What is Secret Wars?
Secret Wars is Marvel’s mega-event of 2015 that promises to change the landscape of the Marvel universe forever. Secret Wars is written by Jonathan Hickman and is the culmination to his epic runs on Avengers and New Avengers in which incursions are threatening the existence of every universe throughout the multiverse. In Secret Wars, all the universes throughout Marvel’s extensive continuity will come together to form Battleworld, which will be made up of several regions, each representative of a different universe. In the end, whoever survives Battleworld will comprise the new Marvel universe.
What titles are involved in Secret Wars?
In addition to the main Secret Wars series written by Hickman and drawn by Esad Ribic, there are several tie-in series, grouped into three sub-groups: Last Days, Battleworld, and Warzones! Last Days will be made up of current titles and show how the characters deal with the impending end of time. Battleworld titles will focus on the characters and events that impact the main story of Secret Wars. Finally, titles under the Warzones! banner will each focus on a different individual region of the Battleworld map.
Last Days titles
Black Widow #19-20 – Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto
Loki: Agent of Asgard #14-16 – Al Ewing and Lee Garbett
Magneto #18-21 – Cullen Bunn and Javi Fernandez
The Punisher #19-20 – Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads
Silver Surfer #13-16 – Dan Slott and Michael Allred
Recommendation: Basically, if you’re reading it now, you’re going to want to keep reading it. Also, read Ant-Man, because it’s awesome.
Since these are new titles, I’m going to give a very brief explanation of each series so that you’ll know what to read if you want to familiarize yourself with these characters before you start reading Secret Wars.
– Ultron and his forces from the 2013 event by Brian Michael Bendis take on the zombie versions of Marvel characters from Robert Kirkman’s 2005 miniseries. Marvel has revealed this series will feature versions of Hank Pym, The Vision, Jim Hammond (the original Human Torch), and Wonder Man.
Ghost Racers – Felipe Smith and Juan Gedeon
– Robbie Reyes from Smith’s All-New Ghost Rider and other Ghost Riders are….racing? I guess?
– Howard the Duck ironically finds himself the only human in a world of talking anthropomorphic animals.
Inhumans: Attilan Rising – Charles Soule and John Timms
– Black Bolt, the king of the Inhumans, and his wife, Medusa, find themselves on opposite sides in this continuation of Soule’s Inhuman.
– The Avengers take on the original Guardians of the Galaxy, and Michael Korvac is somehow involved. If you don’t know who Michael Korvac is, read Avengers #167-168 and #170-177 by Jim Shooter and George Perez available in trade format as Avengers: The Korvac Saga.
Marvel Zombies – Si Spurrier and Kev Walker
– More zombies, this time with Elsa Bloodstone.
Master of Kung Fu – Haden Blackman and Dalibor Talajic
– Shang Chi defends K’un-L’un. Also, Elektra is in it.
– Based on the beloved Runaways series created by Brian K. Vaughan with only one of the same characters! Molly Hayes teams up with Bucky Barnes, Jubilee, Amadeus Cho, Cloak and Dagger, Skaar, and a new character named Sanna Strand.
Secret Wars: Battleword – Various
– An anthology series that covers a wide gamut of characters and events.
Secret Wars Journal – Various
– I’m not sure what the difference between this and Secret Wars: Battleworld are, to be honest. Another anthology series from various creators.
Secret Wars: Secret Love – Various
– An anthology collection of love stories that take place in Battleworld.
– A team led by Abigail Brand defends Battleworld against Kang the Conquerer. This appears to share only a title with Brian Michael Bendis’s 2010 series of the same name.
– If you’ve been reading Legendary Star-Lord, you know that Peter Quill and Kitty Pryde have officially become an item. But what happens when Peter meets the Kitty from the Age of Apocalypse universe? Read this if you want to find out.
– If you’re into Thor, any version of Thor, this is the book for you. We have Thor Odinson, we have the new Thor, we have Beta Ray Bill, we have King Thor…the list goes on, teaming up to form what Marvel has dubbed a “very special kind of police force” as Jason Aaron’s epic run on Thor continues.
– Everything ends, including the Ultimate Universe. Read this if you’ve been following Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man.
Recommendations: You’ll definitely want to pick up Secret Wars: Battleworld, but other than that, the best of this bunch looks to be Thors. Jason Aaron’s runs on Thor: God of Thunder and Thor have been great, and I expect nothing less from this book. Fans of the Ultimate Universe will definitely not want to miss Ultimate End either.
1602: Witch Hunter Angela – Kieron Gillen, Marguerite Bennett and Stephanie Hans
– Angela: Asgard’s Assassin stars in an adventure set in the world created by Neil Gaiman in 1602.
1872 – Gerry Duggan and Evan Shaner
– Your favorite characters, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, and Tony Stark star in some old-timey Western action.
– An all-female team forms to take the place of the missing Avengers. The lineup includes She-Hulk, Dazzler, Medusa, and Nico Minoru from Runaways.
– Apocalypse reigns supreme and the X-Men attempt to stop him. Set in the Age of Apocalypse universe created in the 1995 crossover event of the same name.
Armor Wars – James Robinson and Marcio Takara
– A futuristic take on the classic Iron Man story found in Iron Man #225-231.
– Do you wish Spider-Man was still married to Mary Jane Watson? Well, so does everyone else. And in the pages of this book – he is!
Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders – Al Ewing and Alan Davis
– This book follows Faiza Hussain, who became Captain Britain in the Age of Ultron event as she searches for other Captains Britain throughout Battleworld, aided by She-Hulk, White Tiger, Spider Hero, and Kid Rescue.
Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps – Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kelly Thompson and David Lopez
– Kelly Sue Deconnick’s Captain Marvel story continues as Carol Danvers leads an all-female team of airplane pilots.
– What if the war between superheroes over the Superhuman Registration Act from Mark Millar’s classic Civil War had never ended? We get to see in this continuation from Charles Soule.
Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars – Cullen Bunn and Matteo Lolli
– Deadpool is transported back the the original Secret Wars from 1984, when Marvel’s finest superheroes and greatest villains (and the Wrecking Crew) were transported off-planet and forced to do battle by the mysterious Beyonder.
E is for Extinction – Chris Burnham and Ramon Villalobos
– Mutants rule the world! Based on Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s run on New X-Men.
Future Imperfect – Peter David and Greg Land
– The Maestro (an future evil version of Hulk) is back and badder than ever in this throwback to Hulk: Future Imperfect.
– Skottie Young draws the Avengers and X-Men as babies.
Guardians of Knowhere – Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato
– Brian Bendis continues his tale of the Guardians, this time centered around Knowhere, a wretched hive of scum and villainy housed in the severed head of a Celestial.
– Follow Ian Rogers, aka Nomad from the pages of Captain America and All-New Captain America as he battles through a universe ruled by the evil organization Hydra.
Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra – David Mandel and Michael Walsh
– A comedic one-shot follows Hank Johnson, a Hydra agent trying to navigate his everyday life as the chaos of Battleworld rages on around him.
– Magneto tries to find new purpose as mutants now rule the world. Based on the 2005 event of the same name.
Inferno – Dennis Hopeless and Javier Garron
– Colossus tries to rescue his sister Magik and save New York against demonic forces in this continuation of the late 80s crossover event that spanned pretty much the entire X-universe.
– Nova Sam Alexander and his family try and save the earth from Thanos, who now apparently once again has the Infinity Gauntlet. Based on the 1991 miniseries of the same name.
M.O.D.O.K. Assassin – Chris Yost and Amilcar Pinna
– The book starring M.O.D.O.K. that you didn’t even know you wanted!
Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos – Gerry Duggan
– Spinning out of the pages of Deadpool, Wade’s wife Shiklah gets her own team and her own book.
– The next chapter in one of Wolverine’s most epic stories told by Brian Michael Bendis, following around an aged, alternate-reality version of Logan. Based on Mark Millar’s run on Wolverine from issues #66-72 and Wolverine Giant Size Old Man Logan.
– This book may be called Planet Hulk, but it is centered around Steve Rogers and Devil Dinosaur. Yes, you read that correctly.
Red Skull – Joshua Williamson and Luca Pizzari
– Writer Josh Williamson promises a “dark”, “twisted” tale as a team of prisoners are sent to find Red Skull’s body in order to prove his death.
Secret Wars 2099 – Peter David and Will Sliney
– Spider-Man 2099 Miguel O’Hara is joined by 2099 counterparts of Captain America and the Avengers.
Spider-Island – Christos Gage and Paco Diaz
– This book follows Flash Thompson (Agent Venom) and Mayday Parker (Spider-Girl) in a return to the landmark event in Amazing Spider-Man #666-673 and Venom #6-9
– Have you missed all the spidery goodness of Spider-Verse in the roughly two months since it happened? Probably not, but it’s back anyway! Starring Spider-Ham, Spider-Gwen, Spider UK, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Girl and undoubtedly lots more Spider-people!
Squadron Sinister – Marc Guggenheim and Carlos Pacheco
– A re-imagining of the 1985 series Squadron Supreme starring Hyperion, Nighthawk, Whizzer, Doctor Spectrum, and Warrior Woman as supervillains.
Weirdworld – Jason Aaron and Mike del Mundo
– This book follows Arkon the Magnificent as he adventures through Weirdworld, a relic of Marvel’s early past.
Where Monsters Dwell – Garth Ennis and Russ Braun
– A resurrection of the series of the same name that Marvel published from 1970-75, featuring a new monster with each issue.
– This book is a throwback to the X-Men team that, to everyone my age at least, will forever be the X-Men team, the team found in Chris Claremont and Jim Lee’s X-Men, as well as in the greatest television series ever created (besides Boy Meets World), the animated X-Men series from 1994.
X-Tinction Agenda – Marc Guggenheim and Carmine Di Giandomenico
– Havok and Wolfsbane try to restore Genosha back to its former glory in spite of resistance from former allies. Based on the 1990 crossover event of the same name.
Years of Future Past – Marguerite Bennett and Mike Norton
– Another revisiting of a classic X-Men story, this book follows Kitty Pryde before she went back in time in Days of Future Past in the pages of Uncanny X-Men #141-142.