But before I get onto that, I just want to put it out there that I was cynical about the whole Secret Wars / Battleworld thing from the time it was announced. I saw it as both an overt money grab and a lazy way to change a whole bunch of character relationships and storylines. I actually still think I’m right to some extent on both those counts, but given I’ve only read Secret Wars #1 up until now, it’s not fair for me to stake my claim too forcefully.
The 1872 title stood out for me as something a little different, given it was featuring the long-dormant character Red Wolf. I decided to add the title to my pull list and I’m really glad I did. Set in the Wild West of… 1872… I was expecting something a little quirkier than the more standard superhero titles and I was spot on in that expectation.
The town of Timely has Wilson Fisk as its Mayor. It’s Sheriff is Steve Rogers and its newspaper editor is Ben Urich. The town drunk is a Mr T Stark and there’s a nerdy guy called Bruce Banner as well. Get the picture? Writer Gerry Duggan could have turned the premise into a feast of in-jokes feast thankfully he hasn’t, instead focusing on the story itself and the qualities these characters bring to the situation at hand.
Nik Virella’s art is excellent, creating an authentic Western feel without overstating the case.
This is a title I’ll be buying to the end, and it’s also made me think twice about checking out some of the other new titles. Hats off to the team on this title: you’ve managed to do something fresh that will likely stand the test of time well. Not just real time: Marvel time even!