Much like the summer tentpole movies of the film industry or Q4 in gaming, comics also have a blockbuster up their sleeves with annual event comics. From Infinite Crisis to Age Of Ultron, these events have been built up over years before exploding with a limited series and a bazillion tie-in comics. You can trace all of this back to 1984 and Secret Wars, the first such event comic. And now, Marvel is rebooting that series. Along with a few more as well for good measure.
Quick history lesson: Secret Wars was a 12 issue tale written by Jim Shooter and backed up with smooth artwork by Mike Zeck. It pitted various heroes such as the Avengers, the X-Men, Spider-Man and many more against a team of equal but more villainous might in the form of Ultron, Doctor Doom, the Wrecking Crew, the Molecule Man and a ton more.
What made it great, was that the story was simple enough, as it was needed to sell some toys. The heroes and villains were transported to Battleworld by a being of godlike power known only as the Beyonder, and forced to battle one another in order to find a way home. It’s also a fantastic series, because it had genuine ramifications, such as Spidey getting his trademark back in black suit that was actually the Venom symbiote and Doctor Doom proving why he might be the most dangerous being alive when he successfully managed to steal the power of the Beyonder.
Secret Wars is essentially the Jaws of comic book events. The genesis that set the stage for future events across not only Marvel, but all the other big publishers in comic books today. And 30 years later, it’s making a comeback. Announced at the New York Comic Con, the new Secret Wars will have Jonathan Hickman on writing duties, with the superb art of Esad Ribic backing up the prose. “This worked out for us pretty well a long time ago,” Marvel’s President and Publisher of print, TV and digital Dan Buckley said at the event via CBR, explaining how Hickman’s current run on Avengers and New Avengers from 2012 had set the tale up.
We’ve been sitting on this for a very long time. When Jonathan brought this to us, we had an opportunity to just not celebrate this in publishing, so we’re going to be extending this in a year-long program into 2016 with our merchandising partners, digital partners and other partners.
It’s not the only classic comic book tale that’s getting revisited. Prepare for a lot more time trips:
And all of this, tying into Secret Wars which is tripping its way through various dimensions and timelines. I haven’t been bowled over by an event comic for quite a while now. In fact, the last one that really made sit up and take notice was most likely Civil War itself. But Secret Wars sounds massive. Like Crisis on Infinite Earths massive. It’s out next year.
Last Updated: October 28, 2014