Secret Wars 1 NM Jonathan Hickman Ribic Alex Ross 1stp Doom Avengers Movie MCU


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Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Esad Ribic
Cover Artist: Alex Ross

This changes everything. The Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe become one. What’s left is Battleworld. THE FINAL INCURSION IS HAPPENING! THE MARVEL UNIVERSE IS COLLIDING WITH THE ULTIMATE UNIVERSE! AND NEITHER WILL SURVIVE!

Since the launch of “Avengers” #1 with Marvel NOW!, Jonathan Hickman has been building to this point, and there is no denying “Secret Wars” #1 is a payoff of sorts to the work he poured into his Avengers run. Joined by Esad Ribic, Ive Svorcina and Chris Eliopoulos, Hickman takes on the chore of destroying not one, but two comic book universes.

The issue begins and ends with Doctor Doom looking into the overwhelming nothingness as the Incursion advances. In between, Hickman reaches across both the main Marvel Universe (616) and the Ultimate Marvel Universe (1610) to check in with characters and sketch out the scope of this ambitious saga. While that description of the action might seem lackluster, Hickman focuses on the impending, violent end of two worlds to make “Secret Wars” feel epic.

In keeping with the epic nature of things, some characters don’t make it out of this first issue alive, and at least one of those is quite surprising and almost easy to overlook, as the panel it occurs in barely fits one-eighth of the page. Other characters are gathered together — collected — to leap into the abyss, but that gap tightens up as the two Earths barrel into one another.

This is where Hickman’s story threatens to become impenetrable. Readers of “Avengers” and “New Avengers” undoubtedly know what the Incursions are, but how many of them are familiar with the Ultimate Universe and how many Ultimate-exclusive fans are going to grasp the Incursion or recognize the characters scattered throughout the pages of “Secret Wars” #1? Thankfully, Hickman balances that with little moments for characters to interact or introduce themselves, like She-Hulk and Hulk talking to Colossus and Nightcrawler or the Punisher going to “that place where we met that time for the thing,” as Wilson Fisk puts it. Little moments like that, or Spider-Man trying to sound confident as he stares down oblivion, ensure “Secret Wars” #1 has a strong grasp of humanity.

Ribic draws some very pretty pictures for this end of the worlds, including dramatic reveals of fan-favorite pairings, like Power Man and Iron Fist or Rocket Raccoon and Groot. The battles are mostly booming helicarriers and lots of other explosions, saving the character appearances for dynamic poses and extreme reactions. Ribic keeps every character clean and sharp, each with their own personalities, but he struggles a bit with some characters. The Thing looks a little to smooth and Rocket looks more like a coyote than a raccoon. Other characters find their way into Ribic’s style and beg for more time under his pencil: Doctor Doom and Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Reed Richards, just to name a few.

The sound effects of the issue are more of a hindrance than a benefit, as “FFOOOOM” and “KROOOOOOMM” carry the same weight and Nightcrawler has forsaken “BAMF” for “POP.” Chris Eliopoulos locks in the rest of the dialogue, keeping the artwork clean and sharp, and does a great job of providing the readership with distinct differences in word balloons for the Ultimate and main Marvel Universes.

Ive Svorcina packs plenty of explosive orange into “Secret Wars” #1 and does a fine job preserving the appearances of the myriad of characters present in this comic. Collaborating quite tightly with Ribic, Svorcina provides a nice coat to the issue and amplifies the anxiety of this tale through the color choices and vibrancy. This comic opens with images composed of raw vitality, and the final panel has that same underscored urgency. Overall, this book looks beautiful, but Ribic’s work really wants to have a little more space in which to expand.

“Secret Wars” #1 is filled with characters and suspense. With fifty-seven characters identified on the cast page near the front of this issue, readers are in for a whirlwind tour of the Incursion site. Earths have been smashing together for years, but Hickman and Ribic make this story feel new and fresh, urgent and exciting. At no point is “Secret Wars” #1 predictable, which is unsettling to the readers, but — on the other side of that coin — isn’t that exactly what readers claim to want more of? This is a decent first offering, but the rubber really hits the road from here on out and I’m looking forward to what Hickman, Ribic, Svorcina and Eliopoulos do from here.

Avengers: Secret Wars is the final movie of Phase 6 and the end of the Multiverse Saga.

After the release of Avengers: Endgame, many fans might be wondering how the Marvel Cinematic Universe could possibly surpass that massive effort. As it turns out, however, that’s exactly what’s going to happen with Avengers: Secret Wars. As fans of the comics know, Secret Wars will involve the Multiverse at large. This should no doubt allow plenty of surprising superheroes to make cameos and major appearances throughout the film. Now, according to a new rumor, we might know Kevin Feige’s plan to give Avengers: Secret Wars its very own “Portals” sequence.

This rumor comes via Heavy Spoilers, where they noted that the plan for Avengers: Secret Wars is to have even more characters than Endgame. This includes characters from both current and past Marvel franchises. And, furthermore, characters from across the Multiverse. This means the likes of the X-Men and Fantastic Four could even be joining the fray. While Endgame already had the opportunity to show off an incredible number of characters during its “Portals” moment, it’s clear that Secret Wars has even more potential.

It certainly makes sense as well. After all, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has already been playing around with the Multiverse concept. We’ve seen the introduction of both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as their respective versions of Spider-Man in Spider-Man: No Way Home. And, furthermore, we’ve seen a variant of Professor X in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. With a Deadpool movie set to bring the titular character alongside Wolverine to the MCU – there are already plenty of characters we can hope to see in Avengers: Secret Wars. Of course, we’ll just have to see how this rumor turns out. But rest assured, Avengers: Secret Wars will still be an incredible addition to a growing shared universe.

Michael Waldron is currently penning the screenplay for Avengers: Secret Wars. A director for the film has yet to be attached.

The highly-anticipated sixth installment in the Avengers series, Avengers: Secret Wars, will be released in theaters on May 1, 2026. This will follow the release of Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.

It was the reveal to end all reveals. Bringing Comic-Con’s proverbial house down last weekend, Kevin Feige unveiled the road map not just of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s next phase, but the one after that too. If Phases 1-3 were ‘The Infinity Saga’, Phases 4-6 are ‘The Multiverse Saga’ – and if the direction of Phase 4 has sometimes seemed unclear, we now have a confirmed destination in two new Avengers extravaganzas, both due in 2025. The brace’s equivalent of Infinity War is The Kang Dynasty, and its Endgame will be Secret Wars, seeds of which have, typically, already been sown even at this early stage. As ever, the film adaptations won’t follow the comics to the letter – think of how Thor: Ragnarok casually retooled Planet Hulk for a laugh, just for one example of many – but for a sense of Secret Wars’ origins and what the title might mean for the MCU, read on.

Secret Wars might be a legendary comic title, but it all actually starts with a line of toys by Mattel in the mid-‘80s. Mattel requested a tie-in story bringing together multiple Marvel characters and allowing for the creation of some big play sets. Secret Wars was the solution Marvel writer (and at the time editor in chief) Jim Shooter came up. The story saw a cosmic mischief-maker called The Beyonder transport a Kays catalogue’s worth of Marvel heroes and villains to ‘Battleworld’, where they all had to fight each other with nifty weapons and vehicles.

This 12-issue comics series took place across several of the comics’ individual titles, and was eventually followed, decades later in 2015, by a ginormous sequel/reboot. The more recent story involved the remains of multiple Marvel universes ravaged by Incursions (more on those shortly) merging into a new Battleworld, where each universe had its own geographical domain. The core series of this one ran to nine issues, but the number of issues connecting with it in some way in other series ran to at least 250. Without getting into spoiler territory, the ultimate end point was a tidier, calmer New Marvel Order… for the time being.

What characters were involved with Secret Wars? Tons of ‘em. The line-up of heroes included Captain America, Captain Marvel, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Hulk, She-Hulk, Thor, the Wasp, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, and the X-Men, including Wolverine. Villains included Doctor Doom (the God Emperor of the new Battleworld), Doc Ock, the Enchantress, Kang the Conqueror, and others – including the massive cosmic Fantastic Four villain Galactus. Not all of those will make it to the MCU version, but, we’d carefully suggest, possibly more than you imagine – including characters you didn’t expect to see again.

As you’d expect, the seeds for the end of the Multiverse Saga have long been planted. Here are some likely key element introduced so far:

We’ve met Kang, though you might not have realised. Jonathan Majors has already appeared as the character – or, a version of him – in the final episode of Loki. Going by the name He Who Remains, he was revealed as the creator of the Time Variance Authority who lives in the Citadel at the End of Time. He set up the TVA as the result of a multiversal war, and was killed in this iteration by Sylvie, the female parallel Loki played by Sophia Di Martino. But Majors is back, in alternate/variant/whatever form in Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania… and beyond… He’s likely to shake down as the Multiverse Saga’s Thanos. Going by the comics we already know, Kang the Conqueror ought to be set to conquer Earth. Hence the name.

The Eternals were created by the Celestials, who are powered by Cosmic Energy. The mighty Galactus, Devourer of Worlds, feeds off exactly this Cosmic Energy (he’s not a Celestial, but he was sort of accidentally transformed into something like one when he threw himself into a star because of, er, reasons. Look, the lore is complicated…) It’s an oblique set-up, but it’s definitely there. Eternals might seem to some like an odd anomaly in the MCU right now, but it’s going to make much more sense as we theoretically get more into the crazy cosmic creations of Jack Kirby. And, incidentally, where Galactus goes, the Silver Surfer… heralds. So, that should be cool.

The mid-credits scene in Spider-threequel No Way Home saw Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock zapped back to his own Sony universe, but leaving a smidgeon of black symbiote goo behind in the MCU. The original ‘80s Secret Wars comics is where Spider-Man’s black suit and the idea of the Venom symbol first began – he found it on Battleworld and brought it back to Earth as his fancy new monochrome duds, from which he eventually had to be separated by Reed Richards and Johnny Storm. On film the details will obviously be rearranged since we’re already acquainted with Venom, but if we’re heading to Battleworld there’s absolutely potential for more symbiote encounters. Fan rumours are also flying around that Ned (Jacob Batalon) might be on course to inherit the symbiote, and that his new-found aptitude for magic, along with that alien power, might see him become villainously corrupted, possibly into someone like Hobgoblin. But the sneaky Eugene ‘Flash’ Thompson (Tony Revolori) picks up some symbiote action in the comics too, becoming Agent Anti-Venom, so there are several ways this could play out.

Where do we even begin with Multiverse Of Madness? Firstly, there’s the small matter of Incursions, which we touched on earlier. These are an important concept, involving parallel universes crashing into one another. Mostly these universes exist separately, but when they collide they form breaches, and chains of those breaches are big trouble. The more recent Secret Wars comic series kicked off when an exponential increase in those breaches was noted by the Illuminati. Ultimately, only two universes are left…

The Illuminati, you ask? They’re that secret council in that alternate universe visited by Strange, in that instance comprising Baron Mordo, Peggy Carter, Maria Rambeau, Professor X, Black Bolt and Reed Richards. In the comics, it’s the Illuminati who are monitoring the growing number of Incursions, leading to the events of Secret Wars. So we’d guess that, back in the MCU, Doctor Strange will start putting together his own Illuminati, which we might expect to include big brains like Bruce Banner. And yes, Reed Richards, since the Fantastic Four are now confirmed as making their official MCU debut kicking off Phase 6 in 2024.

Then there’s Clea, Charlize Theron’s mid-credits cameo role. She’s the Sorcerer Supreme of the Dark Dimension, with the ability to travel between universes like America Chavez. In the comics, she ropes in Strange to help her start sealing up the breaches /Incursions like a game of interdimensional whack-a-mole – so there’s potential for a similar relationship and agenda in the films going forward.

Here’s the big question – will mutants factor into Phase 6 of the MCU? Will one of those gaps between Fantastic Four and The Kang Dynasty be a new X-Men movie, or some other kind of mutant project? It’s all up for grabs – but they’re historically involved in Secret Wars, and we’ve recently had our first glimmers of mutant activity in the MCU. First up, we had that Professor X cameo in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. More recently, we got that bombshell at the end of Ms. Marvel – that Kamala Khan seems to have some kind of mutation in her DNA.

Near mint, 1st print. Bagged & Boarded.