Sage's Stray Thoughts 12: Incursions on Infinite Earths
I've never seen such a brilliant idea so poorly explained. I watched a 20 minute video and this image explained it all better, somehow.
I don't know what to make of Secret Wars right now. Is it "the end of everything" or will everything go back to normal? Here are the few things they've outlined clearly enough to understand:
1.) Time Runs Out, the banner writer Jonathan Hickman put over the Avengers titles after he shot them forward eight months into the future, is literal. At the end of it comes Secret Wars #1, they finally deal with an incursion with a living Earth, and with the Cabal gone, there's going to be no one left ruthless enough to just pull the trigger and kill one Earth or the other.
2.) Presumably, when they fail, they'll be sent to Battleworld alongside the denizens of Earth-1610 (the Ultimate Universe). No idea if they'll be fighting there or just existing there as a result of some inconceivably powerful being's whims.
3.) On Battleworld, the other remnants appear to be worlds that are basically versions of the main Marvel Universe going through iconic events like "Age of Apocalypse", "Days of Future Past", "House of M" and "Civil War", or even character-specific events such as Hulk's "Future Imperfect" or Iron Man's "Armor Wars". ASSUMPTION: Without the need to return to status quo, these worlds will have different endings to these important sagas than they did originally.
4.) The aforementioned "remnant event worlds" will be maxi-series that will run the duration of the year-long Secret Wars, treated like ongoings with their own stories.
What I Assume:
- The Ultimate Universe is done. Finished. Whatever we see at the end of April will be that. Miles Morales will be folded into the Marvel Universe, along with whatever few decent ideas that universe has, and the rest will be discarded. This has been a long time coming, but quite frankly the Ultimate Universe lost its way a long time ago aside from Spider-Man. It can't even accomplish it's initial task--to be a continuity-light way for newcomers to read about Marvel characters. The universe has been around something like a decade--there's nothing "light" about ten years of continuity.
What I DON'T know:
1.) What Happens Next. Battleworld is described as "the melting pot from which the new Marvel Universe will emerge". Battleworld has everything from a timeline where Spider-Man is married again, to one where Bruce Banner survived a hundred or so years into the future, got smart and took over the planet.
1a.) What happens to "continuity-adjacent" books. There are certain titles that just aren't going anywhere, no matter what happens. This makes Secret Wars' final ending a bit in doubt. They claim "the Marvel Universe as we know it" will be over, but they could make Tony Stark a blonde and that would still be true. Titles like Silk, Ms. Marvel, and Howard the Duck are not about to be canceled. Hell, Howard the Duck was just launched. The logic doesn't track.
Back in the mid-90's, the Marvel Universe had gotten...strange. The Avengers were a bunch of jacket-wearing yahoos* that included C-List heroes like Sersi, Black Knight, and Crystal, the Fantastic Four was near unrecognizable, Tony Stark was a Teenager and Thor had been replaced with someone called Thunderstrike.
So Marvel did the closest thing to a reboot they've ever done and shunted the Avengers, the FF, and the Hulk into a completely different universe in year-long story known as Heroes Reborn. The characters' entire lives had been restarted, they told new origins, and they'd even given them new #1s for the first time ever. A year later they brought them back to the normal Marvel Universe in a story called Heroes Return, where all of them resembled their "classic" incarnations again.
As Secret Wars approaches, Tony Stark is a villain (again, no wait again), Thor's a chick, and Captain America's sidekick took over Captain America's job. The heroes have done things that are borderline unforgivable, and the villains are largely irrelevant at the moment because the threat is no longer "we're trying to conquer the planet" but "everything we've ever seen or even imagined is ending". I honestly can't think of a more legitimate time to give the Marvel Universe a make-over.
Anyway. I've got another one of these in me, but I have no idea when I'll put it up.
* This isn't an indictment on quality--the book was great, I understand.