secret-wars-villains-attack-display

The Villains Take Over the Spotlight as the Secret Wars Continue

This is “From a Different Point of View,” a feature where I discuss a comic book series with other people. This time around, due to everyone having to self-isolate, I figured I’d do a special edition where I discuss the original Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars series with whatever readers that wanted to chat about it!

We continue with Secret Wars #6, “A Little Death…” by Jim Shooter, Mike Zeck, John Beatty, Christie Scheele and Joe Rosen.

Flavio Sette: Zeck’s back!

Brian Cronin: Yep, Zeck has returned. Amusingly, though, behind a Layton-drawn covered based on Zeck’s #1 cover.

EricMichael: which I’m a sucker for

Brian Cronin: It was obviously a well-designed Zeck cover to begin with, but Layton does a fine job with the villain-version of the cover (Zeck actually did a first crack at the cover and Shooter had Layton re-draw it).

DavidJustDavid: I really like the cover, even if it does have a Klaw spoiler.

Brian Cronin: True.

Brian Cronin: It’s amusing that, since it’s based on the “now” current team of villains, Kang is missing.

Brian Cronin: Secret Wars was not a Kang highlight.

DavidJustDavid: Just noticed Molecure Man is missing too…(?)

Cletus G: Low point for Kang.

EricMichael: And Bulldozer, cementing his bottom of the Wrecking Crew rankings

Brian Cronin: Poor Bulldozer. There are only four members in the Wrecking Crew, and he still gets forgotten._______________________________________________

Flavio Sette: The opening really doesn’t really match the ending of the last issue, right?

Flavio Sette: Doom’s shocked to find that the random energy he found is in fact Klaw, but he was talking to Klaw last issue.

Cletus G: Klaw has quite the personality shift here. Like a lot of our heroes and villains.

Brian Cronin: Before we get to Doom, we get more misadventures of Wasp.

DavidJustDavid: This seems like a lot of pages to spend on Jan at the beginning…

Avash: The last issue ended with the cliffhanger, but now we are starting with Wasp. It’s like even the writers knew the cliffhanger wasn’t engaging enough

Brian Cronin: Yeah, this is a whole lot of pages to devote to a Wasp plot that goes nowhere.

Brian Cronin: “Remember the Lizard? No? Why would you?”

Avash: Jan’s back to her 60s root completely. Worrying over a broken nail when the world is coming to an end

Cletus G: In The Avengers, Stern did a great job of building up the Wasp as an authoritative character. This is all undone in two pages.

Brian Cronin: It’s nice that Jan is still keeping track of how much time has passed.

Brian Cronin: So she knows that it is her manicurist’s day off.

Brian Cronin: That’s sort of impressive!

Avash: She never forgets the important stuff

Flavio Sette: Her manicure sense was tingling.

Brian Cronin: But yeah, in general, this is 1960s Wasp redux.

Brian Cronin: She’s lucky that there were no sparrows on Battleworld.

EricMichael: I think Sooter was trying to make her comments knowingly glib

EricMichael: Like, she’s trying to keep her spirits up

DavidJustDavid: She does get to blow up her ship in one blast, so her power level is up to current standards at least.

Cletus G: Why does she blow up the car? I don’t understand…

EricMichael: Venting her frustration.

Avash: I think she’s just keeping herself busy to make herself not panic

Cletus G: And right before she refers to it as her, “trusty steed” too!

Brian Cronin: She blows up the car with one blast, but then can barely zap some alien bees.

Brian Cronin: Maybe you shouldn’t have wasted your bio-energy blasts on destroying your car then, Jan?

Avash: Yeah, no argument there

Cletus G: Was 21 a fancy dining place at the time? I’ve never heard of it.

EricMichael: Very. A place to be seen at.

Flavio Sette: I think I’ve seen it referenced in an episode of Archer? It’s like a chic place in Manhattan I think?

Cletus G: Ah. Thank you! Yeah, I wondered that too.

DavidJustDavid: Lizard’s intro includes a very strange use of his tail that doesn’t actually go anywhere (accidentally cutting down a huge tree trunk).

Avash: I gotta say though, I had to look back to the first issue to see Lizard here. Totally forgot he was in this series.

Flavio Sette: Isn’t Lizard supposed to have a healing factor? I mean, he can grow a new arm, but he can’t heal a small puncture wound?

Avash: Yeah, that’s weird

EricMichael: Hey, let’s not start bringing logic into this thing now.

DavidJustDavid: It looks like Lizard’s next scene should be Wasp standing over his crushed body.

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Brian Cronin: I imagine the disconnect between last issue and this one, regarding Doom and Klaw.

Brian Cronin: Was just an artistic one via the shift from Layton to Zeck.

Flavio Sette: Yeah, but Shooter dialogued both. So it’s still kinda weird.

Brian Cronin: While #5 ended with Doom talking to Klaw, it’s not a huge disconnect to have the scene, in effect, replayed in #6.

Avash: Wait? Were they still using Marvel method? I thought Shooter was scripting as well

Flavio Sette: I assumed he did it plot style.

Flavio Sette: There certainly are creators who still use plot style, and it wasn’t uncommon at Marvel or DC at the time.

DavidJustDavid: Doesn’t the last issue end with him discovering something…maybe it was just the machine that this issue revives Klaw.

EricMichael: Doom wasn’t talking to Klaw last ish, was he?

Avash: Last issue technically ended on a monologue though

EricMichael: He was just monologuing and then ended with “What’s this?”

Avash: Doom was just surprised and talking to himself

Flavio Sette: My bad, I misremembered the scene.

Flavio Sette: I thought Doom was talking to Klaw at the end of last issue.

Cletus G: I really wanted a better Doom reference to Dazzler. I think she defeated him right before she went up against Galactus…

EricMichael: Too many writers used Doom as the training wheels villain

Avash: “It has gathered up strange Vibratory energy”. It’s called Kinetic energy. You should know this, DOCTOR Doom!

DavidJustDavid: Between this Klaw scene and the Wasp, there’s a lot of pages used up on characters that probably aren’t the selling point of this book.

Cletus G: I like how after Doom reconstitutes Klaw, he just decided to walk away. I mean, there HAS to be a way to use this villain, doesn’t there?

EricMichael: At least Klaw’s personality shift has an in-story reason

Flavio Sette: We could definitely have used more time with the core hero group, David.

Avash: I like the focus on villains though. We get the focus on heroes on most comic books anyway, it’s a nice change

Flavio Sette: Fair, but the main group doesn’t do a lot this issue. They hold one strategy session and talk about how they really need to get through to Galactus and that’s it.

Cletus G: Is Klaw’s repetition supposed to be an echo?

Cletus G: Or is it just a verbal tic?

Avash: I think it’s a tic

Brian Cronin: Huh, I took it as a verbal tic.

Brian Cronin: But an echo makes sense, too.

EricMichael: Mental break manifesting as tic was my take

Avash: I think that’s what the writer intended, but echo would’ve been cooler

EricMichael: Kind of like he’s used to echoing, so now he’s making his own

Cletus G: I’m a bit disappointed that such an honorable villain such as Doom would not really uphold his bargain with Klaw.

Brian Cronin: Is this the most Dazzler’s comic book series has ever been referenced in another comic book?

Cletus G: It was pretty referenced when she had that crossover with Spider-Woman.

EricMichael: This and her outing herself as a mutant, in her graphic novel are probably the highlights

Avash: “I’m made of energy, you can’t destroy me, Einstein said so”, Einstein didn’t, Newton did. Everyone is failing their physics exam today

Brian Cronin: Klaw using rhyming words pretty much cements it as a tic, right?

Brian Cronin: It’s pretty funny how an entire generation of fans had their view of Klaw colored by this appearance.

EricMichael: raises hand

Brian Cronin: The guy’s intended as this badass racist villain

Brian Cronin: And now he’s a wacky joke character.

Cletus G: I actually just read Secret Wars for the first time. I was…surprised by this interpretation.

EricMichael: And I had a reprint copy of when he was in Utron’s Masters of Evil

Avash: I am seeing a pattern here. Typically mastermind like villains, like Ultron or Kang being reduced to mere lackeys. Not to mention Kang. Is this so that the book can have a better focus on Doom?

Flavio Sette: And now a whole other generation’s view of him has been influenced by the Black Panther movie and the “Who is Black Panther” Arc?”

Cletus G: FlavioSette- that was my first impression of him.

DavidJustDavid: Yes, I had thought of Klaw as a really cool villain from FF and Avengers, this was a bit ridiculous.

Tom A.: Was it ever explained how Klaw stopped being crazy and went back to being a racist jerk?

EricMichael: Tom, I think the next time we see him, he’s back to himself

Brian Cronin: Yeah, he was back to normal by the time Hudlin got a hold of him.

Tom A.: I think everyone ignores “Who is the Black Panther”‘s Klaw because he isn’t made of living sound and his backstory there contradicts every other appearance he’d ever been in.

EricMichael: Did he have any appearances between this and Quasar #1?

DavidJustDavid: A Daredevil fill-in right after Born Again…

Brian Cronin: There’s a veritable cottage industry of “Can’t Crossed Over” articles on the various characters affected by Secret Wars.

Brian Cronin: Where Shooter came in, did weird stuff with them, and then later writers had to figure it out.

Cletus G: You know, my first Marvel crossover was actually Acts of Vengeance. I think he was in that somewhere.

Avash: “Who is black panther” retcon made no sense, as the sound form was appearing at the same time in She Hulk book, and they have no explanation for that

Flavio Sette: Me, the first things I think of when I think of Klaw are his appearances as part of the Masters of Evil in Thunderbolts and the vibranium cancer arc from Mark Waid’s Cap run.

Brian Cronin: It seems like it’s Englehart who returned Klaw to normal, which makes sense, as Englehart had used Klaw during his Avengers run.

Flavio Sette: He’s more a traditional badass villain there. Latter day writers definitely worked hard to make him a real bad guy again.

Cletus G: Brian, was part of that because the Handbook came out at the time? I get the impression there was a push to really nail down things then.

DavidJustDavid: I believe he (Englehart) wrote the Daredevil issue, when he was supposed to be taking over as regular writer.

Brian Cronin: Yeah, and then brought Klaw over to his Fantastic Four run.

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Avash: So anyway, they find out you can say the code word “Ukase Doom Rex” to give Ultron commands, and they never use it again?

Flavio Sette: Probably a one time thing.

Tom A.: Doom wouldn’t be dumb enough to make it work more than once._______________________________________________

Tom A.: At least Klaw has the excuse of being crazy, but Lizard for some reason now acts like a misunderstood dumb monster who just wants a friend instead of the violent apex predator who wants to turn people into lizards he’s always been.

Avash: Was Lizard always “Leave me alone” a la Hulk?

Brian Cronin: Lizard’s personality had been a bit all over the place, so I can forgive Shooter here a bit

Brian Cronin: But yeah, it didn’t particularly make sense, either.

Flavio Sette: I suppose you could argue that that’s Curt Connors’ mind influencing the Lizard a bit more, maybe making him less violent.

Cletus G: Almost seems like a Beauty and the Beast situation. Not to be confused with the Dazzler mini-series.

EricMichael: I was thinking it was more a The Lion and the Mouse deal

Avash: Interesting point Eric

Cletus G: Hmm…that does work better. Does the Lizard encounter the Wasp again after this? I wonder if he’d remember her.

Tom A.: Amusingly, since the Spider-Man Animated series wasn’t allowed to use Hulk for licensing reasons, their adaptation of Secret Wars had the Lizard take on the Hulk’s role.

Brian Cronin: Either way, it’s a pretty pointless detour.

Brian Cronin: Especially when we cut to the X-Men, where there’s super drama happening.

_______________________________________________

EricMichael: Now, Klaw’s aberrant personality has an explanation. Back to Prof X’s which does not.

Flavio Sette: Moving on to the scene where the X-Men are helping clean up Magneto’s base, here we have, like I mentioned a couple issues ago, what, the first time Magneto and Rogue ever interacted in any way?

Brian Cronin: I believe so, yep.

DavidJustDavid: Enchantress is an intimidating Asgardian again, after grovelling last issue.

Tom A.: I am glad that Storm is pointing out that she is the actual leader of the X-Men, not Charles.

Brian Cronin: I’m a bit iffy on Storm’s reaction here.

Brian Cronin: I mean, don’t get me wrong, Charles is a HUGE ASSHOLE here.

Brian Cronin: Like, HUGE.

Brian Cronin: Total prick to her.

Brian Cronin: And it’s insane that he basically told her that if she didn’t comply, he’d just make her do what he says with his powers.

Brian Cronin: But at the same time, hasn’t it pretty much always been the case that Xavier was in charge?

Brian Cronin: Did anyone ever doubt that Xavier was overall in charge of the X-Men? Was that ever in dispute?

Brian Cronin: Storm became the leader of the team because Xavier made her the leader of the team.

Brian Cronin: But he’s always been overall in charge.

Brian Cronin: It doesn’t mean that he he isn’t being a total dick to her.

Brian Cronin: As he is.

EricMichael: It was weird for me for her to back down so quickly

EricMichael: it almost makes her look worse than if she hadn’t spoken

DavidJustDavid: Maybe that upset Charles…

Avash: I think this much is in character

Avash: Xavier is an asshole, period

Flavio Sette: We’re given a pretty nice explanation for why Charles is acting like he is. I like the idea that he’s been thrust into this situation where he can now accompany the X-Men in the field and it’s a really stressful situation at that, and now he’s overcompensating a bit so that they don’t think he’s a crappy leader.

Flavio Sette: Which might be why he shuts Scott down when he starts arguing with Magneto. Even though Scott’s clearly in the right here.

Cletus G: Yeah, I like the overcompensating angle. Especially since he asks them to risj their lives all the time. He has to feel pretty guilty.

Flavio Sette: Yeah, the bit where he shuts Scott down is one thing, but what the fuck, Charles?

DavidJustDavid: I think it’s fair to have there be conflict about how good the Prof is in battle…

DavidJustDavid: Even in the original Dark Pheonix, Scott found Professor X was out of touch with leading the X-Men in combat…

Avash: I mean, giving order from a distance is one thing, to lead for the front another. I guess the stress is getting to him, especially given what’s at stake

Cletus G: “Leave the war to the warriors!” line of Storm’s is problematic.

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Tom A.: And now it’s time for nobody’s favorite love story in Secret Wars.

Flavio Sette: At least he’s lusting for a grown woman this time.

Brian Cronin: It’s amazing how well Colossus does with the ladies.

Brian Cronin: Every where he gets dropped off, he gets some action.

Brian Cronin: They get thrown into the Savage Land, he knocks one of the Savage Land denizens up.

Tom A.: Yeah, he has a kid in the Savage Land he doesn’t even know about.

Avash: Did they ever mention that kid again?

Tom A.: He had a brief cameo in the same mini where Mikhail Rasputin was put on the proverbial bus.

Brian Cronin: Thrown on to Battleworld, he hooks up with an alien.

Brian Cronin: He’s basically a much more neurotic Captain Kirk.

Brian Cronin: But what’s weird is that he’s so BAD at the whole flirtation thing.

Cletus G: She doesn’t fully reciprocate the way she does with Johnny, though.

Flavio Sette: Piotr’s going full on “Jesse’s girl” here.

Avash: His face when Zsaji leaves with Johnny, hilarious

DavidJustDavid: It’s like he’s facing the camera

EricMichael: and yeah, that face was very fourth wall breaking

EricMichael: Again, I will point out, he struggles to remember Kitty, once the healing begins

Cletus G: I think that’s because her healing has some kind of mind altering effect, though, right?

Brian Cronin: True, Eric, it’d be VERY simple to say it’s some mental thing going on.

Brian Cronin: They never come flat out and say it, though.

Brian Cronin: And she uses her powers to heal multiple people.

Avash: Except Spider-Man didn’t get affectec at all

Brian Cronin: And only Johnny and Colossus get attracted to her.

Cletus G: Johnny gets attracted to everyone.

EricMichael: Johnny and Peter’s injuries were worse than the others

Cletus G: Don’t they say that Peter was hurt worse?

Brian Cronin: But yes, it sure does seem like there’s some sort of mental connection caused by the healing.

Brian Cronin: And, by the way, this is all just from Colossus getting hit once by Wrecker’s crowbar, right?

DavidJustDavid: Yes, strange since Colossus has been pummeled by Juggernaut and Gladiator and the like…

EricMichael: Yeah, but wedge right into the ribs? That’s bad.

Flavio Sette: Yeah, but according to the narration, it WAS a nearly lethal blow.

Brian Cronin: Johnny continued to woo Zsaji through modern song lyrics._______________________________________________

Tom A.: I wonder why Cap didn’t call everyone for this strategy meeting, lots of people off to the side doing whatever.

Avash: Yeah, that’s odd

Brian Cronin: Cap has been oddly dismissive of his own teammates during all of this.

Brian Cronin: I mean, WE all know Hawkeye sucks

DavidJustDavid: I quite like the characterization in this interaction (up until Iron Man’s scene anyway…)

Brian Cronin: But Cap should be more willing to include him.

Avash: I like the whole exchange

Tom A.: Hawkeye once again has an inferiority complex over his reliance on arrows.

Flavio Sette: And so what’s supposed to be a strategy session spirals into a shouting match, all thanks to the Hulks.

Brian Cronin: Shooter doing his part to help Mantlo’s Hulk arc.

EricMichael: I always liked them in the background of the Hawkeye panel

DavidJustDavid: I like the Spider-Man Hawkeye talk…

Brian Cronin: Yeah, really nice touch by Zeck.

Tom A.: And to set up Rhodey getting brain damage due to the armor.

Avash: Cap has never been the “big picture” guy, bit he still has to make decisions based on that, and you can see, it’s killing him to do so

Brian Cronin: And it’s interesting to see that I bet Zeck never would have had that detail in the background had he not taken two issues off.

Brian Cronin: As we saw from Layton the last couple of issues, background details were sparse.

Brian Cronin: When you’re in a hurry, backgrounds are obviously the first to go.

EricMichael: Backgrounds? We don’t need no stinkin’ backgrounds!

Cletus G: I wonder how much of the art break was planned.

Brian Cronin: I don’t believe it was planned at all, Cletus.

Brian Cronin: It was a last second thing to help Zeck catch up.

DavidJustDavid: It’s funny Hawkeye is out of the strategy session, but gets to lead a new team immediately once they get back to earth.

Brian Cronin: Well, Vision wasn’t on Battleworld.

Flavio Sette: Where did Hawkeye get the wood to make these arrows? They’re in the middle of a desert, so unless he bartered with some of the villagers…

Cletus G: I wondered about that.

Tom A.: And we’ll see later that this wood can somehow pierce bulletproof skin.

EricMichael: Alien wood??

Avash: Well, it’s alien wood

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Avash: Rhodey, on the other hand, is a creep as usual

EricMichael: Finally someone notice Iron Man is acting differently!

Tom A.: Yeah, somebody finally noticed that maybe this Iron Man guy who acts and talks very differently to the original Iron Man might not be the same guy.

Brian Cronin: It’s weird that Captain Marvel, one of the newest heroes there, was the only one who noticed that Iron Man had an entirely different personality.

Brian Cronin: Cap and Wasp knew his secret.

Brian Cronin: But the others didn’t, so it was odd.

Brian Cronin: And yes, it is nice that Shooter played into Denny O’Neil’s plot point about the armor messing with Rhodey’s brain

Brian Cronin: Since it was designed for Tony’s brain.

EricMichael: “Not a good look for Rhodey” should be the trade’s subtitle

Brian Cronin: Shooter has some issues here, though. The sheeeeee-oot part?

Brian Cronin: That’s totally him trying to do “black” slang

Brian Cronin: And it’s cringe-worthy.

Flavio Sette: Yep. Yepyepyepyep

Avash: None of the black characters come off well in this series

EricMichael: My foster brothers (both Black) did not appreciate it at the time.

Cletus G: I think very few of the characters do, but surprisingly, the story overall works for me.

Avash: Yeah, agreed

Tom A.: Thunderball ironically comes off the best, because he’s just a background character like the rest of the Wrecking Crew and thus gets no stupid moments.

Brian Cronin: Good point, Tom.

Cletus G: Yeah, Nightcrawler is like that on the good guys’ side.

Avash: Well, he barely has a dialogue, hard to mess up if you don’t do anything

Brian Cronin: The less character work you get, the better you are off.

Cletus G: Exactly.

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Brian Cronin: The X-Men’s fight with the villains was interesting, as it was Shooter in a nutshell.

Brian Cronin: He wanted Wolverine to be this guy who would kill at the drop of a hat.

Brian Cronin: But he also wanted Wolverine to never kill.

Brian Cronin: It’s a fascinating dichotomy that he wanted established with Wolverine.

Cletus G: Yeah, and it always feels awfully convenient (and forced) that he never really gets the chance to kill.

EricMichael: I wonder if he would have had Wolverine cut loose, with a Comic’s Code?

Brian Cronin: Wolverine HAD cut loose before, in a Code-approved book,when he slaughtered the Hellfire Club guards.

Brian Cronin: Shooter then had Claremont make a point to establish that all of them lived, just with cyborg parts.

Flavio Sette: Xavier sent them on a recon mission… so of course they draw a ton of attention to themselves. Hell, why did they have to take the aircraft, when Rogue could’ve flown them in with much less fanfare?

EricMichael: How competent do we rate the X-Men in the next scene?

DavidJustDavid: I was glad they looked like formidable fighters for two issues in a row.

Avash: Scott goes against the professor’s words at an instant

Avash: That’s not how you do recon, Scott

Brian Cronin: And meanwhile, Rogue has a whole new personality just for the sake of this series.

Brian Cronin: Most likely because Shooter didn’t really know much about her at all.

Brian Cronin: So just invented a personality for her for the length of the series.

DavidJustDavid: Shooter writes her like he wrote Wonder Man.

Brian Cronin: Yes, David, good call.

Brian Cronin: It’s like he had his set character points in mind.

Brian Cronin: And just assigned them to various characters.

Avash: Should a stab wound really stop MM? Didn’t he make a whole body from scratch before?

Tom A.: So Cyclops decides to just do what Doom wanted to do anyway? Kind of weird.

Cletus G: How much of those character points were encouraged by the writers on the main books? There’s stuff about Xavier leading in X-men at the time too.

Brian Cronin: SO weird, Tom. I get his logic, but it seems like a HUGE leap there.

Avash: What was his logic?

Brian Cronin: “Doom wants Galactus dealt with, too, so we might as well go through with his plan”

EricMichael: Avash, at this point, MM couldn’t manipulate “organic molecules”

Avash: Ahh

Brian Cronin: Then why did you interrupt them, Scott?

EricMichael: He interrupted them before he knew the plan

Brian Cronin: But he just guessed at their plan later, no?

Avash: If you are gonna do what they world do anyway, why interfere?

Brian Cronin: He just figured it had something to do with the volcanos

DavidJustDavid: I can’t imagine the Professor approved of this.

Avash: Chuck sent you to do recon anyway

EricMichael: Like Avash said, that’s not how you do recon

Cletus G: Yeah, and was Molecule Man just going to do what Cyclops was going to do? Would you really need someone who can manipulate molecules to set off explosions?

Avash: “let’s hope I did the right thing” – not a should argument

Cletus G: I’m sure they had a laser gun somewhere.

Tom A.: The Wrecking Crew sure love driving around in vehicles. Vehicles that sure look like they’re adevertising toys but never get made into actual toys.

Brian Cronin: Yeah, all the Wrecking Crew do is drive around in vehicles shooting weapons instead of using their own powers.

Tom A.: Yeah, why not send VULCANA to set off the volcanoes?

Brian Cronin: Excellent question, Tom.

Avash: Good point

Cletus G: Hahaha…yes!

EricMichael: What? Who now?? I do not know of this Volcana, you speak._______________________________________________

Brian Cronin: And then they just murder the Wasp.

Flavio Sette: I haven’t read the following issues yet, but it seems pretty clear that the stasis beam is going to be what saves Jan’s life, right? The whole “stasis beam keeps people from dying” thing is kind of a common-ish super-hero and sci-fi trope.

Brian Cronin: Not the best series for Wasp.

Avash: Yeah, that caught my off guard

DavidJustDavid: I love these vehicles! I would’ve bought the toys if they looked like these things.

Avash: I did not expect Jan to be killed off

EricMichael: As a side note, isn’t it staggering how few lines/scenes Spidey has?

Tom A.: So the Wrecker took out both Colossus and the Wasp. The rest of the Crew is still useless.

Brian Cronin: Again, for a series where no one actually dies, lots of people die.

Brian Cronin: It’s kind of a weird joke.

Avash: On a separate note, Jan being killed, shouldn’t this have been the cliffhanger bit?

Brian Cronin: I guess he figured no one cares about Jan by this point.

EricMichael: Kinda fitting that Marvel Zombies homage this series with its first cover

Avash: Ouch_______________________________________________

DavidJustDavid: They swap out a death cliffhanger for another one that is vague and ultimately underwhelming.

Flavio Sette: This probably should’ve been the cliffhanger, yeah. Not like the following page adds all that much to the story.

Avash: This time, it was barely a cliffhanger

Brian Cronin: I mean, it introduces a character who became an established new character, at least.

Brian Cronin: It had SOME heft to it, plot-wise.

Avash: At least they could show her in the final panel

Tom A.: Until the original Spider-Woman came back and this new Spider-Woman faded into obscurity.

Avash: Instead of shadow

Cletus G: Yeah, that would have been more impactful.

DavidJustDavid: Yes, at this point the black costume would have generated some excitement.

EricMichael: Yeah, her turn as the new Madame Web has NOT been picked up on by other writers.

DavidJustDavid: People would already know where it leads…

Avash: How is the figure “dark and menacing” btw?

Brian Cronin: She’s wearing black!

Brian Cronin: And she’s in the shadows.

Brian Cronin: She scared the Human Torch,at least!

EricMichael: Combat veteran that he is_______________________________________________

EricMichael: Also, did it take Galactus this long to set up his converter in other appearances?

Avash: We don’t really know how much time has passed, do we?

Tom A.: Does She-Hulk actually interact with The Thing or the rest of the FF in this entire series before the very end where she’s suddenly asked to replace The Thing?

EricMichael: I know we don’t have an on-screen clock, but I do feel like Shooter is dragging this out to a painful degree.

DavidJustDavid: Certainly not three issues worth…

Cletus G: Maybe Battleworld is pretty big too.

Flavio Sette: About a day or so since the last issue, according to the narration.

Avash: Why didn’t Galactus just kill everyone instead of eating the planet btw? Wouldn’t have taken more than a few seconds.

DavidJustDavid: Then he could’ve had his desire granted to end his hunger.

Avash: They are just under his feet

EricMichael: That would require him to notice or care about them.

Brian Cronin: Yeah, Galactus is hyper-focused on the Beyonder.

Brian Cronin: He obviously thinks eating Battleworld would be a big deal.

Brian Cronin: But yes, we have reached “When are we getting the fireworks factory?” levels with Galactus.

Avash: Why doesn’t Galactus just eat uninhibited planets btw? Did they ever explain that? There are trillions of them, and no one gets hurt.

Brian Cronin: That’s specifically the point of Nova being his herald.

EricMichael: the need to have a certain type of energy

Brian Cronin: That’s precisely what she does, though.

Brian Cronin: Take him to uninhabited planets that match the energy needed.

Avash: Hmm

Flavio Sette: Silver Surfer did that too

Brian Cronin: He did

Brian Cronin: But he also took him to planets with people on them.

EricMichael: Also, you think he cares. He does not.

EricMichael: *does not

Brian Cronin: Most of his heralds did not give a hoot.

Avash: Fair enough

Brian Cronin: And Surfer just needed to meet Alicia Masters to change his stance on inhabited worlds.

Brian Cronin: To quote Iron Man, he couldn’t let Galactus destroy a planet with talent like that on it.

Avash: Lol

Flavio Sette: Haha!

EricMichael: It bothered me how many writers started to show Galactus conversing with mortals.

Avash: Yeah, that bothers me as well

Avash: We are just bugs to him, even bacteria

EricMichael: Exactly.

Avash: He shouldn’t take time to converse with humans

Avash: Hell, he probably shouldn’t be able to

Avash: Can you talk to a bug?

EricMichael: if he starts talking to everyone, then the amorality of his actions are too hard to overlook

Avash: Exactly

DavidJustDavid: Also Byrne established everyone sees their own version of him, so could they all talk to him?

DavidJustDavid: Or would some be wondering who the others are talking to?

EricMichael: Yes, he appears as the same race as the person viewing him

DavidJustDavid: If he’s a big slug or something to them…

DavidJustDavid: Does Zsaji see a big zsaji race person?

EricMichael: Great splash page by Byrne in the Trial of Galactus shows this to great effect.

Flavio Sette: She probably does, David. Which is probably confusing as all hell, since no one is even bothering to figure out a way to communicate to her race what Galactus is. Just just this random giant dude who looks like her and everyone she knows showed up out of nowhere

Brian Cronin: Okay, folks, the next chat will be Thursday at 4:30pm (EST). Thanks for coming out! Another fun chat (although not so fun for the Wasp)!

In a special discussion with readers, CSBG talked about Secret Wars #6, where the villains took control of the series for an issue!

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