I have enjoyed the last few months as the current Marvel Universe draws to a close; since it was all ending anyway, many Marvel writers have been taking chances and exploring interesting character-changes that would never have been allowed by the previous status-quo. My fave has been what’s been happening with Thor/Loki, but there’s lots of other good stuff. But now that we’re getting leaked glimpses of what is coming, I’m a little worried.
Why, exactly? There is a recent IO9 article, which I’ll quote here:
“Some of the confirmations were things fans had expected, such as the news that characters from the universes destroyed during the cataclysmic event that is currently annihilating many of Marvel’s former alternate realities will find a home in the new Marvel universe (many fans already gathered from the recent revelation that Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales will become a member of a new Avengers team).
“But Marvel also revealed that versions of the characters created for the event — like Maestro, a future evil version of the Hulk appearing in the companies reboot of the Future Imperfect storyline, or the all-female Avengers team A-Force — will cross over from the event, and with them, the Battleworld that Secret Wars takes place on. So essentially, a mashed-up version of the former alternate realities of Marvel Comics will somehow co-exist alongside whatever new reality is created for Marvel Comics to exist in after the event. Is your head hurting yet? Mine is.”
I had previously been under the impression (or hope) that Marvel was using the Secret War/Battleworld event to clear the decks and begin afresh, start with a blank slate and tell new stories.
In some ways I expected it to be much like the Ultimate Universe, only more organized.
Now I’m not sure what it’s going to look like. Will the survivors, both the ones on “Earth” and the ones on Battleworld, remember the old timelines? Or will there be a “reboot” for the Main Characters (the FF, the Avengers, the X-Men, etc) who will have lived the new history and not remember the Secret War, plus the “outsiders”, who are stranded survivors on Battleworld?
I hope that’s what it means. Why? Because one thing that the Marvel Ciniverse of the Marvel Studios movies has gotten absolutely right is its decision to abandon the kitchen-sink approach typical of the superhero genre and go for a Grand Unified Theory of Cool Stuff. In the Marvel Ciniverse it is superscience; everything is explained by science, whether it is human science (Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk), alien and alien/human science (Wanda, Pietro, the Inhumans), and magic-science (Thor, Loki).
Clark’s Law reigns supreme, and the result is an astonishingly coherent and powerful vehicle for the stories of the Marvel Ciniverse. On top of this, add the reboot of all the stories which eliminated the legions of associated heroes, villains, events, and sheer mass-driven inertia of the comics, and a thing of beauty is born.
While the main impetus behind the Wearing the Cape books was the desire to tell a “socially realistic” superhero story, the desire for fresh heroes and a more “rational” origin/explanation for the wonders of the superhero world played a huge role as well.
I still hope that is what Marvel is doing here; I’m just no longer so optimistic.
We shall see.