Marvel’s ‘Reboot’ Explained
The Marvel Universe is a very complex world. Aside from the regular world, several parallel worlds exist in the Marvel universe. The idea of a “multiverse” allows writers more creative freedom as the premise is events that happen on main Earth, aka Earth 616, won’t affect the events on the Earth of a parallel universe. But that idea is now moot as by the start of the Secret Wars series, the whole Marvel Universe has already been destroyed.
Secret Wars is an 8-issue limited series that represents the demise of both the Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe. At the end of its run, Marvel’s writers will have an all-new world to play in that combine the best of not just the mainstream and Ultimate universes, but other worlds as well.
The End of All Things
Marvel started teasing the idea of Secret Wars during 2014’s New York Comic-Con through a series of posters, but it was only earlier this year that fans found out what it was. Marvel’s Executive Editor Tom Brevoort and Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso announced that pretty soon the regular Marvel Universe will collide with the Ultimate Universe, and neither world will survive. This premise started in the “Time Runs Out” storyline that ran in the Avengers and New Avengers series. In it, “incursions” are slowly destroying the parallel universes. An incursion is when one universe meets or collides with another, with the Earth of each universe always being the point of contact. One final “incursion” is happening and the heroes of both worlds are trying to stop it. They failed.
Welcome to Battleworld
Battleworld is what rose from the ruins of the final incursion. It’s a world stitched together from the various destroyed universes and will be Marvel’s definitive world during and after Secret Wars. Battleworld is where all stories will be set, a mashup of all the realities. These realities are called domains which can interact with other domains, except for three – Deadlands, New Xandar and Perfection – that are separated from the rest by the Wall. Each domain has a leader called a Baron who answers to Victor Von Doom, the Lord of Battleworld. Peace within the domains is maintained by the Thor Corps which is under the leadership of Sheriff Strange.
Marvel released Secret Wars #0 on May 2 – Free Comic Book Day. The issue is aimed at bringing readers up to speed and to prepare them for Secret Wars #1. The series was formally launched on May 6 and the 8 issues will be released over a period of 5 months.
It’s Not a Reboot
After the head honchos over at Marvel announced what Secret Wars is about, they were also quick to point out that it this is not a reboot. The dictionary definition of reboot is to do away with all continuity in an already established story line in order to begin again.
But as Editor-in Chief Axel Alonso pointed out – “Our history is not broken. If anything we’re trying to build upon it.” And build on it they will as the company will pick and choose critical elements from Marvel’s 75-year history on which to base future story lines.
Marvel sacrificed 33 comic book titles to neatly tie up any Secret Wars loose ends. Titles like All-New Captain America, Guardians 3000, Spider-Man & the X-Men and Uncanny X-Men will soon wrap up. The sacrifice is inevitable and realistic, as these stories take place in the Marvel multiverse. But with the end of that universe and the rise of a new one, it makes sense that those series end as well, as the universe they’re based in is gone. As it turns out, the teaser posters that were showcased last year are comic titles that will be released during Secret Wars and will replace several current titles. So instead of a reboot, Marvel would like to think of this as more of a “re-launch.”
But how will this pan out for fans and the Marvel Universe as a whole? No one knows for certain and Alonso has acknowledged that not everyone will be pleased with the direction Marvel is taking. They just know that this is an exciting time for Marvel.