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WTF: Secret Wars #9 set for December
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WTF: Secret Wars #9 set for December

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I’ll give comics fans a moment to digest that headline. For everyone else, I’ll explain.

In what they call “Marvel’s biggest event ever,” the comics publisher destroyed the Marvel Universe… literally. It’s all gone, everything established since Marvel Comics #1 back in 1939. All titles are cancelled. In their place is Secret Wars, an eight-issue main series that takes place in a mash-up world of many Marvel alternate settings, and a lot of tie-in mini-series following alternate versions of characters in parts of that mash-up world. All leading up to a total relaunch of the All-New All-Different Marvel in October, where they will launch maybe new 60 new series with new and old characters.

Did I say eight issues? Did I say October re-launch? In a press release yesterday that spins everything as amazing and big and bombastic and game-changing, Marvel announced that Secret Wars will extend an extra issue and that issue won’t come out for another two months after #8. So the big finale, the battle royale that decides everything and shapes the new Marvel universe will now be released two months after all the books relaunch in the new universe, where we will see the aftermath and effects of the battle. Because they aren’t postponing the relaunch, just the foundation story.

Secret Wars 9 Cover

I really wanted to like this whole relaunch thing. But the previews show already it’s a big nothing, as most books are just picking up where they left off. Yes, we get the Ultimate Spider-man now joining the regular Marvel Universe. Some interesting new books on the slate (I have my eye on Karnak of the Inhumans getting a solo title, penned by Garth Ennis). And there’s no Fantastic Four title which has conspiracy theorists going crazy over the movie rights dispute, ignoring the multiple X-Men titles which also has movie wights resting with Fox.

But I really think the “All New Marvel” is about how clever the creators think they are, rather than discipline and good story-telling. I hope they prove me wrong.

Rob Raised in an imaginary forest peopled by comics legends Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Jim Steranko, by science fiction visionaries Arthur Clarke and Robert Heinlein, by pop science icons Star Trek, Alien and Doctor Who, by pulp heroes Doc Savage, The Shadow and Tarzan… well, you get the picture. He still wanders that forest examining the old and new, sometimes walking with old travelers (he’s met four Doctors, traded some quips with Stan Lee), sometimes guiding new travelers (given away a lot of comics to new readers, young and old) and always preserving the trails for future travelers (a collection of art, toys, comics and more).