We are now halfway through Secret Wars, the Marvel event so big it’s shaping what Marvel will look like for here on out. The only downside to Secret Wars is that the event is so huge it literally spans across every book Marvel publishes, and that’s a lot to follow, and not all of it is top notch. So, instead of wading your way through all the different titles yourself, I’ve done the work for you! Here’s my list of the five best Secret Wars books (outside of the main event book, which is weird and fantastic).
Old Man Logan
Based on the one of the best Wolverine stories ever written, this book centers on the Unforgiven-esque variant of Logan created by Mark Millar. The art is stunning and the book is incredibly dark and violent. Other than getting the joy of seeing a western style version of Logan running around punishing the bad guys, it also serves as a sampling of the various domains on Battleworld and Logan tries to solve the mystery of an Ultron head than flew across the wall. It’s also important because we know from Marvel’s plans post-secret wars that Old Man Logan will be sticking around. Issue #4 comes out August 5th. Check out the series here.
This, like many of the books on this list is a extension of a previous idea made fresh by the chaos of Battleworld. It follows the logical outcomes of a continued war between Captain America and Iron man with a twist, that being someone is pulling their strings and pushing them ever closer to war. It’s great to see Steve Rogers in his prime again and to see what countries run by these two heroes would look like. Never before have their ideological differences been more pronounced. For more on this book, read my review of it here.
Amazing Spiderman: Renew Your Vows
This is my personal favorite on this list. Written by Dan Slott, the mastermind behind Spiderman since 2010, he takes us back to a world where Civil War never happened, Peter never took of his mask, and therefore never made a deal with the devil that ended his marriage with Mary Jane. The whole book is like a tribute to ‘90s Spiderman. It’s extreme, it’s darker, its tightly paced, and features a villain named Regent who kills every mutant and avenger except Spiderman. As a kid who cut his teeth on reading Spiderman in the ‘90s (yes, including the Clone Saga and Ben Reilly’s turn under the mask) I love the return to form, even if it’s only for a moment. I also very much enjoy actually getting to see what could have been, namely, what Peter Parker would be like as a father and how he would try to balance that with being the friendly neighborhood spiderman. Issue #3 is set to come out August 5th.
This comic gives us the return of the Classic X-Men cartoon from 1992, and it returns in brightly colored goodness. It reads and feels exactly like the show did, and after 5 seasons of that I don’t feel the need to explain the concept of why it’s awesome. Check it out here. Issue #2 comes out July 29th.
This is the only wholly original book on the list, and that’s largely because it’s great and doesn’t rely on nostalgia to propel my interest for it. It centers around She-Hulk being a baroness in God Emperor Doom’s Battleworld and leading her own all female team of Avengers to defend her land. Things quickly escalate when she is forced to exile one of her own team members and begins to unravel a conspiracy that leads outside of her own domain. It’s great largely because it’s the only real Avengers book set in Battleworld, and to an outsider an all female team may stink of gimmick, it never feels like it. Issue #3 comes out August 12th. Check the comic out here.