Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Marvel’s Secret Wars to Combine Ultimate and Main Marvel Universes

So basically the comics-based internet blew up with this news yesterday. Marvel’s folks are being intentionally vague on whether or not this is a real reboot or just an excuse to pull the best concepts from the Ultimate universe into mainstream Marvel.

My first thought is to laugh at how similar this is to DC’s Convergence event in April. What are the odds that both major publishers would put out events dealing with the minutiae of their continuity and alternate timelines? It truly boggles the mind. When you need a degree in comic book history to comprehend a new comic, which is usually a problem.

My second thought is that I won’t be buying Secret Wars. I might skip all the crossovers, depending on the creators involved. My main problem is that Secret Wars is spinning out of Jonathan Hickman’s excruciating run on Avengers and New Avengers. I’ve seen a lot of posts on message boards along the lines of “Hickman has done a good job so far, so I trust him to do this right.” Well, my experience has been the opposite. I’ve dropped all the core Avengers books over the last few years, so hearing that the entire Marvel U will come from the same architect? That’s a good reason to drop titles for me.

And what comes after the Secret Wars wraps up? Battleworld might be an amalgamation of all these different Marvel events, but the company is clearly using this as a chance to clean up their continuity. I’m thinking more Zero Hour than Crisis, but it will be interesting to see.

I think we can guarantee that Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man will make his way into the mainstream Marvel Universe. I expect more characters to follow in the footsteps of Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Toro and suddenly become Inhumans. Marvel is going to use this chance to re-categorize a lot of mutants and X-characters into Inhumans. (For those that don’t know, Fox owns the movie rights to X-Men and mutant characters, while Marvel owns the rights to the Inhumans.)

Will Marvel bring over other Ultimate characters? I'd think so. But having two Kitty Prydes or yet another Hulk doesn't seem like the best idea. 

For the post-Battleworld “All-New Marvel Now,” I think we’ll see a ton of new #1s in the fall when Marvel tries to replicate the launch of the New 52. For that relaunch, I’m taking much more of a “wait and see” approach. It’s going to come down to creators and which continuity sticks and what doesn’t. I don’t have much interest in seeing Marvel’s continuity discarded or drastically altered. I know what I did when DC did that for the New 52.

TLDR version: I’m skipping Secret Wars and the associated books. I’m waiting to see what the relaunch of Marvel looks like after that. But I dropped all my DC books; I’m mentally preparing to do the same with Marvel if this is a real reboot.

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