Confirmed: Marvel merging the 616 and Ultimate Universes in ‘Secret Wars’
Well, smarter people than me around here have been specuating for a while that this was going to happen. Marvel is merging together it’s typical (616) universe and its Ultimate universe. The Orgy of Continuity will take place at Battleworld, and like — all parts of Battleworld are in continuity. But like, yeah, I don’t get how this is going to work coming out of Secret Wars. Whatever Universe(s) are left standing after Battelworld will coalesce into what will be considered Continuity?
Everything changes and nothing will ever be the same again. At a live filmed announcement at Midtown Comics in Manhattan on Thursday afternoon, Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso and executive editor Tom Brevoort announced a new status quo for the Marvel Universe, with worlds colliding to form a mish-mash of continuities that will be the setting for all Marvel comics from May 2015 onwards.
Most of what Alonso and Brevoort announced was already known or guessed at; Secret Wars, an eight-issue series by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic, marks the culmination of the incursion story that Hickman began at the outset of Marvel NOW with Avengers #1 and New Avengers #1 back in late 2012, and will brings together multiple continuities and alternative universes in a single “Battleworld”. What’s new in all this is the confirmation that this event reshapes — some might say ‘reboots’ — the Marvel Universe for the (foreseeable) future.
The announcement is available to watch on YouTube, above, complete with technical difficulties and a 13.5 minute delay.
For those who haven’t been following Hickman’s Avengers, Brevoort offered a brief recap of the existential crisis at the core of those titles; the Marvel multiverse has been collapsing, with parallel earths colliding. In each incursion either one Earth must be destroyed or both realities will cease to be.
Secret Wars #1 sees the Marvel Universe’s Earth — popularly called Earth 616 — collide with the Earth of the Ultimate Universe. The heroes of both worlds will try to prevent their mutual destruction, and Brevoort admitted that by the end of the first issue they will fail. The resulting “Battleworld” will be a melting pot of different universes that will forge the new Marvel Universe.
Brevoort said that the idea for this new Secret Wars predates Hickman’s Avengers run, and may even predate his Fantastic Four run. He said, “It’s difficult to imagine something that would be larger in scope, in scale, than … Secret Wars,” adding, “What we’ll do to top it, I don’t know.” Alonso stressed that every Marvel event during the Marvel NOW era has been created in a way that was “mindful” of what was coming with Secret Wars — presumably that’s especially true of the current multiversal event Spider-Verse.
This means that the concepts that Marvel trailed back in October all represent part of the new merged continuity, including zones of Battleworld based on Avengers vs X-Men, Age of Ultron, Civil War, House of M, Age of Apocalypse, and many more — including a world in which Peter Parker is married to Mary Jane and the pair are raising their daughter, May. Each of these concepts also represents one of the new titles that Marvel will publish. An interactive map of Battleworld is available to explore on Marvel.com.
Alonso took pains to stress that these books will be the Marvel Universe books, all in continuity with each other in a state of convergence. “The Marvel Universe is Battleworld, and every world we’re going to introduce you to, all of which will be familiar… 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 alternative reality, they’re set in the reality of the Marvel Universe, and all of them will have legs. The stories will not end and you’ll go, ‘well, phew, that’s over’ … They will import new things into the Marvel Universe moving forward.”
Does this make sense to you? If so, can you explain it to me? Is it not supposed to make sense yet?