Over the past few decades, Marvel has been well-known for their many crossover events. Several of these crossovers share the same name, acting as some kind of “Secret War” in one capacity or another.
Here are all five of Marvel’s different “Secret Wars,” including what happened and how they impacted the overall Marvel landscape.
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars
Marvel’s first Secret War was depicted in 1984’s Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1-12, by Jim Shooter, Mike Zeck, Bob Layton, John Beatty, Jack Abel, Mike Esposito, Christie Scheele, Nelson Yomtov and Joe Rosen. In this event, a mysterious being called the Beyonder transported a group of heroes and villains to a patchwork planet called Battleworld.
There, the Beyonder told both groups to slay their enemies, and their greatest desires would be theirs. The ensuing war resulted in plenty of battles, alliances and betrayals. Doctor Doom eventually stole the Beyonder’s power, before the heroes, and the Beyonder, worked together to defeat him. This event had major repercussions, such as introducing Spider-Man’s black suit, leaving the Thing on Battleworld and having She-Hulk join the Fantastic Four.
Secret Wars II
This 1985 sequel, Secret Wars II, was created by Shooter, Al Milgrom, Steve Leialoha, Josef Rubinstein, Christie Scheele, Many Hands, Max Scheele, Julianna Ferriter, Joe Rosen and Rick Parker. Secret Wars II focused more heavily on the Beyonder, bringing him to Earth as he took on human form.
Throughout the event, the Beyonder tried to understand humanity and find his purpose. This mini-series also crossed over into many ongoing titles, as the Beyonder interacted with Marvel’s biggest heroes in an attempt to find his path. Yet whether he helped others, sought pleasure, or even tried to take over the world, the Beyonder was never satisfied. Eventually, the Beyonder’s mortal form was destroyed by the Molecule Man, while his energies were transported to a new universe.
Secret Wars III
The final chapter in the “Secret Wars” trilogy took place in 1988’s Fantastic Four #318-319, by Steve Englehart, Keith Pollard, Joe Sinnott, George Roussos and John Workman. In this two-part adventure, Doctor Doom and the Fantastic Four traveled to the Beyonder’s universe so Doom could learn his secrets and regain memories that the Beyonder took from him.
Upon their arrival, Doom and the Fantastic Four witnessed the Beyonder battling Kubik and the Shaper of Worlds, before the Molecule Man intervened and helped the powerful being learn his origins. Discovering that he was the product of a faulty Cosmic Cube, connected to the Molecule Man’s power, the Beyonder agreed to merge with the Molecule Man, so he could become whole again.
This 2004 event, by Brian Michael Bendis, Gabriele Dell’Otto and Cory Petit, was the first “Secret War” with no connection to the previous storyline. This story centered around Nick Fury’s covert assault on Latveria and its new ruler, Lucia Von Bardas. Apparently, Von Bardas was supplying technology for lower-level supervillains.
Fury led a group of Marvel heroes into Latveria, resulting in an unauthorized strike with disastrous consequences. A year later, Von Bardas returned with an army of supervillains, attacking New York in retaliation. This event ultimately led to Nick Fury’s disappearance over the next few years, and his ousting as director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Secret Wars (2015)
This 2015 event was the culmination of years of storytelling, erupting in Secret Wars, by Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribc, Ive Svorcina, Chris Eliopoulos and Clayton Cowles. Secret Wars began with the destruction of the multiverse, as Earth-616 and the Ultimate Universe were destroyed.
From the ashes came Battleworld, a patchwork planet made up of several different worlds across the multiverse. This world was created by Doctor Doom, who stole the power of the Beyonders and became God Emperor Doom. Only a few heroes managed to escape the multiversal destruction, taking a stand against Doom. This resulted in an epic battle between Reed Richards and Doctor Doom, ending in the restoration of the multiverse.
Overall, there have been many different “Secret Wars” across Marvel history. While they all share similar names, each has had its own unique storyline and impact on the Marvel Universe.
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