Marvel Comics announced today that the upcoming eight-issue Secret Wars series marks the end of the Marvel Universe as it has existed since its inception in 1961.
Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso and Senior Vice President of Publishing and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort made the announcement, with Brevoort saying that “Once we hit Secret Wars No. 1, there is no Marvel Universe, Ultimate Universe, or any other. It's all Battleworld.
“The Marvel universe will be Battleworld, and every single piece of those worlds will be building blocks for the universe,” Alonso added.
Brevoort had previously said that this massive new universe was going to be on a ridiculously large scale. “However massive you think this is, let me assure you it is bigger than that,” he said. “It's by far the craziest thing I've dealt with.”
Secret Wars will be one of the most ambitious, layered projects Marvel has ever had. It will feature side series, miniseries, and even interactive maps just to figure out where the hell your favorite characters are. After the series is released this May, the comic book world as you know it will never be the same.
UPDATE: The OG himself Stan Lee has commented on this end of the era, and he actually sounds pretty cool with it. "It’s probably good," Lee told Newsarama. "Anything they do that’s unexpected and different usually captures the attention of the fans. People will want to follow it to see what happens and where it will lead. Marvel cannot keep doing the same stories over and over again. You always have to come up with new angles and new approaches to things. I think it’s probably a good idea. It sounds intriguing to me."