There’s a Crisis on the horizon of near-Infinite proportions in the comics world, but not the way you might be thinking. Today Marvel Comics, represented by editors Tom Brevoort and Axel Alonzo, officially announced the end of the Marvel Universe. And it’s not just the end of the Marvel Universe proper, but also the Ultimate Universe as well, and possibly the end of Marvel Comics, as we know it. Meet me after the jump for what we now know about the new Secret Wars…
Earlier today at 3 PM EST at Midtown Comics in Manhattan the event of the year was announced by Marvel reps Brevoort and Alonzo. The countdown we have been seeing the Avengers titles have all been leading up to this, the much anticipated new Secret Wars. This is a crossover event that will result in the end of the Marvel Universe as we know it. Time has run out.
The concept of the multiverse has for decades been a controversial element of comics for several decades. Granted, DC Comics was the first to catalog and confuse, and then bury the concept, much to the anger of fans, in their Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985. Slowly the idea seeped back into the stories, especially as string theory has actually turned the multiverse from science fiction to possible science. DC has returned to the idea in recent decades and seeks to mine it in their big event this year, Convergence, but the truth is Marvel has always had the multiverse in their continuity, they just didn’t make such a big deal of it, or go to great lengths to catalog it.
A cursory glance at Marvel Comics will show that there are at least two universes being published – the Marvel Universe proper, known as 616, and the Ultimate Comics Universe. A closer look will show the Squadron Supreme’s universe, the Marvel Zombies universe, and dozens of continuities introduced in the What If comics. Marvel has a lot of timelines, continuities, and alternate realities floating around out there. Secret Wars is where they will all crash. Literally.
Those who have been following Avengers and New Avengers by Jonathan Hickman, who will also be writing Secret Wars, you know that something bad is coming, and it’s got to do with the multiverse. This oncoming crisis in the multiverse has been in the background of Avengers and the forefront of New Avengers since both series began a few years back, and it has all led up to this – the end. The Avengers have so far, and will fail.
The Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe are going to crash, into each other, and destroy both. The heroes of both Earths will try to stop this collision but fail in the first issue of Secret Wars. What is leftover after the crash is called Battleworld, in a nod to the original Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars. Battleworld will be a mix of not only the Marvel and Ultimate Universes, but also other continuities, alternate timelines, etcetera, as you can see from the Battleworld map below.
Editor-in-chief Axel Alonzo stresses that everything that happens in Secret Wars and on Battleworld is in continuity. It all happens for realsies. Titles will be launched during the eight-issue five-week run of the series as well as after, and it’s all good. This is the state of the Marvel Universe from this point forward. As stated, this is the end of the Marvel Universe as we know it.
Below is a look at the press conference from Midtown Comics in New York City. It may crash, as a lot of folks are eager to see it, so be prepared to reload at a moment’s notice.
Marvel Comics’ Secret Wars by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic begins with a Free Comic Book Day teaser in May 2015, after spinning out of the final issues of Avengers and New Avengers. Covers will be by Alex Ross. From there on out it’s an All-New Marvel.