[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the ending of Secret Wars as well as many other recent Marvel comics related to the All New, All Different Marvel Universe. Do not read on if you haven’t finished Secret Wars or if there’s parts of the new Marvel Universe you’re looking to explore.]
Secret Wars reaches its long awaited conclusion today, bringing with it an explanation as to how the All New, All Different Marvel Universe began. With three months of comics under its belt (and an eight-month gap between the end of Secret Wars and the first All New, All Different Marvel comics), we’ve seen plenty of what the new Marvel Universe has to offer and a few teases of what’s to come. Since Secret Wars is finally over, it makes sense to take a few moments to map out this brave new world Marvel’s heroes now live in. Here are some of the big changes and storylines brewing in the All New, All Different Marvel Universe.
Mutants vs. Inhumans
One of the biggest changes to the Marvel universe is the dramatic change of fortune of the mutant and Inhuman communities. While the Inhumans have traditionally shunned the rest of society, the superhuman race is now based out of New York City, trying to grapple with a rapidly expanding Inhuman population caused by clouds of Terrigen mist and a fractured ruling family. Meanwhile, the X-Men have organized a mass exodus to Limbo (a hellish dimension ruled by the X-Men Magik) after discovering the Terrigen mists are poisonous to mutants, in addition to sterilizing the entire mutant race. Some mutants, like Beast, are working with the Inhumans to find a solution to the Terrigen mists now covering the planet. However, other mutants like Cyclops have taken more controversial actions, leading to the ex X-Men leader’s disappearance and alleged death.
Although neither the Inhumans nor the X-Men seem interested in a fight, tensions are rising between the two groups and it seems like only a matter of time before battle lines are drawn.
Fantastic Four No More
As seen at the end of Secret Wars, Reed Richards recreated the Marvel Universe with the help of the Molecule Man and now exists outside of reality recreating the Multiverse one universe at a time. Unfortunately, this means that the Fantastic Four are no more, but at least the Human Torch and the Thing both found new homes in the All New, All Different Marvel Universe. Johnny Storm joined up with the Inhumans, while the Thing is exploring space with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Stranded on a New World
Although Battleworld died at the end of Secret Wars, the All New, All Different Marvel Universe contains a number of refugees from other worlds. Ultimate Spider-Man, Red Wolf, the Squadron Supreme, Old Man Logan, the Maker and the Maestro are some of the many remnants of the Multiverse now living on the new Marvel Earth. Secret Wars revealed that Miles Morales and his friends survived because Miles gave the Molecule Man a hamburger when the two met on Battleworld, but we still don’t know why or how the other heroes (and villains) are in the All New, All Different Marvel Universe. Maybe the Richards family put them on Earth while they were rebuilding the Multiverse?
Whatever the reason, these new heroes are already impacting the Marvel Universe in major ways. The Squadron Supreme executed Namor for his actions as a member of the Illuminati and Cabal while Morales is now a member of the Avengers.
Devastating attacks by Namor and the Cabal totally wiped out the tiny nation of Wakanda, making its leader Black Panther a ruler of the dead. However, when Reed Richards rebuilt the Marvel Universe at the end of Secret Wars, he seemingly resurrected the entire nation, sparing it from much of the suffering and devastation inflicted on it in recent years. Instead of a nation of the dead, Wakanda is once again at the forefront of human innovation and technology, leading its people into the new frontier of space. Interestingly, Secret Wars hints that Black Panther might be one of the few people in the Marvel Universe to remember past events, having used the Time Gem to transport himself back to the past and discovering that the first universe colliding Excursion had not yet taken place.
New Faces, Familiar Names
In addition to the many “displaced” heroes, several characters have taken up surprising new roles in the Marvel Universe. X-23 is Wolverine, honoring her fallen clone/father figure. Amadeus Cho is the new Hulk, replacing his mentor Bruce Banner. This continues a trend started before the All New, All Different Marvel Universe began, when established characters took up the mantles of Captain America and Thor. Recently, a new Giant-Man and a new Falcon also joined the Marvel Universe, adding even more new heroes operating under familiar names.
Speaking of new faces, one villain also got a new face because of Secret Wars. Reed Richards, in an act of kindness to his longtime nemesis, fixed Doctor Doom’s scarred face as a “thank you” for his help in saving the Multiverse.
Even More Avengers Teams
A new Marvel Universe means more Avengers teams, each with different goals and rosters. In addition to the main Avengers team (consisting of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, the Vision, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man and Nova), there’s also three other Avengers teams currently running around in the Marvel Universe. Steve Rogers’ “Avengers Unity Team” is still trying to unite humans, mutants and Inhumans, while the “Avengers Idea Mechanics” handles threats across the globe under the leadership of Sunspot. There’s also a new team of Ultimates trying to fix the still-broken timestream and a new “A-Force” made up of all female heroes.
Unlike past Avengers teams, these Avengers teams don’t have a unified leadership structure or purpose. This could mean trouble in the nearish future when three of the Avengers teams collide in the upcoming Avengers: Standoff crossover event.
More Trouble Ahead
Reed Richards might have saved the Marvel Universe from one galactic threat, but other dangers are still lurking in the near future. Marvel’s heroes will battle over a precognitive hero in Civil War II next spring, which will have deadly repercussions for at least one heroes. Other threats include a mysterious army trying to wipe out all magic in Dr. Strange, a revitalized Zodiac organization in Amazing Spider-Man, the deadly alliance between Annihilus and the Brood in Guardians of the Galaxy, and the rebirth of Apocalypse in the upcoming Apocalypse Wars X-Men crossover event. Plus, there’s also the mysterious alien tripods that have appeared in the futures of several Brian Bendis-written books, which hint at yet another catastrophic event in Marvel’s future.