people actually talk but if these were less well known characters (or you just weren’t familiar with them) it’d be helpful to keep track of who is who. Characters also have a tendency to drop snippets of who they are and what their powers are in their dialogue.

You also have characters often explaining what is happening while we see it happen. Perhaps a bit more “telling” than letting the art do the “showing.”

I thought it was interesting how they had the heroes break out into just as much of an argument as the villains did. Heck it even seems that the villains got on the same page faster than the heroes since they made peace long enough to launch the attack at the end.

We have very little information on the Beyonder at this point. He’s immensely powerful, dwarfing even Galactus. He wants the heroes and villains to fight and to the winners he will grant their greatest desires. Why he wants this, how he chose these particular characters, and what happens to the losers is unknown.

I was also a little surprised that the topic of “your dreams will be fulfilled” got very little discussion time devoted to it. Molecule Man and Galactus told us what he wanted. Doom seems to think there is a bigger prize to be had but no word from the heroes. Magneto and Professor Xavier you can kind of imagine what they’d want. Hulk maybe a cure? But the rest? It’d be interesting to hear what they would fight for. Of course there is plenty of time later in the story for that to come out. But will it be a driving factor in the character motivations or is it the Maguffin that drives the plot but very little emphasis is placed on it by the characters?

To some degree this does feel like a kid just grabbing all his toys together and just playing at a big brawl with all of them. Apparently that’s not too far from the truth. According to the introduction by Tom DeFalco, Secret Wars came about after a toy company wanted to create a toy line with Marvel’s Biggest characters and requesting some editorial idea to tie it all together. The result was Secret Wars.

Does anyone happen to have some of the toys from that Toy Line?
Post 9 IP   flag post
If the viagra is working you should be well over a 9.8. xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite
I guess the first thing that struck me in issue 1 is how different the style of writing is from the past few months. It’s very much written for someone who may not be familiar with the individual characters or their current place in their respective titles. Characters regularly refer to themselves and others by name. It feels strange since it’s not necessarily how people actually talk but if these were less well known characters (or you just weren’t familiar with them) it’d be helpful to keep track of who is who. Characters also have a tendency to drop snippets of who they are and what their powers are in their dialogue.


100%

Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite
Does anyone happen to have some of the toys from that Toy Line?


I don't personally, but I've seen them plenty thanks to my LCS/toy store.
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to date its the only series I fully collected years after release. Ive maybe started and gotten a few. but secret wars over a few years got all issues. including the key issues (#6, #7 and #8). even though more iconic. liked the more recent one
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I only have a copy of issue 7 (ungraded) since it’s the first appearance of the second Spider-Woman. I’ll get an 8 one day! The omnibus I have is the recent reprint so I’m hoping that means that Marvel will also reprint the Secret Wars II omnibus some time this year or early next
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite
I only have a copy of issue 7 (ungraded) since it’s the first appearance of the second Spider-Woman. I’ll get an 8 one day! The omnibus I have is the recent reprint so I’m hoping that means that Marvel will also reprint the Secret Wars II omnibus some time this year or early next


I remember getting #7 for a good price. made an offer at a seller at heroes con they said yes and then I realized mightve under offered and they said yes by accident. so honesty kicked in and double checked. he said no mistake. he knew what I offered for what.

have entire series signed by Zeck, Beatty, and Dell. one of these days will get secret wars #8 graded. I know sigs are legit (saw them myself get signed) but cbcs doesnt. saving it for when I get my non signed comics graded
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Issue 2 hurls a lot of curveballs at the reader and we don’t quite know where everything’s going.

Galactus has reawakened, Doom is in charge of the villains and seems to have taken a liking to Molecule Man. Thing has turned back into a human, and Magneto is up to something.

We do get some brief snippets of the heroes missing their lives back home (mostly).

I think what’s making things feel kind of off is that it feels like characters outside of their individual teams don’t really know or trust each other very much. You specifically pointed out Wolverine being dismissive of Captain America but there seems to be a larger Avengers vs X-Men tension throughout. It sometimes feels like the heroes have had more infighting than the villains, who were able to mount a united first strike against the heroes.

Are we also not going to mention the very of-its-time slang from She-Hulk dropping “Tubular” and “to the max” in the same sentence?

I feel like the exaggerated proportions of everything are meant to excite the imaginations of young readers. The battlefield is so huge Captain America wants a patrol a hundred mile radius around the base! The base is over 54 times the size of the Pentagon (the world’s largest office building with a capacity of 25,000 people) and has over four-hundred levels! Save for Galactus, all the heroes and villains in the book so far could fit in that base and not see anyone else for weeks, and there are at least three such bases we’ve seen so far!
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Suck it up, buttercup!! KatKomics private msg quote post Address this user
work is crazy right now but I might have to pull my copies or buy a collected version to re-read later - it's been ages!

I got these as a kid and then of duplicates 7, 8 and 9 later (before they were expensive) - loved this when first released and not into what I need to read right now!
My mom used to send me comics rolled in an empty cardboard towel roll or the like to summer camp - the whole cabin would read them - hence the need for replacement copies!!

So many good memories!!
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@KatKomics The omnibus is down to $30 at InStock Trades

And the TPB is $21.69

Secret Wars was a story I’d read about but never took the time to actually read until now
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Issue 3 has the heroes’ lack of organization on full display. Granted, it’s not ALL there fault as there seems to be something fishy going on. First Thing turns human and now the Hulk seem to be losing his focus.

Still Captain Marvel and Iron Man were caught, almost literally, with their pants down. Thor is off doing who-knows-what with Enchantress and even the Hulk was repelled pretty handily. To say nothing of the X-Men who up and left. I’m sure at some point the heroes will band together and turn things around but it feels like the heroes have more shady dealings and internal conflicts than you’d expect even from the villains.

Doom seems to be running a tight ship. I was wondering who the two women in his test chambers were. I even went back and checked the first issue and no, they weren’t there. Even Wrecker seems confused as to where they came from but the issue is never really addressed. I was surprised to see that this was Titania’s origin. She appeared as a She-Hulk villain in later series and now I understand why an issue of She-Hulk featuring her is included in the omnibus.

I feel like there has to be something else going on between Wasp and Magneto. Maybe it’s related to the other strange goings-on with the heroes? Though Magneto has seen some strange pairings. Remember the whole Magneto/Rogue thing?

My guess with the X-Men is that perhaps they want to rescue Wasp to mend things with the Avengers? But again, all the sneaking around feels strange from the traditionally heroic characters.

It’s a little weird that we haven’t seen Iron Man without his armor or even his helmet off. It is suggested that he takes it off as he’s rushing to get changed when the villains attack but unless you’d read Iron Man before jumping into this, you’d never be certain it was supposed to be Rhody in the suit. Are they trying to purposely hide the fact that it’s not Tony?

We’re a quarter through and the Beyonder hasn’t been seen since issue 1.
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If the viagra is working you should be well over a 9.8. xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite
Doom is in charge of the villains and seems to have taken a liking to Molecule Man


Doom is known for his feelings of self-importance, so I'm torn between it being out of character or very important that he gives Molecule Man as much credit as he is. Maybe it should be both. Granted, Reece is actually that powerful, but Doom rarely seems to care about such things. We just saw him fly after Galactus and potentially at the Beyonder.
Post 18 IP   flag post
If the viagra is working you should be well over a 9.8. xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite
Doom seems to be running a tight ship. I was wondering who the two women in his test chambers were. I even went back and checked the first issue and no, they weren’t there. Even Wrecker seems confused as to where they came from but the issue is never really addressed.


I can only assume they are in a cross-over issue somewhere else, but it's very confusing. I would have appreciated the little editor's box saying "go pick up Whatever Book issue # XXX, True Believer!".

Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite
It’s a little weird that we haven’t seen Iron Man without his armor or even his helmet off. It is suggested that he takes it off as he’s rushing to get changed when the villains attack but unless you’d read Iron Man before jumping into this, you’d never be certain it was supposed to be Rhody in the suit. Are they trying to purposely hide the fact that it’s not Tony?


I'm not an Iron Man reader by a long shot, but I think Tony kept his secret identity for quite a while in the comics. Iron Man was his body guard, and I don't think anyone (including other heroes?) knew that Rhodes took it over, at least to start. Maybe no one knew who Iron Man was at this point?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xkonk
I can only assume they are in a cross-over issue somewhere else, but it's very confusing. I would have appreciated the little editor's box saying "go pick up Whatever Book issue # XXX, True Believer!".


I’m reading from the omnibus and it does not include any contemporary tie-in issues. It includes an issue of Thor printed a few years later that summarizes the first few issues of Secret Wars but from the Enchantress’ point of view, an issue of She-Hulk printed twenty years later, and a couple issues of What If. Secret Wars is considered Marvel’s first company-wide crossover so is it possible they didn’t do a ehole lot of tying in?

My guess about Titania and Volcania is that we may possibly see where they came from later on. After all, we do know that more characters will appear in the book. Or maybe they’re part of the unexplained weirdness we’ve seen like with Ben Grimm and the Hulk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xkonk
I'm not an Iron Man reader by a long shot, but I think Tony kept his secret identity for quite a while in the comics. Iron Man was his body guard, and I don't think anyone (including other heroes?) knew that Rhodes took it over, at least to start. Maybe no one knew who Iron Man was at this point?


That’s true. With the MCU versions of the characters being so pervasive I’d forgotten that Iton Man kept his identity secret for a time.

Still, my comment was more about how it feels that they want to keep Iron Man’s identity secret from the reader. I’ve mentioned that the book seems written in such a way that someone unfamiliar with the greater Marvel Universe could read it and be more or less caught up. I wonder if they tried to keep Rhody as Iron Man secret so new readers don’t mistakenly think that Rhody was the real Iron Man.

Also, TACTICAL ROLLER SKATES!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xkonk
Doom is known for his feelings of self-importance, so I'm torn between it being out of character or very important that he gives Molecule Man as much credit as he is. Maybe it should be both. Granted, Reece is actually that powerful, but Doom rarely seems to care about such things. We just saw him fly after Galactus and potentially at the Beyonder.


I assumed Doom was manipulating Molecule Man rather than being sincere. On that level Doom seems to have succeeded since Molecule Man seems to worship Dokm now, even saying that he’d tear the planet apart at Doom’s command.

Granted, Doom could manipulate and still express his superiority so perhaps it could have been written better. It worked well enough for me and with the heroes being so disorganized, untrusting, and dysfunctional, my scrutiny on out of character writing isn’t necessarily focused on Doom.
Post 21 IP   flag post
If the viagra is working you should be well over a 9.8. xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite
Still, my comment was more about how it feels that they want to keep Iron Man’s identity secret from the reader. I’ve mentioned that the book seems written in such a way that someone unfamiliar with the greater Marvel Universe could read it and be more or less caught up


Definitely true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite
Also, TACTICAL ROLLER SKATES!!!


Even more true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite
I assumed Doom was manipulating Molecule Man rather than being sincere.


I think it's both, or at least Doom recognizes that he would rather have Molecule Man on his side than on someone else's side. Reece plays an important role in the more recent Secret Wars event, essentially holding the multiverses together and giving god-like power to whoever he thinks should have it (starting with Doom).
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If the viagra is working you should be well over a 9.8. xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
What happens next in these, our most secret of wars?

#4 brings to my attention that the covers in this series basically alternate between memorable and giant groups. #1 is well-known because it's #1, but it's basically a giant group. #2 is a good Magneto pin-up. #3 is a group shot, #4 brings us the Hulk holding up the world cover. 5 and 6 ruin the pattern by both being group shots, but then I would say 7 and 8 are both memorable pin-ups (8 obviously more than 7). 9 is a group shot, 10 is a great Doom cover, 11 is a group, and 12 is another somewhat memorable Doom cover. A little bit a shame that they aren't all bangers, but it's still fun.

4 shows that Molecule Man is certainly not to be trifled with. He destroys the heroes headquarters (the size of Chicago or whatever... and then the villains try to search it?), and then throws a mountain range. And when it comes to throwing, I appreciated the Wrecking Crew throwing, uh, smaller debris.

Thor gets a bit of a pop, as love is apparently in the air for more than Magneto and Wasp and then he gets an impressive battle against the whole villain team. Unfortunately it looks like Ultron disintegrated him, which is why this issue is famous for the death of Thor (lol).

Speaking of Wasp, her dig at Magneto seems both wrong and in poor taste. He says he would use the Beyonder's power to create a golden age where humans and mutants live in peace, and Wasp calls him Hitler. Hitler wasn't so interested in peace, and given Magneto's history that's quite a thing to say. Granted, Magneto's plan involves killing all the bad guys, and Wasp probably doesn't know about Magneto and the Holocaust, but still. Wolverine makes a good point though; between Spider-Man and the Wasp, the X-Men are not coming off well so far in the series.

The issue finishes with some shenanigans. Thor shows up at the mountain after the heroes escape, saying that he actually ran off and covered his escape with a bolt of lightning. I'm not a big Thor reader, but that doesn't strike me as 'striving to his last'. And then he tells Cap that his time with the Enchantress would be a long one, when really he just went and got her out for a quick conversation that went nowhere. And Ben turns back into the Thing for no apparent reason, although Reed has some guesses.
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#5 promises that the X-Men will strike back, which I hope so as an X-Men fan. They've looked like chumps so far.

Thanks to a recap via psychic vapors, there's a suggestion that some people are showing up on the planet because they were pulled from some other place when Battleworld was assembled.

While Johnny Storm is Kirk-ing it up with the alien lady, Colossus reminds us that his romance with Kitty Pryde is kind of icky. Time and ages are infamously vague in comics, but Colossus was obviously of at least college age while Kitty was young teens when they started dating.

Plot-wise, the big move is that Galactus summons his space station home and starts building some Galactus thing. Maybe his planet-eating machine. Doom is interested is Galactus' technology, so he starts another battle with the good guys in an effort to distract Galactus long enough to get in. The bad guys get a leg up but the X-Men storm in and force a retreat. Having chosen to act as a third group, the X-Men then run back off themselves but leave the injured Colossus to be healed by Johnny's new girlfriend.
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#6 has Klaw on the cover... is Klaw here? The Lizard has done absolutely nothing in the series but I remember he was shown in issue 1. Maybe they put Klaw instead of Kang, even though Kang was apparently disintegrated in #4 anwyay.

The issue addresses the cover pretty quickly, as the Lizard finds Wasp and Klaw's appearance is apparently a payoff from Dazzler's series, which is kind of hilarious.

The X-Men continue not coming off well. There's a history of Cyclops being leader of the X-Men, but that wasn't the case until they 'graduated' somewhat early in the original run. Professor X was essentially the leader, but of course wasn't out in battle while he was in the wheelchair. Storm then became leader of the X-Men in #139 when Cyclops left after Jean Grey's 'death' at the end of the Phoenix Saga. When he rejoined the team, there was some conflict. And throughout it all, Professor Xavier is a jerk.




So now that he can walk, he's asserting himself more than usual. The battle for leadership is not pretty. And Cyclops' decision-making also looks questionable. After taking on four heavy-hitters with just Rogue and Wolverine, he says "maybe Doom wanted these volcanoes open?" and then opens them. Way to do the bad guys' work for them, Cyke.

The issue essentially ends with the Wasp being killed. Maybe she also snuck out in a burst of lightning? I'll find out next week!
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Let's do some Friday lunchtime reading.

#7 introduces a new Spider-Woman right off the bat. And the Wasp does seem pretty dead, and callously thrown away by Wrecker. Cap's crew isn't willing to go after the villains, but the X-Men take the opportunity to try grabbing some bad guys while they're separated. The X-Men come off a bit better than previous fights, essentially getting a draw against stronger opponents.

Wolverine does Wolverine things, cutting off Absorbing Man's arm, but I think the cake goes to She-Hulk. She goes alone to Doom's base and takes out the Wrecking Crew but can't hold out when Titania joins the fight. Cap won't go to save her while on Galactus duty, but things change when the X-Men offer to keep watch. Looks like we're up for another big fight next issue.
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#8 gives us Cap's team taking it to the bad guys at Doombase. Spider-Man shows off again and the good guys take the day. And Wasp isn't dead, so it's good times all around.

Of course, the issue has perhaps the most famous moment in the series, which is when Spidey gets his new suit. ASM 300 wouldn't come out for another 3-4 years, so I wonder if they had anything in particular in mind when this came out. It also seems a little less dramatic since they introduced Spider-Woman the issue before in essentially the same suit.

But none of that is important right now, because Galactus seems ready to eat the planet.
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I think my favorite part of #9 is when Thor thinks Hulk might be feeling down because chairs are so small. Big man problems.

Otherwise the big question is what to do with Galactus. Reed originally figures that they should actually leave him alone, because either he'll get what he wishes from the Beyonder and stop eating planets, or the Beyonder will destroy him and Galactus won't be around to keep eating planets. But the other heroes don't agree, and Reed joins in on the fight anyway. Unfortunately, Galactus gets away and starts eating his own world while Doom plans on syphoning off the energy.
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So, I’m starting to think maybe I focused too much on Iron Man not being plainly shown to be Rhody simply because I know he’s not the “real” Iron Man. I think the observations I made were still correct but they also apply to every other character. No character has really unmasked themselves and everyone refers to everyone else by their codenames if they have one.

Again, it feels like the book was written with non-regular readers in mind. In this story it isn’t so much about the people under the masks, the masks ARE the characters.

One thing that I think helped me focus on Iron Man is the fact that his costume isn’t just a change of clothes but a full-on shell of armor so it feels a little stranger not to see him take it off.

In issue 4 the heroes still feel pretty dysfunctional. Sure Kang tried to kill Doom but that’s what you expect from his type of character. meanwhile, it feels like there’s a lot of duplicity going on with the heroes. X-Men going behind everyone’s back to ally with Magneto, Xavier manipulating Spider-Man’s mind, Wasp seducing Magneto to find out his plan…you could swap all the heroes with villains and it would probably fee more natural.
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I did enjoy the plot movement in issue 5 with Galactus summoning his ship which gave more solid direction to the various factions.

Galactus wants to eat the planet (probably). The Avengers (to generalize Captain America’s group) want to stop Galactus from eating the planet. The X-Men also want to stop Galactus but acting independently of Cap’s team.The villains want to kill the heroes and win the prize. Dooom wants to use Galactus’s technology as a stepping stone to overcoming the Beyonder.

I did like the idea that Galactus doesn’t even notice any of the heroes or villains because they are so far beneath him and when he does, it’s little more than a glance just long enough to decide that he should not be concerned.

One thing that I noticed in this issue though is, what the heck happened to Lockheed? He’s not with the X-Men, and given how he’s pining for Kitty you’d thibk Colossus would be keeping him close, and not with the Avengers. I se going to be his own faction like Doom and Galactus? I guess we’ll have to see.
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