The original Marvel Universe, created more than five decades ago, is coming to a close. Newsarama reports that at a live Secret Wars Kick-Off press event in New York, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso and Senior Vice President of Publishing and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort said that “the upcoming eight-issue limited series Secret Wars will represent the end of both the Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe.” During Secret Wars, the Marvel Universe and Ultimate Universe will reportedly “smash together,” so that by the time of the Secret Wars mini-series, only bits and pieces from each will survive, resulting in a newly merged comics universe known as Battleworld. “Once we hit Secret Wars #1, there is no Marvel Universe, Ultimate Universe, or any other. It’s all Battleworld,” Brevoort said.
Responding to a question about this being a “reboot” of Marvel’s timeline, akin to DC’s own from a few years back, Alonso said, “We are taking the best and biggest pieces of it and seeing how easily they coexist with one another. We don’t expect all our moves to make everyone happy, but we think it will make for a really fascinating read through Secret Wars and beyond.” They also strongly suggested that the rebirth could allow for infinite possibilities, even bringing back long-gone characters. “If we wanted to resurrect Gwen Stacy,” Alonso said, “this would be the place to do it.”
Stan Lee created the Marvel Universe in the early ’60s with titles like The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, and The Amazing Spider-Man. But even he appears at peace with his creation’s ultimate demise, saying that it’s “probably a good idea.” He tells Newsarama, “Of course I have an emotional attachment to the original Marvel Universe, because I was so involved in it. But that doesn’t mean I expect it to be that way forever. It might be better under this new approach. I’m eager to see what might happen.”