Beard: Marvel launches Secret Wars to destroy universesWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Is it a reboot? Is it a melding? Or is it simply an event? Marvel Comics isn’t saying exactly, but their announcement this week of a new, all-encompassing project called Secret Wars has already brought comics fans to the brink of tears and in fear for the Marvel Universe they’ve loved for years.
The title Secret Wars stems from an incredibly successful Marvel miniseries from 1984, wherein most of the company’s popular heroes and villains were waylaid by an omnipotent cosmic entity to an alien planet called Battleworld to do — yep, you guessed it — battle. In many ways, it kicked off comic book publishers’ obsession with the “event,” cross-universe stories that pull out all stops to not only draw in readers, but also dollars. The latest Secret Wars, beginning this year, promises that and more — if Marvel plays their cards right and avoid angering their core customers.
In a press conference, Marvel told reporters that their main Marvel Universe would collide with their Ultimate Universe, a line of books about an alternate reality begun in 2000. This collision, which they claim has been planned out for years, will create a new Battleworld, yet this time on Earth, not on an alien world. In effect, all realities, every alternate dimension the company’s created over the last several decades, is fair game for claiming a spot in the patchwork Battleworld. The kicker to all this is that Marvel also notes that this meshed-up, mashed-up brouhaha will continue past the main Secret Wars story — and that’s what’s made fans nervous and noisy.
The world of comics is a cyclical one, feeding off past glories while trying to attract new readers and maintain a semblance of a status quo. Marvel’s success at the movie box office gives them some street cred to uproot their universes and play with them a bit, but perhaps only to a point. The top brass at the company are being cagey about all the details, but some suspect that not everything’s written in stone yet with Secret Wars, and things may change depending upon retailers’ attention, attraction, and yes, purchasing. Soon, it will no longer be a secret whether Marvel fails, or flies with their newest event.