Warning: contains satire.
If you’re a bit of a comic fan like me, you’ll be aware that Marvel are currently running a massive months-long publishing event called Secret Wars, in which characters and settings from the company’s enormous back-history have been resurrected, remixed and repackaged to appeal to the incurably geeky such as myself. Much of these titles feel a little like fan-ficky to me, so if Marvel’s creators can get away with it, so can I.
Below are a few of my own suggestions for Secret Wars titles, many of which dredge up characters and storylines from the very dustiest corners of the Marvel Universe(s). A few of these would, I think, genuinely make for decent short-lived series, whilst others are simply ham-fisted attempts to chase various demographics. As I say, contains satire.
Unnamed Warriors of Lapsed Intellectual Property
Starring the Shiny Spaceknight! The Little Guys from the Microverse! And the Three Giant Robots! Together they must face the Nasty Oriental Doctor, the Giant Radioactive Lizard and the evil Space Dude In The Black Armour!
Killraven Loves Patsy
A romantic romp starring the grim future freedom fighter and the fun-loving Hellcat herself, Patsy Walker. In issue #1, the pair must escape a terrifying Martian arena in time to meet Patsy’s parents for dinner.
Suckertown, where mother-lovin’ vampires stalk the streets of the endless Harlem night. A handful of righteous brothers and sisters take a stand against a snow-white sucker by the name of Baron Frost. Starring Luke Cage and Blade; they can’t be bit and they won’t be bought.
The actually straight Kitty Pryde and her fabulous LGBTQIA friends in one extremely fit rainbow alliance of heroism. Starring Northstar, Lightspeed, Flatman, the original Union Jack and Mighty Destroyer (oh come on - they were totally doing each other), Living Lightning, Hulkling, Wiccan, Rictor, Shatterstar, Karma, Mystique, oh let’s face it half the X-Men, all of the Young Avengers and Hercules who’s actually bisexual.
Probably written by Kieron Gillen.
If it’s good enough for the Thors, it’s good enough for Wolvie. This series feature All The Wolverines doing the dirty jobs that the Thor Corps can’t. Starring grumpy-Jim-Henson-fairytale Wolvie, not-Bogart Patch Wolvie, tragic kimono-wearing Wedding Wolvie, and embarrassing-bone-claw-noseless Wolvie.
Devil-Slayer, Skull the Slayer and the awesome Apeslayer - together for the first time! Warning: contains more bare chests and leather pants than a Jim Morrison tribute act.
What If: Altergasm
This depressing series features every What If scenario taking place simultaneously, from Dark Phoenix immolating the X-Men to Wolverine becoming Lord of the Vampires to Korvac turning the Avengers into his personal sock puppets, while the Watcher sits in the middle of it all, rocking back and forth and tearing his fucking eyeballs out.
|A typically upbeat What If ending|
|I have no words.|
As Seen On TV
A realm championed by the 1970s television incarnations of the Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Dr Strange and Captain America, in which our small-screen heroes battle low-rent hoodlums, martial artists, evil hypnotists and an inexplicably Italian Red Skull in budget-friendly adventures.
Features thugs being thrown in cardboard boxes, lots of silly string and an embarrassing motorcycling outfit. The special edition of issue #1 contains a bonus bootleg cameo of Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four.
Lockheed! Zabu! Redwing! Lockjaw! That cat from Speedball! The Frog of Thunder! Even Ms Lion from Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends! Super animals fighting for justice and freedom!
The Pet Avengers protect the United States of Animalica from the villainy of the vampiric Hellcow and the Pet Masters of Evil, led by the nazi clownfish Baron Nemo.
Cap, Iron Man and Spidey in the sort of team-up Stan Lee never envisioned. This appeals to a certain section of the internet, which you’re just gonna have to google for yourself. Nuff said.
X-Men: An Age Undreamed Of
Crom! Like the other Secret Wars X-titles, this rehashes a classic storyline (Uncanny X-Men #190-191). But unlike those others, this one actually deserves a second visit and expansion from the original. The revived Hyborian sorcerer Kulan Gath has bewitched Manhattan and its inhabitants, transforming everything and everyone into their swords and sorcery analogue, including the X-Men and Avengers.
It’s superheroes in the age of Conan! What’s not to love?
Power Pack: Funland Run
Uncle Jolly's Funland, a land of toys and rides and never-ending cartoons. Where children play all day long and there are no grown-ups to tell them what to do or bother them. Not unless you count meanies like the alien Snarks or the dumb ol’ Boogeyman, who never last long thanks to Funland's very own kid superheroes: Alex, Julie, Jack and Katie - the unbeatable Power Pack!
But when the perpetually grinning Uncle Jolly selects one of the Powers to become his latest ‘special friend’, something doesn't feel right. The team defy his will and run away from their Orphanage, pursued by the child-catcher Spiral in a desperate race to escape this land of do as you please and find the mythical beings known as Parents.