Battleworld: Red Skull

battleworld red skull cover trade paperback
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 8/10

Shows potential

Too short of a story

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Battleworld:  Red Skull/Captain America (Volume 1)/Captain America (Volume 2)

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Joshua Williamson/Mark Gruenwald/Mark Waid

Artist:  Luca Pizzari/Kieron Dwyer/Andy Kubert

# of Issues:  5

Release Date:  2016

battleworld red skull #1 cover variant

Battleworld: Red Skull #1 Variant

Reprints Red Skull #1-3, Captain America (1) #367, and Captain America (2) #14 (February 1990-November 2015).  No one survives outside of the shield…no one.  That is the rumor on Battleworld, but a myth that the Red Skull somehow managed to survive is plaguing Lord Doom and his rule.  Now Crossbones who was able to return from the other side of the shield has collected a team of Magneto, Winter Soldier, Electro, Jack O’Lantern, Lady Deathstrike, and Moonstone to go to the other side of the shield and bring back proof that the Red Skull is alive.  The Red Skull might be alive, but the Red Skull might have his own plans for Doom.

Written by Joshua Williamson and illustrated by Luca Pizzari, Battleworld:  Red Skull collects the three issue Secret Wars spin-off series.  The collection also contains Captain America (1) #367 (February 1990) by Mark Gruenwald and Kieron Dwyer and Captain America (2) #14 (February 1999) by Mark Waid and Andy Kubert.

Secret Wars was kind of messy.  The core title was pretty dense, but there were both bad and fun tie-in series.  Red Skull was a rather short tie-in (with only three issues) and feels underdeveloped in that sense…as a collection it is pretty weak as well since some random “Red Skull” issues were shoved in with the series.

The problem with Battleworld:  Red Skull is that it flies by.  The team is introduced and immediately destroyed by the zombies.  I thought there was going to be conflict, betrayal, suspicion, and all the stuff that a story is built around (especially involving Bucky).  Instead we a slaughter and Magneto hanging out with the Red Skull for the rest of the collection.  It doesn’t seem like the smartest method of storytelling.

battleworld red skull #3 cover magneto riley rossmo art

Battleworld: Red Skull #3

I do kind of like that the whole series was about reputation.  With Doom ruling the world, everyone still wants to have a name for themselves.  Magneto wants to take down the Red Skull.  The Red Skull wants infamy and to be a legend…and Crossbones (?!?!) beat the major heavy hitters at their own game.

The back-up stories are also very random.  I could understand the first appearance of the Red Skull in Captain America Comics #7 or his relaunch Tales of Suspense #79.  I know they wanted a team-up with Magneto and Red Skull story (they selected an Acts of Vengeance story) and a second story that almost feels out of place with the Red Skull’s mind twisted in time by Kang…it feels that there were better Red Skull stories to include since the collection is so short.

Battleworld:  Red Skull is a rather “meh” book.  With only three real issues, it is a quick read and requires no thinking, but it also feels like it was made with little thought.  I feel the book would have been helped with an extra issue and that it could have been filled out with better back-up stories that really tell the tale of the Red Skull.  Overall, Battleworld:  Red Skull can be missed.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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