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What Is Marvel’s Secret Wars?

Secret Wars were popular Marvel Comics crossover events dating back 38 years to 1984.

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Secret Wars
(Marvel Entertainment)

Marvel announced the next two Avengers films at the San Diego Comic-Con in July, including Avengers: Secret Wars. The film will be the final movie of Phase 6 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Over the past 38 years Marvel Comics has released three different crossover events with the title Secret Wars. The first series released in 1984 titled Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars, followed by Secret Wars II in 1985, and Secret Wars in 2015. These three crossover events have been some of the most popular comics in Marvel history.

The Beginning of Secret Wars

The first 12-issue crossover limited series was published by Marvel Comics from May 1984 to April 1985. The series was created by writer Jim Shooter and artists Mike Zeck and Bob Layton. The limited series was tied-in with a toy line of the same name from Mattel.

The toy line was the main basis for the name of the series. “We went through a number of ideas for names for the toy line and series. Mattel’s focus group tests indicated that kids reacted positively to the words ‘wars’ and ‘secret’,” said Shooter.

Secret Wars 8A cosmic entity called the Beyonder observes the Marvel universe. Fascinated by the presence of superheroes on Earth and their potential, this entity chooses a group of both heroes and supervillains. The cosmic entity teleports characters against their will to “Battleworld”, a planet created by the Beyonder in a distant galaxy. The world is stocked with alien weapons and technology. The Beyonder then declares: “I am from beyond! Slay your enemies and all that you desire shall be yours! Nothing you dream of is impossible for me to accomplish!”

The original series heroes included the Captain America, Captain Marvel, Hawkeye, Iron Man, the She-Hulk, Thor, the Wasp, and the Hulk (all members of the Avengers); Human Torch, Mister Fantastic and the Thing (Fantastic Four); Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine, and Lockheed the Dragon (X-Men); Spider-Man, and Spider-Woman. Magneto is featured as a hero, but immediately becomes non-aligned when the Avengers question his presence.

As for villains: Absorbing Man, Doctor Doom, Doctor Octopus, the Enchantress, Kang the Conqueror, Klaw, Lizard, Molecule Man, Titania, Ultron, Volcana, and Wrecking Crew. Galactus also appears as a villain who immediately becomes a non-aligned entity.

Some say Spider-Man wearing the black suit for the first time happens in issue eight of the series, but the issue actually was released months after Amazing Spider-Man #252 where is seen wearing the costume on the cover. The cover of issue eight is still one of the most famous and sought-after covers featuring Spider-Man.

To not spoil the 12-issue series the ending will not be explained here and we encourage you to read the series.

The Sequel

Due to the success of the original series, a nine-issue limited series and crossover event was published from 1985 to 1986 by Marvel. Shooter returned to write the issues with artist Al Milgrom on board. Secret Wars II was a sequel to the first series with multiple other titles tying-in to the series. Each tie-in featured a Secret Wars II logo in the top right hand corner to indicate that it was a part of the overall story. This marked the first time Marvel published a story where the reader would have to purchase multiple titles in order to read the entire story. Something they are known for now.

Secret Wars II 3The sequel features the return of the Beyonder, who visits Earth in search of enlightenment. He inevitably comes into conflict with Earth’s superhumans. At first, the Beyonder tries to figure out the meaning of everyday tasks humans do, such as: eating, sleeping, using the bathroom, then he works for a mobster and becomes a powerful being who is obsessed with gadgets. The Beyonder attempts to start relationships with multiple superhuman women and features appearances of Doctor Doom, Mephisto and many more.

Secret Wars II was the best selling comic book of 1985, but many call it one of the most despised comics of the year. It does seem like the first limited-series did extremely well, so the money people at Marvel and Mattel forced a sequel into the mix and it didn’t go as planned.

Returning To The Well

The return of the name Secret Wars came in 2015 by writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Esad Ribić in a nine-issue limited series. The outstanding artwork of Alex Ross was present on all regular covers. The event also served as a conclusion to the Fantastic Four after Marvel decided to cancel the title due to a film rights dispute with 20th Century Fox. This is different now with the Disney purchase of Fox for $71.3 billion in 2019.

Secret Wars 4Marvel wanted to streamline their multiverses in 2015 and used this version of Secret Wars to combine the main Earth-616 Marvel Universe with the Earth-1610 Ultimate Universe, along with other storylines such as Marvel 2099, the Age of Apocalypse storyline, the Marvel 1602 universe, and the House of M storyline. This was to allow readers to understand bit more of Marvel Comics stories.

The use of Battleworld is also seen in the 2015 limited series. Each universe’s respective Earth combined with each other into Battleworld, a planet that exhibits the aspects of the various universes. The planet itself is divided in many territories that are mostly self-contained and where a pocket universe composed of a specific storyline or universe reside and evolve. Various versions of individual Marvel characters can be present multiple times on the Battleworld.

Like most of Marvel’s crossover events, Secret Wars had many tie-in comics which had categories such as Battleworld, Warzones, and Lost Days. This crossover event is one of the most well received storylines in recent years with positive reviews, critics praising the storyline, characters, action, and art styles.

Must read for any current Marvel Comics reader.

Which Will Be The Source Material For The MCU?

Like most of what Kevin Feige puts together in the MCU, Avengers: Secret Wars will be a combination of the three crossover events. We expect most of the story to come from the Hickman / Ribić run of 2015, as the purpose seems to be combining the current Multiverse Saga back into one universe.

Avengers: Secret WarsThe MCU will have the ability to use Doctor Doom, someone who is very present in all three limited series now that Marvel will be introducing the Fantastic Four to kick-off the sixth phase. Like Captain America: Civil War, expect Marvel to avoid using certain characters for varying reasons. Such as Iron Man no longer a part of the MCU and other characters that might not be popular enough to use in the MCU like Molecule Man.

Avengers: Secret Wars will be its own story with pieces taken from the 38 years of Secret Wars source material to source. The film is two-plus years away and a lot is going to happen in the MCU for this film to make it’s mark.

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Pull List

Pull List: 20th Century Man #1, Trve Kvlt #1, and More!

The pull list features a number of amazing books including 20th Century Man #1 and Trve Kvlt #1.

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20th Century Man
(20th Century Man / Image Comics)

Each week we head to Galactic Comics and Collectibles in Bangor, Maine to grab a selection of comics. The pull list this week features a number of amazing books, but we are most excited for 20th Century Man #1 and Trve Kvlt #1 from Image Comics and IDW Publishing respectively.

20th Century Man #1

20th Century ManAt the end of the 20th century, superheroes, geniuses, madmen, and activists rush towards WWIII! A Soviet “iron” hero, a superpowered American president, an insane cyborg soldier, an Afghan woman hellbent on building a better life for her people-these strange yet familiar beings collide in a story that mixes history, politics, and comic book mythology into something totally new. Welcome to 20TH CENTURY MEN, where the edges of our reality and fiction touch, overlap…and then explode.

From writer Deniz Camp (Maxwell’s Demons, Bloodshot Unleashed), artist S. Morian, and letterer Aditya Bidikar (Little Bird, Blue In Green, Department of Truth).

Trve Kvlt #1

Trve KvltMarty Tarantella has been flipping burgers for 15 years. He has no kids, no hobbies, no love interests, and, essentially, no life. But what he does have is a plan to change everything. Years of watching the daily rhythms of the neighboring stores has given Marty the idea for a perfect heist, but when he accidentally steals a supernatural weapon from a cult full of violent lunatics, the resulting Satanic panic will be way above his minimum-wage pay grade. Nothing can prepare you for the coming of Trve Kvlt, a deliciously horrifying and hilarious new series!

From writer Scott Bryan Wilson (Pennyworth, Batman Annual), artist Liana Kangas (Star Wars Adventures, Razorblades), and letterer DC Hopkins (Nocterra, Pennyworth).

There are also a few limited edition store variants of Joseph Schmalke‘s Seven Years In Darkness #1 available at the shop or online.

Here is our list including Trve Kvlt and 20th Century Man:

ComicPublisherCover
20th Century Man #1ImageCover A
Avengers 1,000,000 BC #1MarvelCover A + Young
Blood Stained Teeth #5ImageCover A
Crossover 3D Special #1ImageCover A
Daredevil #2MarvelCover A
Edge if Spider-Verse #2MarvelCover A
Fire Power #23ImageCover A
Gunslinger Spawn #11ImageCover A
Hulk #8MarvelCover A
Ms. Marvel Moon Knight #1MarvelCover A
New Mutants #28MarvelCover A
Star Wars #26MarvelCover A
Star Wars The Mandalorian #2MarvelCover A
Strange #5MarvelCover A
Trve Kvlt #1IDWCover A
Undiscovered Country #20ImageCover A
Walking Dead DLX #45ImageAll Covers
X-Force #30MarvelCover A
X-Men #13MarvelCover A

Galactic Comics and Collectibles is located at 547 Hammond Street, Bangor, Maine.

What is a Pull List?

A pull list is an agreement for reservation of particular comic books each week/month between a customer and the retailer. It’s a helpful system as it creates a means for all comics you read regularly to be reserved so you will not miss out on any issues.

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Comic Reviews

‘Caffeinated Hearts’ Is A Much Needed Pick Me Up

Caffeinated Hearts is more excellent stories from Jonathan Hedrick and art by Stefano Cardoselli.

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Caffeinated Hearts
(Source Point Press)

If anyone follows our website or podcast close enough you know I have a strong love for The Recount by Jonathan Hedrick. This love continues with his latest release Caffeinated Hearts on Source Point Press.

The 24-page one-shot was written by the dynamic duo of Hedrick and artist Stefano Cardoselli with letters by Jerome Gagnon. The same artist/writer collaboration of The Space Cadet on Scout Comics’ imprint Scoot as well as Freakshow Knight.

Caffeinated Hearts is the perfect slice-of-life comic with an excellent way of telling multiple short stories with one main character intertwining with random strangers lives.

The main character Amarella, better know as Ellie, is a barista at a local coffee shop who has amazing customer service skills and seems to care a lot about her customers. She goes out of her way to connect with people and impact their day with the simple task of serving them coffee.

Caffeinated Hearts is broken up into four different stories with Ellie as the main reason for these stories to be told. The book starts with “Balance” where Ellie chats with a man down on his luck, next is “Forward” with the typical pay-it-forward style story, followed by “Relax” as we take part in Ellie’s lunch break. Lastly, the book finishes up with the properly name “Finish” which is a climatic end to the long day of working in customer service.

Hedrick’s ability to allow us to care about this characters while Cardoselli’s abstract watercolor style artwork allows you to get lost in the cyberpunk style coffee shop. The book hits a little harder as my life has been intertwined with the world of retail sales and customer service. It hits a bit harder having lived through some of these tales.

Ellie tells us fun and heartwarming stories all in a days work.

Make sure you tell your local comic book shop to order you a copy of Caffeinated Hearts from Source Point Press and read the pick-me-up story when the books releases on October 26, 2022.

Also, read The Recount.

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Pull List

Pull List: Ghost Rider Vengeance Forever #1 and more!

The pull list features a number of amazing books including Ghost Rider Vengeance Forever #1 and more!

Published

on

Ghost Rider
(Marvel Entertainment)

Each week we head to Galactic Comics and Collectibles in Bangor, Maine to grab a selection of comics. The pull list this week features a number of amazing books, but we are most excited for Ghost Rider Vengeance Forever #1 from Marvel Comics.

Ghost Rider Vengeance Forever #1

Ghost RiderCELEBRATING FIFTY YEARS OF VENGEANCE! Johnny Blaze, still reeling from his time in Hayden’s Falls, seeks the counsel of a seer – named Necro the Tattooist – who uses his needle to bring dark truths to the surface. What follows is not only a wild tour through Ghost Rider’s lost history, but also a warning about the future and an examination of the troubling weight of legacy.

From writer Ben Percy (X-Force, Wolverine), artist Juan Jose Ryp (Nightwing, Rai), and cover artist Bjorn Barends (Spawn, Carnage) .

Here is our list:

ComicPublisherCover
Amazing Spider-Man #7MarvelCover A
Astronaut Down #3AfterShockCover A
Black Panther #8MarvelCover A
Eight Billion Genies #4ImageCover A
Ghost Rider Vengeance Forever #1MarvelCover A
Giant Sized Gwen Stacy #1MarvelCover A
Mindset #2AfterShockCover A
Ms Marvel Wolverine #1MarvelCover A
Predator #1MarvelYoung Cover
Punisher #5MarvelCover A
Slumber #6ImageCover A
Star Wars Bounty Hunters #26MarvelCover A
Star Wars Han Solo and Chewbacca #5MarvelCover A
There's Something Wrong With Patrick Todd #2AfterShockCover A
Venom Lethal Protector #5MarvelCover A

Galactic Comics and Collectibles is located at 547 Hammond Street, Bangor, Maine.

What is a Pull List?

A pull list is an agreement for reservation of particular comic books each week/month between a customer and the retailer. It’s a helpful system as it creates a means for all comics you read regularly to be reserved so you will not miss out on any issues.

Continue Reading
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