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Well, now that we’re knee-deep into what is arguably the biggest comic event of the summer, it’s time to check out some of the companion stories to the main mini-series event book.  First up – Secret Wars: Battleworld #1.

From what I can gather in the first issue, this series aims to take a look at some of the smaller corners of the patchwork planet known as “Battleworld” that the main Secret Wars story is taking place on (see Battleworld map below).image

The first story in this issue, written by Joshua Williamson with art from Mike Henderson, takes place in the area known as “2099” and it involves a fugitive Punisher fused with the spirit of Dr. Strange, on the run for the crime of crossing borders, which is apparently a big no-no on this world.  The back half of the issue has a story written by Ed Brisson and illustrated by Scott Hepburn that takes place in “The Warzone” and tells a pretty comical story about M.O.D.O.K. and his encounter with his different selves from other Marvel realities.  It really plays with the old question, ‘If you met yourself, would you like you?’

The writing from both authors here is pretty solid, especially considering the small amount of space that they have to work with.  I think it really shows the intermingling of the many different Marvel realms in this one single setting.  The only thing that I’m slightly hung up on is how all of the characters treat this world as though this is the way it’s always been.  Did the incursion of the different universes reset everyone’s memory?  Do they have no recollection at all of the way things were before Battleworld?  That’s the only part I can’t quite figure out, but I’m hoping it will probably be explained in future issues of the main series.

Both artists do a fine job telling their respective stories in pictures.  Henderson’s art is gritty and angular, somewhat reminiscent of Frank Miller, which fits the Punisher centered story quite nicely.  And Hepburn gives us a more traditional comic book style with his illustrations of the many, many M.O.D.O.K.s.  Nothing incredibly mind-blowing from either of them, but again, both stories are illustrated well.

All in all, there is nothing absolutely amazing in this first issue, and I kind of don’t expect there to be from the rest of this series, but if it keeps going on the path set out here, it seems like if will be a fun companion-piece to the main storyline in Secret Wars.  It’s also a nice way to give the overall world some depth, and perhaps even shine some light on some of the lesser explored corners of Battleworld.

The Verdict for Secret Wars: Battleworld #1:
I can dig it

Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

Upcoming reviews:
East of West, Volume 3: There Is No Us TPB
Planet Hulk #1 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Ultimate End #1 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Old Man Logan #1 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Where Monsters Dwell #1 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Wytches #1-#6

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