End of the Universe?


Ryan Birchfield, Photojournalist

It is the end of the universe, or at least for most fans of Marvel comics.  After 50 plus years of continual storytelling and a mess of muddled continuity, the Marvel universe is going out with a bang this summer in a HUGE crossover event called Secret Wars.  The event, which ends 30 ongoing series and consists of 8 issues in the main series and over 50 tie-in issues and series, is the brain-child of Jonathan Hickman.


Over his lengthy run on the series Avengers and New Avengers, Hickman introduced the concept of ‘incursions’.  An incursion is basically when two alternate Marvel universes collide with each other and are destroyed.  In order to stop a universe from being destroyed, one universe’s Earth must be destroyed so the other can survive.  In other words, two alternate universes are on a collision course, and if one Earth is blown up, the other universe survives.  If no Earth is blown up, then both universes implode.  It’s a lose-lose situation.


At the end of Avengers, only Earth-616 (the main Marvel continuity) and the Ultimate Marvel Universe (a new, updated spin on Marvel heroes started in 2000) are left, and they collide in the last issue.  This directly leads into Secret Wars, since that miniseries is about the consequences of that collision.


In Secret Wars, a new universe is created, called Battleworld.  This Earth is a patchwork of different Earths thrown together into one world.  Here’s a wikipedia article that breaks down what all the areas of this world are: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_Wars_%282015_comic_book%29.


Since the series has just begun (only issue #1 is out), it is unknown whether or not this is a complete rebooting of Marvel continuity, or merely a soft reboot of a few details.  Regardless, once this event ends in the fall, it looks to be an ideal place to begin reading Marvel comics, if the company is indeed wiping the slate clean.  Wren Thomasson (10) believes that “it looks really interesting.  I like the concept, because it’s very different than other comics.”  One thing’s for certain, though: the Marvel universe as readers know it is over, and something unique and new is bound to take it’s place.