Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Marvel's 'Secret Wars' Officially Announced


Every part of the present Marvel business model will be on display this May with the release of Secret Wars. It's another event-driven plot that basically issues a relaunch of titles where hints of resurrected heroes come in to play. That covers the big three things, right? At a live announcement today, Editor-in-Chief, Axel Alonso, and Senior VP and Executive Editor, Tom Brevoort, officially unveiled plans for the MU-changing Secret Wars it has been teasing for months now.

Did you think all those teaser covers of past Marvel events were just gratuitous, tongue-in-cheek ways of paying homage to Marvel history? Well, they were, but they also served the purpose of giving fans a preview of each world that will be inhabiting Battleworld, even if they didn't realize it. Battleworld looks a lot like Earth. In fact, it is Earth, but after the conclusion of the Time Runs Out thread that's been playing out through Avengers and New Avengers for the past couple of years. Jonathan Hickman will continue the meta-plot he's been guiding in Avengers and New Avengers since their respective relaunches and help create an entirely new world for Marvel with Esad Ribic manning the pencils.

Included in the massively combined Marvel mishmash is the earth we're mostly used to, past events, and every other universe ever presented, including those wiped out during the latest volume of New Avengers AND the Ultimate Universe. Tom Brevoort, in talking about how Battleworld works as a sort of staging area for everything to come stated, "Once you hit Secret Wars #1, there is no Marvel Universe. There is no Ultimate Universe. All there is, is Battleword and a whole lot of empty void." Alonso went on to say, "Every single piece of this world is a building block for the Marvel Universe moving forward. None of these stories are elseworlds, or what ifs, or alternative reality stories. They're not set in the past or the future. They're not set in an alternate reality. They're set in the reality of the Marvel Universe and all of them will have legs."

Take things from Civil War (no doubt, the hard core geeks will be looking for commonalities between the new Civil War world and Captain America 3 in May 2016), Planet Hulk, Spider-Verse,  House of M, AXIS, Avengers vs. X-Men, Age of Apocalypse, Old Man Logan, Infinity Gauntlet, etc., throw them into a mulch pile and see what happens! If that sounds like a long list, get ready for even more to come. If you want a sort of primer to get started, Marvel is planning on issuing Secret Wars #0 as part of Free Comic Book Day on May 2.

So, what about the Secret Wars fallout? Alonso promises this is not a one and done proposition. During the live event, he went on to say that there will be new series spinning out of Secret Wars both during and after the conclusion of the eight issue mini-series. So, in effect, this will be yet another relaunch with a slew of new #1 titles to either captivate audiences or frustrate them, depending on your opinion of what has become the status quo of constant re-launches of titles from the big two.

Speaking of fallout, who would you like to see come back? Who do you think Marvel will bring back? Gwen Stacy was specifically mentioned during the announcement session. What happens if she were to meet Spider-Gwen? Will we see Uatu return? What about the classic Nick Fury or a not-quite-so-old Steve Rogers back in costume? If that happens, will The Falcon give up being Captain America just like that? Will a not-as-sociopathic Tony Stark battle it out with the Superior Iron Man? How many Hulks can the Earth handle? Will Cyclops and Wolverine be able to mend fences and unite the X-men again under another Professor X?

For a preview of what's coming with Secret Wars and Battleworld, Marvel has published more information, including an interactive map over on marvel.com.

-David Berck

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