SECRET WARS: BATTLEWORLD #1
Written by Joshua Williamson, Ed Brisson
Art by Mike Henderson, Scott Hepburn
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 20, 2015
In the tradition of the big events, a book has been launched that features a couple mini-stories, in vein of A vs. X and A+X. Both those titles were wildly inconsistent in my opinion, but I think this concept works really well for Secret Wars and the different realms of Battleworld. It definitely does in this first issue, at least which features two strong, completely different stories by four talented individuals.
The first story, by Nailbiter creators Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson, checks in with The Punisher and sets up a very interesting mystery surrounding Doctor Strange. It has been established that he enforces law and order as Doom sees fit, but with just a few pages Williamson and Henderson throw down some entertaining action and add a whole new dimension to Strange in Battleworld. Fans get a look at quite a crew who will remain anonymous because their reveal features some great art by Henderson, and this pair could be one hell of a Punisher creative team. They get the gritty. They get the nastiness. They get the somewhat comical nature of the character with his over the top bravado, and they get how to execute an entertaining story in only half an issue. I wanted more, and that’s a sure sign that this first tale is a winner.
The second half of the issue couldn’t be more different with Ed Brisson and Scott Hepburn taking on the madness that is M.O.D.O.K. The character’s physical appearance alone is laughable but when you add in the absolutely wild personality that he’s grown into the past few years, you’ve got comedic gold. Brisson writes the comedy well, having M.O.D.O.K. assemble a crew of alternate versions of himself to usurp Doom from his throne. Needless to say, madness ensues because where one M.O.D.O.K. is wild, a dozen or so M.O.D.O.K.s is just pure insanity. Hepburn renders the madness nicely with over the top artwork that explodes off of the page. There is a ton of humour in this part of the issue and it has me contemplating reading the M.O.D.O.K. Secret Wars tie-in. That’s a win, as I had no interest before, but Brisson and Hepburn won me over with what this character can be in an event like this.
Secret Wars: Battleworld #1 takes readers deeper into the Battleworld and Secret Wars and for anyone who is loving the wild world that Doom has built, this is a nice read. These writers and artists nail these first stories and Secret Wars: Battleworld #1 is good, solid fun.
The Verdict: 8.5/10