In another Marvel book that I have no idea how it will end up tying into ‘Secret Wars,’ we see the first issue of ‘1872’ taking place in the wild west. Sheriff Steve Rogers is the main face we’ll be following along with though there is a secondary cast which includes a drunken Anthony Stark, Wilson Fisk, Bruce Banner, Ben Ulrich, and more!
While this is another issue that doesn’t seem even remotely tied into the greater ‘Secret Wars’ events, Gerry Duggan manages to write quite a compelling western. We’re in the town of Timely and while this doesn’t seem to be related to the rest of Battleworld or any larger story that I can recall in the Marvel Universe, it is still a fun read. He writes the heroes and villains that we see in a way where you can easily know who they are and yet fit perfectly in this older time period.
I’d have to say though that my favorite part of the book might quite well be Nicole Virella’s take on throwing these fan favorites into the wild west. Timely is exactly how you would picture a western town and many of the familiar tropes for fans of westerns crop up here. Not only that but none of the looks feel forced which lends to the ease of falling into the story.
In the book we have an Indian preparing to attack Roxxon who has changed the flow of water and is killing his people from dehydration. His plans are foiled by Mayor Fisk’s gang though before they can lynch him Sheriff Rogers steps in to save the day. It doesn’t take long for them to make a move against the man and fortunately for him, his drunken friend Tony Stark gets in the way. By the book’s end we see that Roxxon isn’t happy with Wisk’s failure and sends a team to help out including Bullseyes front and center.
Banner and Urich were also introduced in this issue, although both feel as if they haven’t had a real role to play quite yet. With the front cover hinting at the deaths of Stark, Banner, and Rogers I suspect we’ll see Bruce taking a larger part in the next couple of issues. It does make me wonder though if that tombstone is a sign of things to come when the book reaches its conclusion. Not being the mainstream characters we’ll likely be seeing when the Secret Wars come to an end, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of these new introductions from Battleworld don’t make it to the end of their respective runs.
Another Secret Wars with no overall tie in to the greater story gives us another fun romp with a new take on familiar characters. This is one of the few Westerns that take place in a comic which I’ve felt like I’ve been able to get into and I’m unsure if it is from the familiar faces or just overall great writing. I would highly suggest this for anyone with a love of Marvel characters that want something different, well if you like westerns that is.
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Nicole Virella