It’s strange. Not that long ago we got this bizarre teaser with the Parker family – and I completely dismissed it as a creative promotion for an upcoming and unrelated event. When it was confirmed as a tease for “Secret Wars,” I felt that my suspicions were justified and we would never get to meet that little red-headed girl. Today, I have the pleasure of telling you how wrong that was, and that it’s time to prepare for some real craziness this year – in the universe reimagining beast that is “Secret Wars”.
Today Marvel held a Press Conference with an announcement that they claimed would “end all announcements”. The prevailing fan-theory speculated that Marvel would announce Wolverine’s return, but instead Marvel Editor In Chief Axel Alonso and SVP Executive Editor Tom Brevoort excitedly announced that they are combining the Ultimate and regular Marvel universe.
You heard right, true believer – Miles and 616, together and forever at last. But that’s not all; every surviving bit of Marvel, from alternate realities to alternate timelines – will either cease to be, or become a part of one “All-New Marvel” universe. This will be the result of years of build by Jonathan Hickman, climaxing with the destruction of most of Marvel’s extended universe and compressing it all into one new and singular reality. The announcement went on to say that the remaining realities together will form “Battleworld;” although what exactly the outcome of Battleworld will be is still anyone’s guess. Since they are not calling it “Peace-and-Harmony-Let’s-Resolve-Our-Differences-World,” I have to assume that it will be a while before all the dust settles and we know completely what the “All-New Marvel” Universe will consist of.
“The Ultimate Universe, the Marvel Universe, they’re going to slap together,” Alonso said. “Imagine two pizzas: They’re going to combine toppings, some toppings are going to drop off. And that is the Marvel Universe moving forward. 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.”
So what does the Spider-Fan take from this? Miles Morales for one. The Ultimate Spider-Man had a rather cryptic solicitation that was just released for the April issue: “Is this the end?” In most ways, we now know – the Ultimate universe is ending. The 616 Marvel universe is ending. Miles will join our Peter and anyone else that makes it to the other side of “Secret Wars” as a permanent addition to this one remaining and “All-New” universe.
“The Marvel Universe will be Battleworld, and every single piece of those worlds will be building blocks for the universe,” continued Alonso, adding that all the universes represented in “Battleworld” will have “legs” moving forward.
“…We are taking the best and biggest pieces of [Marvel history] and seeing how easily they coexist with one another,” Alonso answered a question regarding whether or not “Secret Wars” will reboot the marvel universe, “We don’t expect all our moves to make everyone happy, but we think it will make for a really fascinating read through Secret Wars and beyond.”
Miles isn’t the only spider-“building block” being shuffled around however; as the large reality-overhauling event will encompass every Spider-Man available this May. Battleworld will consist of every bit of Marvel (and every Spider) that isn’t wiped out by one of the “Incursions” ripping the rest of the multi-verse apart. The teaser image for a married Peter and a Parker family complete with Mary Jane and the couple’s daughter – is confirmed to be canon, and that story will be told in “Secret Wars.”
“In case you’re curious,” Axel Alonso looked at the teasers released a few months back and continued, “If you’re an amazing Spider-Man reader – if you’re a Spider-Man fan, THIS is going to be your book” he continued, pointing to the “Renew Your Vows” cover, “This is your Spider-Man.”
I don’t think (and I suspect many agree) that “Battleworld” will last as anything more than a violent transition – but it is a change that sees a new status quo for any and every Spider going forward. Any Spiders that escape “Spider-Verse” may be going home to a doomed reality. It’s a strange and somewhat foreboding prophecy for “Spider-Verse”‘s survivors, and raises another question. Did Dan Slott see “Secret Wars” coming, and “Spider-Verse” was one last story for all these characters? Battleworld will be crowded enough with the Spider-People we have in the regular 616 reality – it occurs to me that the majority of the Spider-Totems were slated for the chopping block before the Inheritors ever came into the picture.
You can find the official announcement, video of the event, and an interactive map of “Battleworld” at Marvel. Com – and as always, we will alert you to all the news relating to the webhead as it is released. Obviously we don’t have all the answers yet and we’re curious – what do you think? Is Spider-Gwen coming to stay in the New Universe? How many Spiders are we going to be left with? What is battleworld – seriously, does anyone really understand that yet? Leave some comments and discuss; it’s going to get really crazy, really fast – and we can’t wait to find out what happens next.