Following Marvel‘s newsworthy “Secret Wars” press conference on Tuesday, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso and Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort fielded questions from press attending the event, including CBR News, on the implications of the major news that the classic Marvel Universe and Ultimate Universe will collide and form “Battleworld” — the setting of “Secret Wars,” and a name borrowed from the original 1984-1985 event of the same name.
The news was promoted under the label of “All-New Marvel,” first used at the initial announcement of the new “Secret Wars” last October at New York Comic Con. The duo was asked if the newly combined universe — the product of the traditional Marvel Universe that’s run for decades and the Ultimate Universe first introduced in 2000’s “Ultimate Spider-Man” #1 — meant that Marvel was headed towards a reboot of its continuity. Alonso didn’t answer definitively, but responded that he didn’t view Marvel’s history as something that needed fixing.
“Read and find out,” Alonso said of the possibility of a reboot. “Like I said, we are taking some chances here, but I will stand by — I think Tom will back me — our history’s not broken. We don’t view our history as being broken or something that we need to fix. If anything we think we are building upon that history and we are taking the best and biggest pieces of it and seeing how easily they coexist with one another. 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.”
As has been previously stated, “Secret Wars” — from the team of writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Esad Ribic has been in development for years, and recent major Marvel events such as “Age of Ultron,” “Original Sin” and “Avengers & X-Men: AXIS” have been constructed with this story point in mind. Brevoort established that creative teams on individual titles knew the Marvel Universe and Ultimate Universe’s melding — an “incursion,” as seen in Hickman’s “Avengers” and “New Avengers” run — has been on the horizon.
Brevoort revealed that most current creators are working on books during “Secret Wars” though possibly “not exactly the same book” — which could indicate a potentially similar situation to Marvel’s 1995 storyline “Age of Apocalypse,” where Marvel’s existing X-Men titles were replaced for four months by corresponding four-issue miniseries.
“Every creative team has known this was coming,” Brevoort said. We’ve had a line of demarcation in the sand. Get your most immediate business done by this point because we’re going into ‘Secret Wars’ and it’s going to have an impact on everything. Most of those creators are working on books during ‘Secret Wars.’ They may not be exactly the same book. There may not be a ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ book but there’s probably going to be something that involves some bit of that business, or stuff that may be done in ‘Guardians’ in the future. Everything is going to kind of change and shift as we go. We’re not entirely ready yet to map it all out for you.”
As indicated during the press conference, more announcements on exactly how this reconfigured Marvel Universe will work, and what new series are on the way, are slated to follow in the coming weeks.
“We’ll be making announcements as well about the creative teams and giving more information that will also fill in the picture,” Alonso added. “We don’t want to give away too much. No one is blindsided by this. Every one has had years of preparation to be able to tell their stories up to and beyond ‘Secret Wars.'”
So many years, in fact, that the last several Marvel creative summits have included “Secret Wars” talk.
“We always knew there was some place, some date in time in the future that we would be planting our flag to do the event,” Alonso told the press. “We planned several summits towards it.”
Alonso stated that during “Secret Wars,” the list of titles Marvel puts out a month may get smaller, but “not remarkably less.”
“It will whittle down the title count a little bit,” the Editor-in-Chief said. “I think we’ll be putting out a few less titles, but not remarkably less. And as we said, we’ll be illuminating the plan itself. There will be a certain amount of overlap with certain titles will continue, finish their stories during ‘Secret Wars’ and you’ll see how they endcap. There will of course be new series launching during ‘Secret Wars.'”
“It won’t be a ballooning of titles,” Brevoort added. “If anything it will be stable, if maybe not a couple less.”