This says it all folks. In a few months everything we know about Marvel may be useless trivia. The comic universe that we grew up with, that we know and love, will be changed forever. How much, we don't know yet. But, by the looks of things, a whole freakin' lot!
Now, I know what you're saying, “BDC! Come on! We've seen this all before! Hell, DC has rebooted twice in the last four years!”
I hear you and I feel you. And I won't say that I'm not a little skeptical. I mean, we've seen the massive epic Crisis on Infinite Earths. That was pretty far reaching, RIGHT? What could be so different? Marvel has already done massive reboots to a lot of their mainstream characters already. The power of Thor is now in the hands of a woman. Steve Roger's long time partner, Sam Wilson aka The Falcon, is now wearing the red, white and blue and carrying the shield. Ms. Marvel became Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel is now a Muslim teen from Jersey! From Red Onslaught and the Axis story-line to the death of Wolverine, it just seems like they couldn't possibly do anything more to surprise us.
That's where I feel you would be wrong!
Leading into the Marvel Secret Wars, we've seen a near Civil War level of distrust and conflict between people who are supposed to be allies. The Illuminati seem bent on an agenda that pits them against most of the known universe. And DOOM! OMG! Doom is finally coming into his own! I will NOT spoil it for you, although, if you're on the Facebook groups I'm on, the cat's out of the bag. Much like DC's crisis, the Incursions have led to world after world being destroyed. But, in my humble opinion, I think Marvel has done it better. You feel it more. It has more of a personal bearing.
We've seen Celestials die! YES, Celestials! And not just that, but all of the foremost powers of the cosmos, from the Living Tribunal to Chaos & Order to Eternity have all fallen! Marvel is burning major bridges. They are not just merging worlds and keeping the major paradigm like Crisis did. Marvel is wiping the slate clean!
And they're doing it in style! WHOA, BABY! The Marvel powers that be apparently decided that, 'If we're going out, we're going out with a bang!' They have pulled together arguably the greatest lineup of comic story lines ever read! We have Maestro, the Hulk of the Future, being tagged with the Planet Hulk title. Age of Apocalypse. Civil War. Armor Wars. One More Day. Old Man Logan. House of freakin' M! Inhumans! Ultron vs Marvel Zombies! I could go on and on! I mean, they even brought the Infinity Guantlet story out right before Age of Ultron! Needless to say, all eyes are on Marvel!
Now, let me say, as excited as I am for this, and I am, mind you, I have all sorts of misgivings. If they do what I think they're doing, we will see creativity and imagination through the roof on this one! But, after living through reboot after reboot from every comic and movie franchise known to man, I'm a little burned out on it all. Could they not just stop and tell a freakin' story? Can the focus not be on what the hero is wearing or what sex or race they are? Now, I love a lot of what Marvel has done. It's just that I hope and pray that it will not be just another way of marketing diversity. Or, as far as that goes, marketing any one of a million gimmicks that seem to be the going thing. Just lay out some awesome stories! Don't work everything you do on the hot buttons. I know that shocking sells and that huggin' up close to the established, marketable names is safe! But please, just be Marvel and blow our minds!
You can't have had a run like has been given us by Hickman and not follow up with awesomeness! The Marvel world will not be the same after Secret Wars, that much is known. But what comes out the other side has to be as or more mind blowing! So many possibilities. As an aspiring writer, I often thought about what I would want to write for Marvel. I love the What IF? Stories. My thought was to bring a massive What If? War to Marvel. But what Secret Wars has for us has left me throwing my keyboard and saying, 'NOPE! Marvel, you got this!'
Ok, BDC, calm down a bit. That's it. Let me stop gushing for a bit and get serious with you. As much as I'm giddy as a school girl over this, I stop every once in a while and feel a tide of sadness flush over me. You'll have to forgive me if I get sentimental here. This is my life we're talking about. I held Tales To Astonish #27 ('THE MAN IN THE ANT HILL') in my hands as a child and marveled (sorry, couldn't help it) at the thought of Ant Man. I remember being coerced by my curious imagination to pick up a copy of X-men #135 (THE DARK PHOENIX SAGA) and being pulled back into the tortured world of Mutants. I remembered loving every rendition of the Avengers. I collected every copy of the entire Surtur sage and learned to love Thor and Beta Ray Thor thanks to Walter Simonson. I can run down the history of every group of superheros and every different race that birthed said heroes. I can almost count the number of times Charles Xavier has died and come back. I'm close to being a freakin' encyclopedia on Marvel History; an obsessive comic archaeologist.
And that's why I grieve in my celebration.
As much as I vibrate with excited anticipation, I also shudder at all of the history lost to this total remapping of the Marvel universe. From what I have seen, I do not expect anything less than a fresh start. And that both makes me proud and scares me profusely. If we've learned anything from the past decade, it's that the old school love their heroes; especially their childhood heroes. This seems to be something that's lost on this REBOOT GENERATION. They don't understand when we rage about a character change no matter how severe it is. They are best prepared for everything to end and they will not understand why we mourn.
But mourn we will. We will remember no matter if it's part of the new continuity or not. But, in the end, we will lose as much as we have gained. So, before we take that final step into the unknown, let's breath in and remember. Let's pull out our back issues and read. Just one more time, let us step back and relive what Marvel has meant to us over the years as TIME RUNS OUT!