Comic Book Resources reports that at a press conference for upcoming Secret Wars event, head honchos at Marvel have announced that the Marvel universe (or universes) will collide in the aftermath of the event. This new universe, dubbed “Battleworld,” will be an amalgam of the mainstream and Ultimates lines with characters and situations thrown in from all kinds of alternate Marvel timelines. They are so far evading some of the biggest questions fans have, such as whether or not this is reboot:
“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.”
It’s clear that fans are divided on the issue, and Newsarama reports that many creators, past and present, keep an open mind:
“I think like with any idea, the execution will matter more than the idea itself. The idea of a reset is, by itself, not a bad idea,” [Gerry] Conway said. “The only issue creatively is to be consistent in however you choose to define it. Make sure it doesn’t feel patched together.”
Doubtless to many fans this will bring to mind DC’s New 52, a complete overhaul in their status quo, and a fresh start for characters across the line. However, it’s more like DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, which consolidated DC’s timelines into one coherent (and much more accessible) universe. This could be a move to try to bring in new readers, and whether that’s good or not depends on who you talk to. On the one hand, making storytelling decisions based on popularity is how we get 100 Deadpool books every year but books like Charles Soule’s She-Hulk get cancelled after 12 issues. Further, B-list and cult-hit characters could be left interminably in limbo, to the chagrin of their devoted (if less numerous) fans. However, we don’t know what will be kept and what will be dropped; if we get to keep new hit characters like Kamala Khan but also get back long-dead characters like Gwen Stacey (who Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso mentioned in the press conferences), this could be an exciting direction for storytelling that often feels stale to new and long-time readers.
Comics readers don’t like change, so any time something this big is announced there’s bound to be blowback, but at this point it’s probably too early to say – but that won’t stop anyone from saying things. What’s your reaction? Do you think it will have any long-term effects on the Marvel Universe?