According to Charles Soule, Secret Wars will resurrect the Marvel Comics Civil War from a parallel universe where the battle never stopped.
Hey, remember when Civil War was being re-released as a Secret Wars promotion? Did you ever wonder how that made any sense, since Civil War was part of Marvel's history? Well, Marvel Comics has been shedding some details of what's planned, and it seems the new series fits into Secret Wars parallel dimension smorgasbord after all - specifically, thanks to an alternate Earth where the war never ended.
"It takes the premise of the original [Civil War]-a super hero-focused internal battle-and expands it out to deliver on the promise of the title," writer Charles Soule explained. "In this new story, the Civil War has been going on for a long time, and it involves all of us-the entire country-not just the super heroes."
The original Civil War - written by Mark Millar with art from Steve McNiven - was a 2006 comics event where Marvel's superhero community made a choice: Reveal their secret identities or be treated as illegal vigilantes. The storyline turned former allies against each other, most notably Iron Man and Captain America, and had ramifications for the next half-decade of Marvel storylines.
In the regular Marvel continuity, Civil War had a clearly defined end - when Captain America surrendered. But in the Battleworld version, that finale never occurred. Instead the entire country was dragged into a prolonged conflict until the events of Secret Wars mashed its universe into all of the others. That being said, Soule intends for his version of Civil War to be a standalone story that be read independently of the larger storyline.
"The story is located in a nation on the Battleworld called the Warzone," Soule continued. "That spot is pretty isolated from the rest of Battleworld, and there are story reasons for that, which you'll see. It was important to me to write a story that could work either as an independent book-whether you're reading Secret Wars or not, or even if you've never read the original Civil War-or as part of the larger story. That was a tricky thing to pull off, but I think it works."
That distinction will likely be an important one, especially for movie fans who will only know about Civil War through the upcoming Captain America film. Soule is also hoping to bring his own spin to Civil War's themes that stand apart from Millar and the MCU's versions.
"I wanted to comment on today's world in a way that hopefully resonates a bit with readers in the same way the original did almost 10 years ago," Soule said. "In some ways, the world is a very different place; and in others, the same. We're still arguing over security vs. freedom, and those themes are still present in my book. However, I wanted to comment more specifically on the idea of perpetual war; how years upon years of war can change the people fighting, both on the front lines and at home, and what it does to the leaders. For better or worse, this is my story-I didn't want to just repeat what we've seen before, as great as that was."
But if you just want to read about superheroes pounding the tar out of each other? Well, that will be in Civil War too. "Without a doubt, it's the biggest thing I've ever done as far as story-scale. Lord of the Rings-style battles, almost every character you saw in the original Civil War plus more."
The Secret Wars Civil War series is expected to launch this June.