If Marvel claims it's going to make “the announcement to end all announcements” in New York, you can bet Comic Vine is going to be there to hear what the publisher has to say. So, we traveled into the Manhattan (as expected, traffic was a delight) and joined several other outlets at Midtown Comics' downtown location. Chis D'Lando, Tom Brevoort and Axel Alonso quickly welcomed us and then dropped something huge. As Brevoort puts it, "the Marvel Universe as you know it is done. The Ultimate Universe is done." That's right, it's time for an "all-new Marvel Universe."
If you've been following the news about SECRET WARS (if not, what gives?), then it should come as no surprise this new universe will be formed on Battleworld. Brevoort stated it's "possibly the biggest event Marvel has ever done" and said this has been building since Jonathan Hickman began writing AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS. In fact, the idea has been floating around for quite some time and goes years back. When we're already an issue or two into SECRET WARS, Brevoort said you'll be able to spot some hints way back in Hickman's FANTASTIC FOUR run and possibly his SECRET WARRIORS run. “It is difficult to imagine something that would be larger in scope than SECRET WARS. We’ve never done anything like this.”
Alonso added the event is receiving input from all divisions at the House of Ideas and he called it the "most coordinated event" the publisher has ever done. As for the recent events, the teams were aware of what's going on and it was building towards this one. "Every time we were planning an event, we had to be mindful of SECRET WARS and make decisions based on the fact that SECRET WARS was heading our way."
The two then went on to discuss what'll happen with the Ultimate Universe (you can read thorough detailed coverage of that here). Basically, it and the 616 universe will "smash together." Who will remain? Who will be left out? We'll just have to wait and see, but it seems safe to guess that Miles Morales will stick around, right?
Battleworld will be the "new melting pot where the new Marvel Universe will be created." Brevoort said that "during, through and after SECRET WARS; all there is is Battleworld." So yeah, say goodbye to the universe as you know it. Alonso stressed the point that none of the locations on the map are now alternate realities and everything there has "legs and will import new things into the Marvel Universe moving forward." He called every spot on the map a building block.
Remember all of those teasers that built up to the SECRET WARS announcement? You know, all of the various covers that everyone thought would just be "what if?" titles or fun little multiverse adventures? Well, it turns out those aren't the only titles that are coming our way. The three said lots of new announcements are coming over the next two weeks and D'Lando pointed out they haven't even announced half the titles. Let the speculation begin.
SECRET WARS #0 will be available on free comic book day and it'll obviously aim to catch up new readers and help everyone prepare for what's to come. Also included will be the AVENGERS/ATTACK ON TITAN story. The first and second chapters of SECRET WARS will drop in May.
As for the covers, Alex Ross will provide all 8 and, as expected, there will be a bunch of variants. They also revealed the second cover and it includes a whole lot of Thors. Could this be their way of making sure Thor and the Goddess of Thunder both exist on Battleworld? Brevoort stated the second chapter is a "gargantuan, over-sized issue." He also praised Esad Ribic's artwork, calling it stunningly beautiful.
Several companies are on board to help create SECRET WARS collectibles. As for the movies and whether the publisher's inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Alonso pointed out that all of those stories started in comic book pages. "We tell our own stories. You will be shocked by the chances we're taking in this story and beyond." Additionally, he said they understand if they receive an equal amount of love and hate about which characters will stay and which will be left behind.
When asked what this means for current ongoing stories, Brevoort replied that the creative teams have known this is on the way and several will be on new titles. He emphasized that "nobody is blind to it" and this has required "years of preparation."
One outlet asked, "Is this meant to be a new generation's Marvel Universe?" Alonso answered with "read and find out." He pointed out again they're taking chances, but also wanted to make it clear this isn't a reboot. He stated that Marvel's history "is not broken" and this is their way of expanding it.
SECRET WARS #1 and #2 go on sale this May.