I've learned many lessons over my years on this earth: Always wear sunscreen. Actions have consequences. The majority of humans are bad at dancing, so just dance and have fun (ed note: "Dance like no one's watching!"). Yelling at the TV won't make the Lions any better. But perhaps one of the biggest things I have learned in my scant 30 years of life? A man apologizes when he's wrong. So here it goes....
Secret Wars, I am sorry. I judged you without reading you. I judged you (I still think rightfully so) for having WAY too many tie-in issues. I told people not to read you, to not support "fucking bullshit event comics." I was wrong.
WARNING: HERE THERE MAY BE SPOILERS BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT SECRET WARS SO I AM WARNING YOU IN ALL CAPS ANYWAYS JUST IN CASE SO SOME DUMBASS DOESN'T THROW AN INTERNET HISSY AND DOWNVOTE THIS SHIT ON REDDIT. SO YA KNOW.
Marvel's Secret Wars PROPER, as in the central book for the whole event, is phenomenal. It's wonderful. It is a joyride for any fans of Doctor Doom and it is Jonathan Hickman at his finest - Hickman's Doom is unlike any Doom before. While elevating Victor to the status of a literal God, Hickman writes the most human and flawed Doom I have ever read. It's as if gaining the status of almighty amplified the things left in Doom that make him one of the most intriguing big bads in Marvel's stable.
Hickman's supporting cast is also wonderful. While this book technically encompasses 2 Marvel Universes ham-slammwiched together, the book still reads as intimate. Each character used is given a level of importance and each issue so far (#6 just hit stands this week) has left the reader needing to know what happens next on Battleworld. While I still can't and won't speak to the 20+ tie in books every month, this main series has been written brilliantly by Hickman.
The art from Esad Ribic and Ive Svorcina is eye-popping as well; The epic scenes in issue #1 of conflict and confusion and the intense facial expressions of Dr. Strange are given equal attention. If you haven't picked up on it yet, Doom is essentially the main character of this book, and the way Doom's terrifying-yet-benevolent visage is done just nails it. And to give love to the way another character is done, I absolutely love this Reed Richards. Grizzled, worn down, and almost weary from having tried so hard for so long to save the world. You can actually feel the sadness in his eyes.
If I was asked to nitpick? It assumes the reader knows a lot about the characters going in; It is not a great jumping in point for new readers, and even the seasoned vet could get lost in some of the dialogue. But if you slow down and pay attention, it's really not tough to follow.
All in all? It's a great series. Its epic in scope and feel while still giving you the intimate Doom you crave. It gives you things you had no idea you needed, but trust me, you need them. Don't sit on the sidelines for Secret Wars just because of event fatigue. The main series of this event is totally worth your time.
I give this main series so far 4 out of 5 Sad Reed Richards.