We swear it’s not click-bait! Marvel Comics shared a massive announcement today about the upcoming Secret Wars event. Fans everywhere waited with baited breath, and a live kick-off event was held in New York City where Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort blew our socks off. What was the reveal, their “announcement to end all announcements”? The current Marvel Universe will end in 2015! That’s right Nerds, Marvel 616 and the Ultimate Marvel Universe have entered the thunder dome and things are about to get real.
Comic book fans who have been around a while might recognize the title. In 1984-1985 Marvel released a twelve-issue comic book crossover limited series called Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars which takes place on a Battleworld where an evil cosmic entity called the Beyonder took away everyone’s lunch money because reasons. It was a lot of fun, and saw the introduction of such lasting changes as Spider-Man’s black costume (which lead to the introduction of Venom), Julia Carpenter as Spider-Woman, Magneto taking a more heroic turn, and Kitty Pryde getting dumped by Colossus – a love story gone wrong we’ve experienced far too many times since.
Flash forward twenty years. The stakes have changed. This round of Secret Wars isn’t just in the hands of one universe, but multiple universes – dare we say multiverse? Thors fighting Thors. Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers battling it out in a Captain America showdown! Marvel heroes are old hats at fending off creatures from outer space, but they’ve never had to deal with alternate timeline drama. The setting is once again a Battleworld that when mapped out looks like Lego made a Pangaea set. The Beyonder has yet to be officially announced. Will we see something similarly celestial from the unknown big bad? With the major set up coming out in Avengers #44 and New Avengers #33, we could see their “All-New Marvel” universe before Summer 2015.
This is a game changer folks. What Marvel is essentially doing is taking bits and pieces from all of their contained storylines over the years, putting them into a slot machine, dropping a quarter in and saying “let’s see where the stories line up”. It could be awesome, akin to what they did with The All-New X-Men which should have sucked but was instead genius and refreshing. Of course it could also backfire completely. While this isn’t your classic reboot, they are none-the-less risky as DC learned by changing up the continuity of The New 52. They had successes (Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Atom) but definitely had challenges (criticism over the restoration of Barbara Gordon’s mobility, for example). Our bet is that The All-New Marvel could seed Phase 3 and beyond of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which case “where the stories line up” is going to be road-map for your kids favorite movie in ten years.
Secret Wars #1 hits the streets in May, 2015.