Marvel's "Secret Wars" (so far)
If you read the previous entry, which commented upon DC's "Convergence," you might remember me describing it as "Secret Wars meets Crisis on Infinite Earths." Convergence was largely a rehash of other DC continuity fixes, with elements of Marvel's (original) crossover event thrown in for good measure.
Marvel's newest take on Secret Wars, which follows an earlier crossover event of the same name, is entirely different from DC's Convergence. Whereas Convergence can be described as Secret Wars meets Crisis on Infinite Earths, Marvel's ongoing comic book event can be described as...
Crisis on Infinite Earths meets Secret Wars!
On the Marvel side of things, the multiverse has seemingly collapsed upon itself, leaving only two universes - the normal Marvel continuity and the Ultimate universe. These two universes are aware of one another's existence, and are engaged in battle as the series begins. A cataclysmic event follows, and after the destruction of both universes a godlike Doctor Doom uses the Molecule Man as a conduit to create a new universe, which combines elements of both the Ultimate and non-Ultimate universes. What results is a strange planet floating in a void, where the land has been sectioned off into territories with names like "Spider Island," and "Bar Sinister." The heroes and villains which inhabit these territories are likenesses of the Marvel characters we know and love, each defined by his or her loyalty to "God Doom."
In terms of storytelling, it's already head and shoulders above Convergence, which to be honest was somewhat retarded. The art is also excellent, and its planning, scope, and characterization put its lesser DC rival to shame. Only the most blindly loyal DC fan could claim that Convergence is better than Secret Wars - in any respect.
And yes, this version of Secret Wars is incredibly confusing.* It requires real concentration to read this one - but in my opinion that's another mark in its favor. Even if it is Crisis on Infinite Earths meets Secret Wars, it's bringing new elements in as well, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. As matters stand now, I've read all the "Secret Wars" up to issue #5 - the most current issue - and "Battleworld" up to issue #4. I'm expecting great things from this comic book event, and it will be interesting to see what happens to the Marvel continuity afterward.
If nothing else, it's already far better than Convergence. Marvel is growing ambitious with this new Secret Wars, and I applaud their ambition.
*Those wishing to avoid confusion would do well to read only the "Secret Wars" title first, up to the most current issue. Reading all the crossovers at the same time would confuse anybody!