The last „event book“ I followed was Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis way back in 2008. I’m just not an event guy. I didn’t read Civil War, I didn’t read Avengers vs. X-Men and I never had more than a (very) fleeting interest in DC’s currently ongoing Convergence — too many ‚empty calories‘ for my taste. Nonetheless, I bought Secret Wars #1 and I was not disappointed. Marvel has been building towards this reality-breaking event for years, and judging by the debut issue, they mean business. It seems like we’re actually witnessing the beginning of a whole new Marvel Universe, and I can’t wait to see how it’s going to turn out in the end. So, before issue #2 hits the shelves this Wednesday, here are my top 5 predictions for the new Marvel Universe that awaits us:
Ultimate Nick Fury will become the Nick Fury.
Seems like a complete no-brainer. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has made bald, black Nick Fury a household name, so it only makes sense for the comics to follow suit. They tried (and failed) once by pulling the character of „Nick Fury, Jr.“ out of a hat, but I think Secert Wars is the ticket. I don’t know whether it’ll be a straight-up replacement or some weird cosmic revision of history, but I’d be willing that bet that the Nick Fury of the new Mavel Universe will a look and act a lot like Samuel L. Jackson when it’s all said and done. About time too! I have nothing against the white cigar-chomping Fury of we all know and love (kinda), but he is very much a product of a bygone era. I prefer the Ultimate version, and I look forward to seeing him pop up more often in the future.
There will still be alternate timelines and realities.
Although Secret Wars may temporarily merge various timelines and realities on Battleworld, I think we’ll still have some of those when the dust settles. Surely Marvel didn’t launch a Spider-Gwen ongoing in February just to cancel it in July — pulling the rug out from under this suprise breakout character would be downright stupid. Now, I can see the Ultimate Spider-Man, Miles Morales, being folded into the main Marvel Universe, but there’s no way in hell we’re going to have a spider-powered teenage version of Gwen Stacy in the same world as „our“ Peter Parker. That would just be weird. In order for Spider-Gwen to do what she does best, she needs her supporting cast and her unique alternate reality, and I don’t see Marvel taking that away from her.
The All-New, All-Different Avengers are here to stay.
Marvel has been tight-lipped about pretty much everything following Secret Wars. We know nothing about the immediate future of Spider-Man, the X-Men or the Fantastic Four — but we already know the title and line-up of the new Avengers book. We even got a sneak peak on Free Comic Book Day. Curious, isn’t it?
Nothing is forever in comics, but it certainly seems like Marvel is serious about these All-New, All-Different Avengers. No stone has been left unturned in that corner of the Marvel Universe — we now have a female Thor, an African-American Captain America, and, if that sneak peak is to be believed, a new Iron Man (or Iron Maiden?) as well. The fact that we’re going into the biggest event in Marvel’s recent history with some of their flagship characters so radically changed tells me they must have enormous faith in the viability of those changes. Marvel has done a great job of diversifying is line over the past years, and this Avengers roster is a testament to that. It’s a bold move made possible by years of careful planning and storytelling across multiple titles, and I don’t see Marvel going back on this one anytime soon.
The X-Men will be rebooted.
First of all, I’d be shocked if Professor X and Wolverine weren’t back among the living in the wake Secret Wars. Both are staples of the X-Men franchise, and they’ve been gone longer than any jaded fanboy ever expected them to be. No one stays dead in comics, and a reality-warping event such as Secret Wars seems like a perfect place for a resurrection or two.
I think there’s more in store the X-franchise though: I wouldn’t be surprised to see the younger, time-displaced X-Men replace their present-day selves when it’s all said and done. The various X-factions have been at war for years now, and as much as I applaud Marvel for going there, this longrunning storyline needs to conclude eventually. At this point, some form of cosmic intervention is probably the only way to do it without permanently taking some big names off the table. It needn’t be a cop-out or even a retcon either. Why not have the classic X-Men team up for one last hurrah, united in a last-ditch effort to give their younger selves and all mankind another bite at the apple? It would be the ultimate sacrifice for this world they swore to protect even though it hates and fears them. In-story reboots have worked before. Look no further than J.J. Abrams‘ Star Trek or even the recent movie adaptation of X-Men: Days of Future Past. I’m all for a reboot, personally — this might b my shot at finally getting into the X-books without feeling totally lost!
Spider-Man will once again be married… with children.
If a return of the marriage wasn’t in the cards, I don’t see why Marvel would tease fans with a Secret Wars tie-in like Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows. I mean, let’s face it: There was no good reason for erasing the marriage in the first place. It had to go because there was an editorial mandate stating it had to go, and that came about because someone was deadset on returning Peter Parker to his roots as fresh-faced bachelor. Such a move was never going to be a complete success with a character as steeped in history as Spider-Man, but Marvel did the best they could.
Following Secret Wars, there may be a way for the company to have its cake and eat it too: We know that Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales is going to be part of the main Marvel Universe after the event and, unlike Peter, Miles is a real honest-to-God teenager with all the problems and storytelling opportunities that entails. That may prove to be Peter’s return ticket to adulthood. Surely we don’t need two eternally young Spider-Men? Dan Slott, writer of Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, has urged fans to check out the tie-in, stating that things which happen there will affect Spider-Man comics coming out after Secret Wars. Here’s hoping.
Those are my predictions for the Marvel Universe in the aftermath of Secret Wars. What do you think is going to happen?