As we get deep into Marvel’s massive universe-shattering Secret Wars event, one thing is clear: its is miles above DC’s Convergence event. Not only is Jonathan Hickman’s central title provide a lot more depth that the Brianiac story we got from DC, but the tie-ins, which also return to popular periods in Marvel’s history, are substantially better. They are also incredibly numerous, and it would be very expensive and time consuming to see the entire series with every one of the tie-ins. It takes a good way to differentiate the stories and to find the ones that are best for you.
We have compiled a list of the five best Secret Wars tie-in comics, which hopefully can provide you a starting point to getting into the series.
5. Giant-Size Little Marvels: AVX
This miniseries is a cheap ploy to get those who are obsessed with Skottie Young’s Baby Variant Covers and to turn it into a self-referential series filled with goofy jokes. Obviously we love it. The story is simple and fun, with jokes that tie into the history of the characters and is perfect for those who have a history with the Marvel universe. The art is incredible, as expected, as it takes the variant cover line that Skottie Young is using to put his kids through college and essentially creates an entire book of it. Now, if you can get the Skottie Young Baby Variant Cover of the first issue of AvX, then you’ll really have something…
4. X-Men ’92
X-Men ’92 is again a shot towards those who have an incredible nostalgia for the 1990s incarnation of the X-Men, marked by stories from Chris Claremont and adaptations to the X-Men: The Animated Series. The line-up of people like Wolverine, Professor X, Storm, Beast, Cyclops, Rogues, and the rest, X-Men ’92 really does capture that period of time that so clearly defined Marvel for a certain generation of readers. The story itself has an epic feel as a mysterious characters is “reforming” super villains with a method that could be much closer to a manipulation of the Mutant X gene, and it may be the X-Men that are falling victim next. Every part of this reminded me of the days when I first became a reader, yet its short four issue run is just enough to give us a fond look back without over staying its welcome.
This was one of the more touchy options on the list as the original is truly a superhero classic and bringing Brian Michael Bendis over as the writer is not something that seems to fit well. All of the fears were quickly subsided when the first issue was released, where the characterization is accomplished less through wordy dialogue and more through incredible art. This is the definition of “show don’t tell,” and as we see Logan heading to challenge a world where gangs assume the identity of superheros and Battleworld separates different universes it is maintaining a lot of the feelings we got with the original.
This is one of the most interesting titles available in the Secret Wars event. Taking the world of 1602 that was created by Neil Gaiman and then inserting Angela, the character purchased from Image by Marvel and repurposing the character. As was shown in the Original Sin event, Angela is the lost sister of Thor and Loki who was taken over to Heven. In 1602 the character is given a new backstory and purpose where she confronts witches and supernatural creatures that can subvert the aristocratic society. The art here is incredible and we get a moody and stylized comic miniseries that could end up standing on its own outside of the event.
Jason Aaron is continuing his famed Thor run into Secret Wars and has created the best tie-in that we could expect. In the new Battleworld, ruled over by God-King Doom, Thors are an elite police class that takes members from different worlds. The Thors comic operates almost as a detective procedural, but colored with the Norse Mythology that has made this character such a success. Jason Aaron’s writing is sharp and draws on the storytelling history of the character and it is surprisingly engaging and strong in its characterization. A real stand out title, both in and out of Battleworld.