The Marvel Universe that has been concurrent since 1961 will be officially ending with the upcoming Secret Wars series in May. Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso and Senior Vice President of Publishing and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort announced the surprising news during a “Secret Wars Kick-Off” press event late Tuesday.
As well as the primary Marvel Universe coming to an end, the Marvel Ultimate Universe will be ending as well. As Brevoort explained, the idea behind Secret Wars and the universes being destroyed is that there has been an “incursion,” where the two parallel universes intersect – and it just so happens that the intersection point is Earth. If someone in either universe was able to remove the Earth, the universes would be able to pass through each other and nothing would happen (except that one universe would be Earth-less). But, being that nothing can be done, the two universes are to clash together and destroy both of them in the process.
The events of Secret Wars and their implications have been known by all of Marvel’s creative teams dating back to the beginning of Marvel NOW. All of the more recent big events, from Original Sin to AXIS have been done with Secret Wars in mind. As well, the writers and teams have been told that May is their deadline, and that all important plotlines should be dealt with by then.
The last we’ll see of our current Marvel Universe will be in Avengers #44 and New Avengers #33, the last of both series respectively. During these issues, the final incursion will happen, which will lead directly into Secret Wars #1.
Once that happens, all that will be left of Marvel is the Battleworld – the staging area where the Secret War storyline is set to take place. “Once we hit Secret Wars #1, there is no Marvel Universe, Ultimate Universe, or any other,” Brevoort said during the presser, “It’s all Battleworld.” This new Battleworld is the left over parts of both universes that have melded them together into a “melting pot” that the new Marvel Universe will be created from. Several new series with familiar characters will be released during Secret Wars as well as after it, all of which will be in this new Battleworld-based universe.
All of this of course spoils the first issue of Secret Wars, which will actually detail all the events of the clash and set the events of the new Marvel Universe into motion. During this year’s free comic book day, which is also in May, a special Secret Wars #0 issue will be given away for free, so fans who haven’t kept up on the events can have a quick primer as the new series kicks off. Also included in Secret Wars #0 will be the Marvel/Attack on Titan crossover that to this point has been exclusive to Japan.
During a quick trailer teaser the colliding universes, an “All-New Marvel” logo is briefly teased, which is likely what this new Universe will be called.
If you’re strictly a fan of the Marvel movies, you have nothing to be worried about. Not only is the Marvel Cinematic Universe completely separate from the comic book equivalent, but Marvel has stated in the past that they have no desire to try and connect the two in any way.
Secret Wars is being written by Jonathan Hickman (Avengers, New Avengers, Infinity, Fantastic Four) with art coming from Esad Ribic. Cover art is being done by the legendary Alex Ross, who has also produced some great promotional art for the series already.
If you want to watch the 22-minute press event in its entirety, you can do so below.