Saturday, March 14, 2015

Marvel's New Secret Wars: A Starter Kit

Comic books from the "big two" these days have a higher profile then any comic has had in a great while. We can attribute most of that to the major shakeups each company is creating across the board, within and following major events that change the face of nearly every title FOREVERRRRR...or until the company decides it was a bad move and puts everything back the way it was with a calculated reality flux something or other. Marvel Comics is about to head into their biggest and most ambitious event since Civil War; which saw hero fighting hero on every page. You may remember Secret Wars from your childhood; a tale of a God-like being kidnapping Earth's mightiest heroes and most powerful villains and forcing them to battle each other for supremacy on a planet cobbled together from chunks of other planets. Marvel's new Secret Wars follows a similar premise, but introduces alternate universes and the doppelgangers of our favorite characters dwelling there. Let's take a look at some of the worlds we'll explore in this mega comic book event...

As of March 6th, this is what the "Battleworld" looks like, along with accompanying, wallet breaking revealed tie in comics.

Battleworld? It's more like "What If" world! Here's a run down of the comics we know far....

1872 - Real heroes die with their boots on. SHERIFF STEVE ROGERS faces corruption and fear in the boom town of TIMELY. The only thing ANTHONY STARK seems capable of is pulling a cork, so can he pull Rogers’ fat from the fire? But...a stranger comes to town that will change Timely forever...for anyone left standing, that is.

A-FORCE - Within the Warzones! of Secret Wars, a brand new team will lead the way. A-Force Assemble! Marvel Comics reimagines the Marvel Universe in one of the largest shake-ups to the Avengers mythos. And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, A-Force was born—to fight the foes no single Super Hero could withstand! Their glory will never been denied! Heed the call.

AGE OF ULTRON VS. MARVEL ZOMBIES - There are regions of Battleworld so dangerous, they are walled off from the remainder of this patchwork planet. Here, on the far side of the impenetrable barrier known as the Shield, hope is gone. In these unholy wastes, on the border between two domains, the genocidal robotic armies of Ultron wage unending war upon the domain of rotting, flesh-eating corpses that lies just to the East. Pity those poor souls trapped between these two unstoppable forces, for their end is most definitely assured! Will you choose death by flesh-eating, super-powered living dead? Or by an unending army of indestructible, undefeatable robots? One thing is for certain, neither demise will be quick or painless! The Vision, Wonder Man, Jim Hammond, and more brave these apocalyptic hellscapes in search of sanctuary, and for survival. 

ARMOR WARS - Welcome to Technopolis, a shining beacon for all Battleworld to see. Full of science and wonder created at the hands of rival genius brothers – Tony Stark and Arno Stark. Yet shadows fall over this armored Utopia. A unique disease forces EVERYONE to wear armor just to live and breathe! But when murder strikes his domain, Baron Tony Stark must race against the clock to identify the mysterious killer. But is he too late to stop more bodies from showing up? And just who is the mysterious Iron Hand?

CAPTAIN MARVEL AND THE CAROL CORPS - Welcome to Hala Field, where if you’ve got the guts – if you’ve got the moxie – you just might make it as a member of the Carol Corps. The chosen few, the proud, the brightest pilots of all – the Carol Corps defend Hala Field from the worst Battleworld has to offer. Face front and stand at attention True Believers, because the Corps needs people like you! So put on your uniform and get ready for the most high-flying, action packed Captain Marvel series fans have been clamoring for.

DEADPOOL'S SECRET WARS - In 1984, Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars was known for debuting Spider-Man's black costume and featuring Doctor Doom stealing the Beyonder's power, and the first-ever event series also included a variety of appearances by Deadpool that readers never saw. DEADPOOL’S SECRET SECRET WARS by the Deadpool Killustrated team of Cullen Bunn and Matteo Lolli, will have the Merc with the Mouth revealed to be a part of the 1984 comic book event and drawn into scenes from the original series. 

E IS FOR EXTINCTION - An "alternate timeline" of the Morrison/ Quietly era New X-Men run. For the last fifty years, mutants have been an oppressed group. Now, they rule. What happens when mutants prove they really are Homo SUPERIOR? What will happen to the X-Men when they fight for a world that wants to be them, rather than hate and fears them? And what exactly is Magneto doing running the Xavier institute??

FUTURE IMPERFECT - In the domain of Dystopia, the Hulk stands triumphant over the world’s heroes and villains. Now calling himself the Maestro and lording over all of Dystopia – his gamma-fisted tyranny knows no bounds! Yet the spark of rebellion still lives within these borders. A small, but fierce band of rebels still remains, willing give all in the name of freedom, even if it means their lives! Time to find out if Hulk really is the strongest one there is? With their backs to the wall, Ruby Summers and the rebels will seek out anyone who can stand against Maestro’s power. How does Odin factor into their strategy? What character in Maestro’s weight class will face off with him? And will the members of X-Factor survive the first issue?

GHOST RACERS - Welcome to the scorching hot track of the most popular arena on Battleworld – for the one and only spectacle known as the GHOST RACES! Enslaved and bound to the arena, cursed souls race at the speed of sin – anything and everything goes. The only rule? No rules! Friendships, loyalties and family bonds will be tested. All in the name of the top prize. Win the Ghost Races – earn temporary freedom from the Arena. But what happens to the unlucky and unholy losers? Robbie Reyes, Johnny Blaze, Danny Ketch, Alejandra Blaze and many, many more step into the arena for all-out, high-speed warfare. The stakes have never been higher as the most vicious Spirits of Vengeance ever do battle for they’re very souls!

GIANT-SIZE LITTLE MARVEL: AVX - It’s all-out war between the two biggest factions in the Marvel Universe! The toughest, craziest and most popularMarvel heroes are going to THROW DOWN on the surface of Battleworld. Featuring the likes of Cyclops, Hawkeye, Magik, Black Widow, Wolverine, Captain America and many, many more. They’re all here – just shorter!

GUARDIANS OF KNOWHERE - High above Battleworld floats the head of a dead Celestial, miraculously saved in the collapse of a universe. Now orbiting Battleworld as its solitary moon, Knowhere survives as a colony brimming with convicts and criminals. Yet amid this wretched hive of killers, thieves and thugs – there is hope. People who will stand and defend those within who cannot defend themselves – the Guardians of Knowhere! But mysteries abound in this head of a dead God. Suspended thousands of miles above Battleworld, a dangerous new foe stalks the alleys and corridors of this floating fortress. One who has set his crosshairs directly on the Guardians of Knowhere! Who is this new foe and what are they after? You’ll have to wait until June to find out. One thing is for certain – not everyone will walk out of Knowhere alive.

INFERNO - Welcome to the ruins of Manhattan, now ablaze with fire and brimstone. Five years ago, a band of demons rose out of the fiery depths and turned Manhattan in to Hell on Earth. The X-Men were all that stood in the way of complete and utter obliteration. The X-Men fought for survival…and the X-Men failed. Now, on this the fifth anniversary of the fall of Manhattan, Colossus is leading a small band of surviving mutants back into the Inferno. None of them know what resides on the other side of those flames but he knows one thing…he’s not coming back without his sister! Amidst the flames lie demons, ghouls and the Goblin Queen herself. Colossus and his team of Nightcrawler, Boom Boom and Domino will face them all in an effort to save Illyana. But can she be saved? Or has she already been lost? 

INFINITY GAUNTLET - Welcome to New Xandar, in the southern hemisphere of Battleworld. Once a beautiful city-state, an invasion from a neighboring zone has left it a barren post-apocalytpic mess. In this hellish wasteland, Anwen Bakian and her family struggle and claw to survive. Mom left years ago to join the Nova Force, and never came back. Now it’s just her, her dad, sister and grandfather – all alone in a realm dominated by giant killer insects. That is, until she finds a mysterious stone that may or may not unlock incredible cosmic power. Only, now she will find herself being hunted by those who seek the stone for their own – including the madman known as Thanos!

INHUMANS: ATTILAN RISING - Medusa, ruler of Attilan and Queen of the Inhumans, has been tasked with rooting out the rebels, and crushing their resistance beneath her steely tendrils of hair. Yet a chance encounter with the head of the insurgency will change everything. A man named – BLACK BOLT! And things are about to get complicated. The drums of war beat for the Inhuman nation. But when the dust clears, who will rise?

KORVAC SAGA - In the Forest Hills domain, Lord Michael Korvac governs over all, ruling with an iron fist. But not all is as it seems in his corner of Battleworld. Tensions run high with neighboring lord Simon Williams and his squad of Avengers. Full-scale war is all but assured. Korvac and his royal guard – the Guardians of the Galaxy – stand at the brink of destruction from within and without. Escalating border conflicts with rival lords and chaotic threats from beyond the Shield threaten all they hold dear. Worst of all, a dark madness is spreading through the population, twisting and manipulating residents of Forest Hills into monsters. Now, the classic Guardians of the Galaxy – Major Victory, Starhawk, Charlie-27, Yondu, Nikki and young Geena Drake must track down the source of this evil before it corrupts Forest Hills and all of Battleworld! Deadly threats lurk at every turn, both internal and external as their kingdom stands at the precipice. Even if they stem the coming darkness, will they be strong enough to repel Wonder Man and his Avengers?

MARVEL ZOMBIES - She is Elsa Bloodstone, one of the fiercest monster-hunters Battleworld has ever seen. Burdened with the task of keeping the zombie hordes to the south from rampaging through Battleworld, she patrols the borders from high atop the Shield. Day in and day out she fights and claws to keep the world safe, knowing that setting one foot into that hellish landscape means certain death. That is, until she spots a human girl among the corpses. Knowing what untold horrors await her on the other side, she flings herself into the shambling hordes. But once she’s in, she’ll have to fight her way out...

MASTER OF KUNG-FU - Welcome to K’un Lun, a land where the study of martial arts reigns supreme. In a world where everyone is a master of their craft, what becomes of the drunken, drop-out failure? Shang-Chi was the most prized student at the most prestigious of K’un Lun’s many martial arts schools. Now he’s a washed up has-been living on the streets. Cast out and forsaken by society, Shang-Chi will join other outcasts like him in a bid to dethrone the harsh and evil Emperor Zu. One problem – Zu is Shang-Chi’s father! Things are going to get messy.

M.O.D.O.K. ASSASSIN - In a world populated by the most fearsome thieves, murderers and ne’er-do-wells, there is one who is a HEAD above the rest! Enter, M.O.D.O.K.: The Mental Organism Designed Only for KILLING! Killville’s very own Merc with a Mouth is open for business! But his next job may be biting off more than he can chew…

MRS. DEADPOOL AND THE HOWLING COMMANDOS - Monster Metropolis – an underground city buried deep below Manhattan. Brimming with monsters, creeps and spooks – Monster Metropolis is home to any and all things that go bump in the night. And it’s undisputed ruler is SHIKLAH, Queen of all monsters! In her world, she ruled over Monster Metropolis and was married to Deadpool, the Merc With a Mouth. But on Battleworld, nothing is what it once was. With her husband deceased and her city now residing beneath an entirely new planet, Shiklah now leads a super team unlike any you’ve seen before! Enter the Howling Commandos – the most monstrous team of them all! Werewolf-by-Night! Frankenstein’s Monster! The Living Mummy! Man-Thing! And Marcus the Centaur! Set loose on this new planet, these five creatures of the night and their fearless leader are ready to enter the Secret Wars fray. What will happen? No one knows. But one thing is for certain – Battleworld won’t know what hit it!

OLD MAN LOGAN - Welcome back to the Wastelands, a land dominated by victorious super villains. The greatest heroes the world has ever known – butchered and murdered by their arch-enemies. Tyrants, terrors and madmen now rule over the dusty wastes with an iron fist. Hope left this land a long time ago. But there is one man who may yet make a difference. A man with nothing else to lose… Now, amidst the fury and chaos of Battleworld, a reluctant warrior pops his claws again and returns to combat. And the war for Battleworld begins in his own backyard. As the events of SECRET WARS unfold, will he find his life’s mission to rid the world of evil more attainable – or more impossible than ever before?

PLANET HULK - Enter Greenland, the territory in Battleworld’s barren northern hemisphere. With its unchecked population of wild Hulks – rampant and untold destruction are everywhere. No one dare venture to Greenland’s forbidden lands without the knowledge they’ll never return.Freed from the shackles of captivity, a battle-worn gladiator named Steve Rogers and his steadfast companion Devil Dinosaur are given what could be their last task. Together, they must journey deep behind enemy lines in search of a friend, held in the clutches of the Red King! An army of Hulks could not stand between these two and their warbound comrade – yet they will try! Axe and shield shall slash Hulk flesh and razor sharp teeth shall shatter Hulk bone in a desperate bid to recover what was lost. 

RUNAWAYS - The best and brightest teens from all corners of Battleworld are hand-picked to attend the most prestigious academy on the planet’s capital. Yet not all is as it seems within these hallowed halls. This esteemed educational establishment may just be grooming the next generation of super villains! What happens when the new class learns they’re on the fast track to evil and their headmaster is a diabolical super villain? RUN AWAY! Now, teenagers Molly Hayes, Jubilee, Bucky Barnes, Cloak & Dagger, Amadeus Cho, Skaar and a few new faces are striking out on their own -- taking on Battleworld, learning to deal with each other, and learning to deal with themselves. 

SECRET WARS 2099 - The patch-work surface of Marvel’s Secret Wars has now merged with Marvel 2099 and a new landscape has emerged as futuristic versions of your favorite characters, never-before-seen, make their first appearance and fold into the oncoming battle! Prepare to meet – the AVENGERS 2099 – Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Hercules! But in a world where megacorporations rule with an iron fist – what room is there for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes? The future stage has been forged and the Avengers are set to defend those who cannot protect themselves. But just who is the mysterious force opposing 2099’s Mightiest Heroes?

SECRET WARS: BATTLEWORLD - This issue – what happens when Dr. Strange possesses the Punisher? Meet the Sorcerer EXTREME! Only Spider-Man, Wolverine, the Hulk and Ghost Rider of this land can track this terrible two-in-one down. And things are going to get messy! Then, what happens when M.O.D.O.K. recruits every M.O.D.O.K. ever from across Battleworld for his evil scheme. I’ll give you a hint – F.I.G.H.T.!

SPIDER-VERSE - Their battle with Morlun and the Inheritors may be over, but the war is just heating up! Stranded on Battleworld a small band of universe-hopping heroes – Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Man: India, Spider-Girl, Spider-UK and Spider-Ham – will find themselves face to face with the horrors of Battleworld. How did they get here? What happened to their homes? What tragedy has befallen this region of Battleworld and how will these Spider-Men and Women deal with it? Amidst the horrors of the Secret Wars, six spider powered heroes stand alone. But here, united as one on the surface of Battleworld, are they here for a new beginning, or a grisly ending?

SQUADRON SINISTER - Hyperion, Nighthawk, Whizzer, Doctor Spectrum and Warrior Woman. Together they make up the deadliest team of villains Battleworld has ever seen. Lording over their domain of Utopolis, they dispense devastating justice to any and all in their path. But will controlling just Utopolis be enough to feed their lust for power? But threats from without and threats from within seek to undo everything Hyperion and his gang have built. Rulers from other domains mobilize against these superpowered aggressors. Devastating lies and secrets from within the Squadron itself may tear the team asunder. And seeds sown here bear bitter fruit for the future of the Marvel Universe. The measuring stick for evil just changed – and these five titans are it!

STAR-LORD AND KITTY PRYDE - The events of Secret Wars have brought these two together once more. Yet, hailing from entirely different realities, can these two-star crossed lovers reconcile their feelings for one another – even though they are not the ones they know?! Sure – if they don’t kill each other first! The Kitty Pryde from the Age of Apocalpyse domain learned a long time ago not to trust anyone. Especially strangers from other realities who claim to be her boyfriend! Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde are finally together in their own series! But are they TOGETHER together? The burgeoning romance of these two fan-favorite characters will be tested like never before on the surface of Battleworld. Will their love triumph across space and time? Or will the events of Secret Wars prove too much?

THORS - The chaos of Secret Wars requires a different kind of lawman. Welcome to the force. Whenever there’s trouble on Battleworld, the Thors answer the call. Gods of Thunder from every world, united in their quest to uphold the law. Keeping the peace, closing cases, and dispensing judgment with the crash of thunder and the crack of lightning! Yet when the Thors pick up a puzzling murder case on Battleworld, the rules change. And the entire corps is sent scrambling to find the murderer. But when some Thors begin asking the wrong questions, they’ll begin to pull at strings that could unravel the very fabric of reality! Throg the Frog of Thunder, Beta Ray Thor, Thor Stormborn and many, many more hammer wielders from across the Marvel Universe take center stage to mettle out a new kind of justice. Prepare yourselves for a hard-hitting Marvel Comics police drama the likes of which you’ve never seen before.

WEIRDWORLD - It is a world of swords, sorcery and all things bizarre. A land of gods and monsters. Where perverted science and arcane magic run rampant. It is Weirdworld, the land where lost things go. Among its twisted and crazed landscapes, a lone warrior walks unaided. He is ARKON, the barbarian king. With a sword in one hand and a battle bolt in the other, he ventures through Weirdworld on a dark and savage quest. A quest to find…home.

WHERE MONSTERS DWELL - Dogfights! Dinosaurs! Dames! Danger! This book has it all! Enter the Valley of Flame, Battleworld’s home to the deadliest creatures prehistory has to offer. Stranded amidst its Pterodactyl-filled skies? Karl Kaufman, the high-flying aerial ace known as the Phantom Eagle! Marooned in the Valley of Flame alongside socialite Clementine Franklin-Cox, he’ll face down dinosaurs, cannibals, and the worst that Battleworld has to offer from inside the cockpit of his biplane.

X-MEN 92' - Everyone's favorite version of the X-Men from the '90s is back! When Baron Kelly charges the Clear Mountain Project and it's mysterious new director with "mutant rehabilitation," it's up to the X-Men to investigate! PLUS: Free Range Sentinels?!?

X-TINCTION AGENDA - It has been ten years since the fall of Cameron Hodge and his fascist regime. Ten years that Havok and Wolfsbane have toiled and labored to rebuild Genosha into the proud mutant homeland it once was. But a decade removed from Hodge and his iron rule, their work may all be for naught. A plague has spread across the nation, infecting mutants and threatening their race with extinction. With all of Genosha quarantined and all but abandoned by the rest of the world, including the X-Men, old friends may become new enemies! Ask yourself – what lengths would you go to save your people? Havok and Wolfsbane will stop at nothing to save the people of Genosha – but have they doomed Earth in the process?

YEARS OF FUTURE PASTAmid the ravaged hellscape of Battleworld’s Sentinel Territories, armies of armored behemoths patrol the skies and streets. Their mission – exterminate all mutants! Amid the rubble walks Kate Pryde – mother, warrior, X-Man. A heroine tried and true and tested by war, she stokes the fires of revolution. Rebellion is in the air, and Kate Pryde will do anything to ensure the survival of her people – including breaking the remaining X-Men out of their military prison! But is she willing to risk everything, even her family?

I believe that brings you up to date on all the announced titles, excluding the "Last Days" titles which chronicle the "end" of the Marvel Universe as we know it and leads into the Battleworld stories. A run through Marvel's Interactive Map points out several more fan favorite eras crammed into this warring landscape! Highlights include:

     - Domain of Apocalypse- Age of Apocalypse timeline
     - The Regency - Spider-Man: One More Day timeline
     - King James' England - 1602 timeline
     - New Quack City -'s Howard the Duck.
     - The Warzone - Civil War timeline
     - Manhattan - The interesting thing here being it exists half in the 616 (or primary Marvel Universe in modern comics) and the 1610 (or "Ultimate" Marvel Universe), with a monster underground!
     - The Monarchy of M - House of M timeline

Pointless demands I feel the need to make:
   - Marvel 66 - Marvel's 1966 Cartoon Series timeline
   - Spidey's Amazing Manhattan - Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends timeline
   - Liefeldia - A world populated by supers with enormous chests and itty, bitty feet. ..and lots of pouches
   - The Stadium - A scorched landscape where King SuperPro forces gladiators to Football each other to death
   - Orange County - A seemingly idyllic city where Captain Citrus protects those who give him orange juice
   - Amalgam Nation - No one ever wants to go here. NO ONE.
Things kick off this June with plenty of lead up story lines until the big "END" event, so start digging in now and save your cash for this onslaught of insanity! Speaking of Onslaught... ~ducks~

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