When the news broke that Marvel was "ending" their universe, INSANE misconceptions and thoughts were flying everywhere. "AGH!!!! Marvel is rebooting to be EXACTLY LIKE THE MCU!!!!" "Now they will get rid of mutants forever!!" "Marvel is finally all out copying DC!" Let's just say, what 90% of people who got this news believe is 100% bullsh*t.
Anyway, I'm here to explain what is actually going on (and I won't mess it up like others who have posted online about this) and why you shouldn't worry at all, because you really shouldn't.
OK, The Marvel Universe is partially ending because of the MCU
Why would Marvel end their universe? One of the main answers to that question is that Marvel knows that the movies make big time money. So when people who have only seen the movies pick up a comic and see that Captain America is Bucky Barnes or is black, they'll be super confused and might not want to read the comics. DC has noticed this as well. That's why the Green Arrow comic (sadly) is basically the same thing as Arrow since the last run ended. However, being closer to the films is not a bad thing (as long as they don't overdo it). It can let us have some synergy between the two without being to close. I mean, when people accuse Marvel of being too close to the films, I show them that Captain America is black now, Thor is a woman (and one of the worst PR stunts ever even though the book is great), Iron Man has is even worse than he is in the films, etc. But if Marvel can make it just a little closer, new fans could be happy and could enjoy it just as much as the old fans do.
One of the ways that Marvel is becoming closer to the films is the merger with every single universe (except the MCU) including....the Ultimate Universe.
You see, the Ultimate Universe is the closest to the films (or at least used to be). Where did most of the inspiration for the MCU come from? The Ultimates (Avengers). What was a big inspiration for Andrew Garfields Spider-Man? Ultimate Spider-Man. The Ultimate X-Men were almost carbon copies of their movie selves simply because Marvel wanted to attract new fans. And it definitely worked. Marvel knows that the mainstream universe has truly gotten really boring, and the Ultimate universe has become a shell of its old self. So if they can merge the two (and every other universe as well), we can have new and exciting stories told, and Marvel can slowly begin to branch out into other genres, and not just focus on superhero stuff. They can make it all-inclusive and make it great for everyone, both old and new fans. I'm 100% behind them doing this.
What exactly is the Secret Wars?
Secret Wars, written by Jonathan Hickman with covers by Alex Ross (like the #1 cover above) and interior art by Esad Ribic, is the event that will kickstart the "All New Marvel" universe. It is Marvel's homage to DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths (but it's NOT A BLATANT RIPOFF. If you want to know what a true rip-off is, go here).
What exactly happened is that something caused an Earth in the multiverse to be destroyed, and this lead to the domino effect of "the Incursions". The Incursions are when two universes converge on each other, and, after 8 hours of sharing the same space, both universes and earths are destroyed. What can be changed is that one of these earths can be destroyed, and both universes survive (minus one earth). The Illuminati (a secretive team of superheroes including Iron Man, [Black Panther](movie:9047), Doctor Strange, Namor the Submariner, Reed Richards, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner) decide to stop this.The Ultimate universe and the 616 (mainstream) Marvel universes will be the last ones standing Long story short?
They Won't stop it. Sorry for ruining Secret Wars issue 1. Anyway, the two universes will somehow merge together instead of destroying each other, and then every single Marvel universe ever will be merged into a planet called Battleworld.
And the "New Marvel universe" will be formed from the melting pot that is Battleworld
-Tom Brevoort, editor at Marvel
This "New Marvel Universe" doesn't mean it's a New 52. Axel Alonso, Marvel's Editor in Chief, said that they don't see their history as something they need to fix, it's not broken. So old time Marvel fans take a deep breath and relax. By the way, I'm not trying to bash anyone, but it's the truth. It's not a full reboot. Why would they fully reboot after retconning Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, relaunching "Hawkeye" and other things? Marvel said they are taking the best stories and best things and are going to see how they coexist. This means a new timeline that is better than the "sliding timescale" timeline will be created, where everything would be fit together nicely. This would let us have a clear timeline of when things happened. This would change up the Marvel universe so we could have better stories, and spread out into different genres like Image does. Oh, and this means Marvel might hold off on crossover events (at least for a while). Being closer to the films (like I said before) is not a bad thing as long as they don't overdo it. There are characters and concepts in the films that could be brought over, and as long as the comics and the films resemble each other but don't become more or less the same thing we should be fine.
They absolutely WON'T shove other studio properties like the X-Men and Fantastic Four away
It would be absolutely stupid for Marvel to do this, and they absolutely won't. You want some reasons why they won't shelve both of these properties?
- The Ultimate and 616 Fantastic Four (mainly Reed Richards and Ultimate Reed Richards) are main characters of this event. Jonathan Hickman's Fantastic Four run laid the groundwork for this event even before he began writing Avengers and New Avengers. More proof for what I just said?
- In Secret Wars, Battleworld is filled with a bunch of domains relating to old stories. More than half of them (and most of those teasers Marvel released back last year) are X-Men related. Coincidence? I think not.
- Axel Alonso said in an interview that a "new Fantastic Four" would appear in Secret Wars: Battleworld. Why would they bother creating a new one if they weren't going to exist anymore?