The original Secret Wars mini series was initially made to sell action figures, much like Gi-Joe and Transformers were in the 1980s. That being said, I greatly enjoyed Secret Wars. I picked up the trade paper back in 2005 and although I wasn't impressed with the first two issues, issues 3 kicked the whole series into high gear and I was sold.
There are a lot of good moments in Secret Wars to go along with the overall story. Spider-Man making the X-Men look like scrubs. Spidey taking on Titania and humbling her. Hulk holding up a 150 billion ton mountain to keep the heroes from getting crushed. And of course, who can forget Spidey's black, alien costume?
I've never read Secret Wars II, but I've been told it isn't as good as the original. Some say the tie-ins are better than the actual story and there were a lot of tie-ins to this series, making it even longer than the original Secret Wars. Of all the omnibus books Marvel could release its kinda strange that Secret Wars II is seeing the light of day before vol. 2 of the Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus.
I don't know too much about Secret Wars II, but I know a few things of particular interest. When the Beyonder turned a building into solid gold, Spidey got a gold notepad out of it. Spidey also had to teach the Beyonder how to use the restroom. I found out the later just a few days ago so if nothing else, I'll try to find that issue.
As of now, I'm still on the fence or whether I should eventually plunk down the cash for this one.