Marvel Still Needs To Explain Secret Wars’ Biggest Mystery – 8 Years Later

Explain Secret Wars

Eight years after its conclusion, Marvel Comics’ Explain Secret Wars event still leaves many questions to be answered, the most important one being which Marvel characters actually remember the destruction of the Multiverse brought by the Beyonders’ Incursions and the following rebirth of creation in its new iteration, the Eighth Cosmos.

In 2015, Marvel launched the second event in its history titled Secret Wars, which brought to conclusion a very long storyline, developed chiefly in the pages of several Avengers titles. Every reality in the Multiverse was destroyed by a series of cosmic cataclysms called Incursions, created by the mysterious and all-powerful creatures called Beyonders. In the end, after the last two universes were destroyed, Doctor Doom managed to steal the Beyonders’ power and salvage fragments from many universes, creating a patchwork world called Battleworld. Victor’s rule as God Emperor Doom was interrupted by Reed Richards, who took the Beyonders’ power for himself and, with the help of his son Franklin and of the Molecule Man, recreated the entire Multiverse, ushering in its new incarnation, called Eighth Cosmos.

In this new Multiverse, heralded by the All-New, All-Different line of titles, the Marvel heroes were reborn with no memories of the Incursions or of Battleworld, with a few notable exceptions. The Fantastic Four remember as they are responsible for kickstarting the new Multiverse. Doom also remembers because he held the Beyonders’ power, as confirmed in the Infamous Iron Man series. A few more characters with superior cosmic awareness, such as Blue Marvel, are aware that something happened, an event of “multiversal renewal”, whose exact nature however escapes them (as confirmed in 2015’s The Ultimates). Other characters have had glimpses, brief flashbacks, or déjà vu of their previous lives, but without grasping the full implications. Besides that, Marvel purposefully left everything vague, which creates a lot of unnecessary confusion, even eight years later. ( Explain Secret Wars )

The major issue is that it’s not clear how much of the past history of the characters who were reborn in the new Multiverse coincides with their history in the Seventh Cosmos. The most famous example is the relationship between Captain America and Iron Man. During the Incursions, these two ended up drifting apart and becoming bitter enemies. Their last act while the universe collapsed around them was to fight each other ruthlessly. In the Eighth Cosmos they have no memory of this (as well as of the Incursions), however, they remember other parts of their past. At the same time, it’s not like the Incursions and Secret Wars were the only events erased. For example, Iron Man’s inversion of morality caused by the Axis event was also canceled, even if it happened long before Secret Wars.

The purpose of Secret Wars and All-New, All-Different Marvel was to relaunch the entire House of Ideas line, rejuvenating its stories and characters to help new readers get started. However, because a “full reset” would have met with a huge backlash from longtime fans, Marvel opted for this mixed approach that ended up tangling its continuity further, especially for characters who already had a history of retcons, such as Spider-Man. This decision also erased some really compelling storylines, such as Iron Man and Captain America’s bitter feud. Overall, while the relaunch that followed Secret Wars was indeed successful, Marvel Comics still needs to explain the exact consequences that the recreation of the Multiverse had for its characters.

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