While Marvel and DC won't wage war at the box office until next year's release of Captain America: Civil War and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the two comic juggernauts battle it out for a readership each week through serial adventures of everyone's favorite heroes and villains.
This week, Secret Wars continues in the wake of the end of the Marvel Universe and DC continues to introduce us to DC You, a revamped lineup of characters following 2010's New 52.
Let's take a look at a sampling of each side's offerings to see what's worth your read this week.
Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows #3
Spidey writer Dan Slott's part in Secret Wars brings us an alternate reality where Peter and Mary Jane are married and have a daughter named Annie, who has powers. They live in a world controlled by Regent, who has killed and absorbed all of the super powered beings he could find. This series continues to deliver a dynamic between funny, hijinks-filled Spider-Man and responsible dad Peter Parker. With Annie at risk of being discovered by Regent, Peter dons the famed Black Suit and takes the fight to the Sinister Six.
Giant-Size Little Marvel AvX #3
While continuing to be my personal favorite Secret Wars tie-in, Giant-Size looks to be finally settling into Battleworld. With Skottie Young's adorable and wonderful visions of Marvel's heroes as kids, he brings an essence of humor to an often bleak world. In this issue, the X-Men and Avengers are trying to win over a set of twins who don't actually have any super powers. Yes, there's a joke in here about how Wolverine is part of both teams. I won't spoil the end, but you'll love it.
Ms. Marvel #17
Set hours before the demise of the multiverse in Secret Wars, the official Last Days of Ms. Marvel brings us what we've all been waiting for: a team-up with original Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers. Kamala Khan and Danvers search for Kamala's brother and are surprised when they find out what self-serving Inhuman Lineage is planning for him. Spoilers aside, I'm wondering where things go with such little time left.
Writer Jeff Loveness has crafted a masterful love letter to everyone's favorite talking tree, Groot. In this issue, Groot continues his search for Rocket after losing him among the cosmo. Along the way, he runs into the Silver Surfer and they save a planet from impending doom. It's simple sure, but with to-the-point writer and just plain pretty art, Groot is looking better than ever.
Other releases to look out for: Star Wars: Darth Vader #8, The Infinity Gauntlet #3, Ultimate End #4
Green Lantern #43
Long-haired Hal Jordan continues his search for answers after the potential demise of the Green Lantern Corps. Left with only makeshift Green Lantern gauntlets, Jordan is also tasked with discovering why an entire alien species was destroyed. This series has been steadily growing to a climax, and with a villain revealed and a group of mercenaries known as the Gray Agents on the horizon, it'll be interesting to see where this goes next.
Batman Beyond #3
Sure, it's not the Terry McGinnis we all knew from the animated series, but Tim Drake does just a dandy job as the future, tech-suited Batman. While the first couple of issues of this series left much to be desired, things are getting interesting. Looks like robot spider Superman is on his way to Neo-Gotham. While the art falls a bit short, the writing weaves a unique narrative.
This is DC's ace in the hole. Midnighter, DC's violent vigilante, has everything you could want in a solid comic book. There's great art with layered detail and colors that pop, writing that keeps you in and holds you and an overarching narrative strung across a couple other DC titles. Not bad, huh? Midnighter is also one of DC's only openly-gay heroes, and it's insane to say it, but he's looking a bit more badass than Batman, and this issue sees him rescuing a young girl who was captured by some scummy drug lords.
Justice League: Gods and Monsters - Wonder Woman #1
This series, recently turned into an animated film by the masterful Bruce Timm, introduces a Justice League strewn together from alternate realities. In the case of this book, the focus is on this incarnation of Wonder Woman and her path to enlightening a group of hippies experimenting with psychedelics in a commune. While not integral to the overall DC Universe, this is a fun one-off series worth the read.
Other releases to look out for: The Omega Men #3, Detective Comics #43, Bat-Mite #3
Winner: Marvel Comics
As Marvel continues its push through Secret Wars, no title gets left behind. We have the world ending blissfully on one side and tales from outside the Marvel Universe on the other, and its all quality. You put up a good fight this week, DC, and if there's more where Midnighter came from, we may have a better bout on our hands.
Each week we'll put up one independently-published comic we think you should read. This week it's...
We Stand On Guard #2
This new series from Saga scribe Brian K. Vaughan answers the not-so-often asked question of what would happen if the United States was forced to invade Canada? Basically, Canada was made scapegoat by a terrorist organization and the US retaliated a bit prematurely. Now, set years in the future, this series tells the story of survivors in the Canadian wilderness rebelling against their American overlords. Crazy stuff.