The guy standing next to Doctor Doom is Jonathan Hickman, the comics writer behind Marvel's big-but-hella-late Secret Wars event. Doom is not pleased with him.
Marvel's line-wide relaunch -- with a crop of new first issues and heavy status quo changes for leading characters -- is well underway. As far as most readers can tell, the plan was for Secret Wars to have wrapped up by now. But there are still two more issues left before we see the conclusion of the storyline that ends with a new iteration of the Marvel universe. So, Marvel's done the only sensible thing and released Secret Wars Too! It's supposed to be funny and mostly it is.
The lead story in this week's goofy comedy anthology is "Sraw Terces," which opens at an editorial summit where various writers are assembled to plot out the future of the Marvel Universe. Hickman's vision for the series gets discussed in broad strokes but there's only one problem.
The rest of the story has Hickman in conversation with the central character of Secret Wars, during which Doom doesn't eat hot dogs because they don't fit in his mouth hole. The most morbidly hilarious part of their exchange is this sequence filled with painfully raw neurosis.
Holy crap, right?
The rest of Secret Wars Too is filled with short gag strips that harken back to old-school Marvel humour titles like Not Brand Ecch!, What The?! and the wacky fill-ins from their Assistant Editor's Month stunts. There's a story about how Jean Grey will hook up with anybody but Scott Summers, which features a duel between Wolverine and three versions of Cyclops...
a Behind-the-Music style mockumentary about Victor Von Doom...
and four more short tales featuring snarky versions of Galactus, Jessica Jones and Slider-Man, the hero with the proportional deliciousness of a pulled pork sandwich.
Secret Wars Too!'s lead story gets played mostly for laughs but it also serves as Hickman's bittersweet goodbye from the publisher where he's turned out incredible work for seven long years. This one-shot makes for a cheekily self-aware send-off and will probably make readers want more stories where Marvel makes with the funny.