Review: 1872 #1
For the most part Secret Wars has been a retrospective look back at some of the biggest crossovers which ever occurred in the Marvel universe. While it has focused on a lot of these kinds of stories it has also branched out a bit from time to time. Some of the minor focuses have been to recast heroes or to shine a light on some villains, most of whom have been working in some kind of confine of the Secret Wars world. In the case of 1872 though we get something completely different from what we have seen thus far in this series. Secret Wars was itself designed as a simple enough way to clean up the Marvel Universe, touching base with some of the bigger stories which have maybe gone off the plot of the main universe, while also addressing the various multiverse dimensions which are populated by a different list of heroes.
If this was the inspiration for Secret Wars then it was rewritten and thrown away, as the context of this series is exactly that of an alternate timeline that has never seen before. In other words, it is expanding the multiverse, not contracting it. Here Steve Rogers is cast as Wyatt Earp and Tony Stark is cast as Doc Holliday, as they battle a corrupt mayor (Fisk) and governor (Roxxon). The issue at hand is the water supply for a small valley, which while it is fueling the work in a mine, it is also depriving people of their access to water. Steve stands as the representative of the law, one which he knows is broken in certain ways, but which has lines which he seems reluctant to cross, else he erode his own sense of morality. Standing beside him is Tony, a sidekick for banter but dangerous enough by himself it would seem. Banner is also here, though his role is still a little vague.
The result of this strange mix is actually one of the smarter ideas to come out of Marvel for this whole crossover. There was after all a time when western comics ruled the day in the medium, and this is a bit of an homage to those days, taking not just a crossover, but instead an entire genre and mixing it into the whole of Secret Wars. The result is fun and is as good of a Western that modern comic readers will probably ever get to see, with the same grit that made the genre so beloved for so long without the anachronisms that are thrown in with the modern versions.
Story: Gerry Duggan Art: Nik Virella
Story: 9.3 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy