Marvel Comics has finally cleared up what's happening with the Ultimate Comics line and all those pesky parallel dimensions within Secret Wars Battleworld.
Spoiler Warning: This article contains possible spoilers for Secret Wars #1.
Remember last year, when Marvel Comics teased a potential reboot for its long-running universe? After months of hints, build-up, and parallel Spider-Man universes, the big picture has officially been made clear. The short version: When Secret Wars #1 launches, the Marvel Comics and Ultimate Universe lines will merge as part of a new continuity with massive implications for future storylines.
That's a lot to unpack, so here's the long version. When Marvel first kicked off its Marvel Now launch, New Avengers introduced its biggest plot hook: Due to some cosmic incident, parallel Earths were literally breaking through dimensional boundaries and smashing into each other. The only seemingly possible solution to prevent disaster was if one Earth was destroyed first, prompting Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panter, Namor, and Black Bolt to consider using weapons of mass destruction to save their own world.
Skip ahead a couple of years to Secret Wars #1 and the threat of parallel planetary annihilation is still underway, but with a twist - the latest Earth threatening disaster is the Ultimate Universe, a secondary Marvel Comics canon that brought us Miles Morales and the Samuel Jackson Nick Fury archetype. But instead of destroying each other, the traditional Marvel canon (called Earth 616) and the Ultimate heroes decide to try working together to save both worlds. Not only do they fail, but the resulting chaos forges the remaining Marvel Earths into a single planet, the new Battleworld.
Secret Wars will tell the story of Battleworld, but once it's finished, the Marvel Earth will be permanently altered. Anything that was once part of a "What If" storyline, like Age of Apocalypse or Marvel Zombies is a potential fixture of the ongoing Marvel Universe. "Every single piece of this world is a building block for the Marvel Universe moving forward," Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso confirmed. "None of these stories are Elseworlds or What Ifs or alternative reality stories. They're not set in the past or the future; they're not set in an alternative reality, they're set in the reality of the Marvel Universe, and all of them will have legs. The stories will not end and you'll go, 'well, phew, that's over' - They will import new things into the Marvel Universe moving forward."
The exact nature of these changes probably won't be fully understood until Secret Wars ends, but we can make some educated guesses. With the Ultimate Universe probably coming to a close, that likely means its canon will merge with Earth 616 at a minimum, including fan favorites like Miles "Ultimate Spider-Man" Morales. Otherwise there's all kinds of potential. Perhaps Magneto will keep control of his House of M territory, or Age of Apocalypse will wage war with Doctor Doom's Latveria. But considering Secret Wars #2's cover, which can be best described as "a whole lot of Mjolnir's"? The canon moving forward could take any direction Marvel wants.
Heck, maybe it'll just be the Marvel Cinematic Universe at the end. Who knows?
Source: Comics Alliance