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Marvel Announces The End Of The Classic Marvel Universe & The Ultimate Universe As Part Of SECRET WARS

Marvel Announces The End Of The Classic Marvel Universe & The Ultimate Universe As Part Of SECRET WARS

Well, Marvel promised an “announcement to end all announcements” last week, and they delivered on that promise. At a press conference at Midtown Comics in New York City, presented as the “Secret Wars Kick-Off”, Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso and executive editor Tom Brevoort confirmed months of speculation that the eight-issue series Secret Wars will represent the end of not only the Ultimate Universe (which we knew was coming), but also the classic Earth-616 Marvel Universe, effectively ending some fifty plus years of continuity. Tom Brevoort didn’t mince words in a tweet that coincided with the event either:

Brevoort further elaborated at the Kick-Off event: “The Ultimate Universe, the Marvel Universe, they’re going to slap together. Imagine two pizzas: They’re going to combine toppings, some toppings are going to drop off. It’s more than the Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe, it’s all the universes you can imagine. That is the Marvel Universe going forward; Battleworld is the melting world from which the new Marvel Universe will be fermented; various characters will live their lives, and contend with this new situation, and set up all the building blocks and the bedrock of what the new Marvel Universe will be going forward.”

Of course, Marvel also took time to mention the plethora of licensed tie-ins for Secret Wars as well – Hasbro, Diamond Select, Mighty Fine, Funko, Hot Wheels and Marvel’s game division. Nothing says “big deal event” like tons of product. After all, that was the driving force behind the original 1984 Secret Wars.

We still don’t really know what this means — is it a total continuity reboot, like DC’s New 52 was three years ago? Will the end result of Secret Wars be an all-new beginning for the Marvel Universe, with a fifteen year old Peter Parker, Xavier alive and well running his school, and all those classic stories being retold again? Marvel’s continuity has never been the cluster$%&@ that DC’s was, so in a way this is a bit of surprise, despite the months of rumors it was happening.

Or is this going to be something totally different? It seems the concept of “Battleworld” in the Secret Wars series has various versions of classic Marvel characters from different continuities and points in time co-existing, (interestingly enough, much like DC’s upcoming  Convergence series) but I can’t imagine that’ll be the set up for the Marvel Universe going forward. Or is it? I supposed we’ll find out soon. As always, more details as they become available.

For further analysis on what this means for the future of Marvel Comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, stay tuned for tomorrow’s episode of Nerdist News.

[HT: Newsarama, Comic Book Resources]

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  1. Jiggy says:

    Marvel Comics re-emerged from the depths of the earth dureing the secret invasion storyline.

  2. Jiggy says:

    You guys suck just like them, your comic most of its life has been a “Nick Fury Jr” – “BOY!!” peace losers, “Hero Age” my (“077”)

  3. The DC universe only became a “cluster@#$%” with the 1980s trend towards strict continuity, and their attempt to play into that fad with the first Crisis under the assumption that readers were too stupid to deal with the idea of alternate universes. Of course there was some mess already given the long history they already had in the 80s, but Marvel is experiencing the same sort of mess any comic universe would have trying to sustain strict continuity with characters not aging or aging at different rates, having activities dating back to WWII, etc. Strict continuity is completely unsustainable in any monthly comic that lasts for decades and refuses to have characters grow old and die. There are three choices for any series that refuses to end, vs telling a close-ended story (like Breaking Bad): You can have comics that only give a nod to continuity with each character’s scenario (here’s Superman’s origin, here’s his friends, here’s his enemies, now make a story) being the template for stories which can be fun and creative but risk becoming stale and repetitive, you can have a strict continuity with growth and development (which risks the problem faced by soap operas — marriage must end in divorce or death, because once characters threaten to live happily ever after, there is stagnation — which is, of course, a bit of a downer and helps turn comics into eventual tragedies). Or you can have a cluster@#$%. Looks like Marvel might be risking the last, but maybe they’ve learned from DC’s errors.

    • Strict continuity is a double-edged sword.  Room for growth and development makes for some exciting storytelling, like the X-Men in the 80s.  Then on the other hand you wind up with the X-Men titles of the 90s with its often forgotten subplots and dead ends, not to mention the loss of control over story direction, not just from other writers stepping in, but from plots being stretched out for over a decade.  In some ways the old-fashioned approach of providing a template that any writer or artist could step in a play with had its advantages too.

  4. Rick says:

    I’m actually kind of excited for this. I’ve been wanting to get into comics for a long time now, but have been intimidated at the idea of jumping into the middle of something that I need 50+ years of backstory to understand. This sounds like a perfect jumping in point I think. Apologies to the established fans who see this as an affront, I understand and you have my sympathy. 

  5. Patrick says:

    The classic Marvel universe hasn’t existed since the 1990’s.  What followed were uninspired stories, gimmicks, and senseless events (Spider-man revealing his secret identity on national TV, a globally reaching spell to reverse it, etc.)

  6. Jeremy says:

    Don’t fucking reboot it again. The Ultimate universe was literally the perfect way to keep old fans happy and entice new fans. The Marvel universe is currently much more streamlined than it’s ever been in the past, so a new 52 esque reboot is completely counter productive. Will Miles Morales now not exist or something?

  7. Tony says:

    What I got from this: wolverine (among others) has a easy way to come back. Characters get rebooted to serve a larger demographic, regardless of the manner of bastardization they get treated with.

  8. Chris says:

    I am both pleased and saddened by this announcement.  I’ve been following the Marvel Universe since I was six years old (and considering that I’ll be turning 49 in less than a month – that’s a long time) and I will mourn the passing of the classic universe.

    On the other hand, due to financial constraints, I’ve had to curb my comic book habit drastically over the last four years.  I’ve lost track of what’s going on.  A reboot of the MU would be quite interesting.

    Of course, when we look at what their planning, it looks vaguely familiar.  A destruction of worlds and characters – some survive, some will not.  It sounds like the original Crisis on Infinite Earths that DC did prior to its first retcon.  For DC it was sorely needed and new blood came in and gave us more sophisticated storytelling (through Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and Frank Miller – amongst others). 

    It was the best thing DC ever did.  It opened up the market to new readers and DC made truckloads of cash. 

    Marvel is overdue for this. 

  9. Trigg says:

    Feeling kind of neutral about this, we’ll just have to wait and see how it all pans out.

  10. erich says:

    Marvel: The “New” 52!

  11. Vince says:

    Ah, but will Rom, Spaceknight survive? Let’s get to the question that everyone wants answered!

  12. Henrik says:

    I for one am blown away by this idea. Two pizzas colliding? Tell me more! Is this, like, a Pizza Hut Pepperoni Stuffed Crust Meat Feast slamming into  Papa John’s Garlic Mushrooms and Sausage, because, man, I am there!

  13. Ty says:

    This is horrible!

  14. Be interesting seeing MCU leading off into UMU. But…still slightly shocking news..

  15. Tim says:

    I’m on board with this.  I have been trying to figure out a starting point for some Marvel titles, but where do you start in X-men? 

    I’m just hoping that they stick with trying new things like Lady Thor and Steve Rogers is an old man.  I’m liking the new generation Marvel Universe and I’m hoping they don’t destroy it with a reboot.

    • David says:

      I agree. It’s been a long time since I collected/read comics and it’s really hard to find a spot to start at especially with X-men which I need a lot of money for as I need to go away back and catch up with what happened with Jean and Xavier and I can’t afford all that but maybe down the line I’ll look into collecting those old comics that I read when I was a kid.

  16. Marlon says:

    Just a cheap excuse to print a big batch of no. 1 issues right at the beginning of the summer when kids get their lawn-mowing money. 

    • RixenVS says:

      Thats how I would do business… If I were a comic company I would love money and create things people wanted.. which is what this is doing…. so I am not sure if you think that they make comics out of the charity of their little hearts or if they are a company doing business…

  17. Gary says:

    Bah. D&D goes through this with every new Edition they create. Proof is in the pudding that it won’t hurt their business. People get upset. Some leave. More join.

    • Joshua Eldridge says:

      The difference between D&D and Marvel is that with D&D, it ‘s only refining the last edition to make it smoother and easier to understand. What Marvel is doing (in my opinion) is getting rid of everything that made the MU good and trying appease the people that want things entirely based on reality. It may not hurt them now, but in the long run it’s going probably kill comics in general.

  18. Blake says:

    Somebody tell marvel this is the stupidest idea ever.

    • RixenVS says:

      This is the best idea ever…. lets them create new stuff… and with their track record as of recent they are not known for stupid ideas.

  19. Rachel says:

    Im lost, how can they?

    • RixenVS says:

      Because they own it and they choose what they want to do with it…. but if your talking story wise how… it will be in the final issues of Secret War

  20. Xist Gorgone says:

    This is horrifying.

  21. Atte says:

    I reeeeeeeeeeealllllly don’t know what to think. I kinda like the of the event itself, but the aftermath? It fills me with untold dread. I…I like Marvel universe as it is. No need to “clean the table” like new 52 in my opinion. I await further feelings.

  22. As long as they begin to call themselves “The House of Recycled Ideas” I still won’t buy them.  🙂

  23. Richard says:

    Sorry, but tired of the reboots that effectively say,
    never mind. 
    Everyone now knows Peter Parker is Spiderman. *reboot*
    Peter who?

    Phoenix is dead.
    Turns out, its not her.

    I’ll just stick to the classics created by Kirby/Ditko
    that Marvel continuously mines, but credits
    Stan Lee for.

    Heck, I’ll even go up to a few years past the original
    Secret Wars.  I’m not sure when all these stupid
    let’s ignore the past stuff started, but when you
    destroy history, what’s the point in collecting
    comics for?  Nope, sorry, those stories don’t count

    I’ll pass, thanks.

    • fzzf says:

      What this guy said right here is all wrong. They said that all past events will be count as part of the marvel continuity. This is a soft reboot were they are going to get all the good stuff from the main universe and ultimate universe and put it into one universe. Btw, Marvel in its 70 years has never rebooted their main universe. 

      • percane says:

        Richard is getting the concepts of “reboot” and “retcon” confused. marvel has never done a reboot, but they’ve done tons of retcons

  24. Oldster says:

    Remember “New Coke”???

  25. Clinton says:

    I…I don’t know how to feel about this!

    • RixenVS says:

      Dont worry. Its going to be good. Its a company that is tired of doing the same shit for 50 years and this will allow them to make a whole new thing without pissing off diehards timeline shit.

      • Insight says:

        They’re not making a whole new thing that’s worth damn with the same talent they’ve had while they’ve been “dong the same shit for 50 years.” The “event” isn’t what will make any change good — it’s the talent. And they don’t have much.

  26. Joshua says:

    I doubt it will be an entire line-wide reboot a la “New 52”. The two companies always do similar things but rarely straight-up copies. I see more of a Crisis-style event where these other Universes(Ultimate, Spider-Gwen, etc.) get merged in with the MU like they were always there. Maybe. This could just be wishful thinking on my part.