Marvel’s Secret Wars Ending Explained

Marvel's Secret Wars ending is discussed by some of the people responsible. And what happened to the Fantastic Four, anyway?

Secret Wars writer Jonathan Hickman and editor Tom Brevoort sat down with Comic Book Resources to look back at Secret Wars now that the final issue has hit stands. Despite numerous attestations by Brevoort in the interview that it is “unspoilable,” be forewarned: We are going to spoil the HELL out of Secret Wars #9 below.

The interview covers a lot of ground about his time with Marvel and his work on Avengers, Fantastic Four, and Secret Wars, but much of the first third of the chat was spent heaping (deserved) praise on the art team on Secret Wars. “If we’re being completely fair, any volume of praise about my writing on Secret Wars should absolutely be dwarfed by that regarding the artwork of Esad [Ribic] and Ive [Svorcina],” Hickman said.

Since the live action rights to Daredevil reverted to Marvel, and since the deal between Sony and Disney to share custody of Spider-Man, speculation has flooded the internet about Marvel adjusting its publishing strategy to synergize their comic line with their movie properties, people think they’re cancelling comics to spite the film studios who have rights to some of their properties. This always seemed exceedingly petty, and even moreso after reading the final issue of Secret Wars, which ends with the family literally at the center of the Marvel Universe: Reed, Sue, Franklin, Val, Molecule Man, and the Future Foundation using Reed’s accumulated Beyonder power to recreate the multiverse one universe at a time.

Brevoort compared Reed and Sue’s status to that of Thor after Avengers: Disassembled, saying that Thor is better both creatively and sales-wise than it was before it took a break, and “[i]f the same sort of thing happens with Fantastic Four that would not be the worst thing in the world.” Acknowledging the inevitability of serialized publishing, he said “…the future will inevitably and invariably get to a point where we’ll see more of Reed, Sue, Franklin, Val, Dragon Man, and the Future Foundation.“

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The duo also addressed the scene with Black Panther and the Time Gem from the end of the issue. In it, T’Challa uses the Infinity Gem to travel back to a scene from New Avengers #1, and completely reframes Wakanda to set up the new status quo for Al Ewing and Kenneth Rocafort’s Ultimates. “The point of it, though, was to get T’Challa back to where he was in New Avengers #1, so he could act as an advocate for doing things a better way. To carry the weight of it,” said Hickman.

Nitpicky aside: is that how the Time Gem works? ::I push my glasses up the bridge of my nose::

I suppose if time in the Marvel Universe isn’t a constant, but a subjective force of the universe, then it would make a great deal of sense for the Time Gem to move users through their own personal conception of the timeline. There would be no absolute, objective timestream to move through, so it would not be a plot hole and I would not be deserving of a no-prize for pointing out that fact, despite the creation of Battleworld and the collapse of the multiverse severing each individual reality from its own past. Please tell me that I am wrong and show your work in the comments.

And despite the sense of finality that comes from ending a story that’s spanned 4000 pages and seven years and from taking the First Family of the Marvel Universe off the board, Hickman isn’t quite done with Marvel yet. He mentioned that he will be wrapping up the final two issues of SHIELD, and he and Brevoort were both quite cryptic about future plans with the company. So, like the end of any good serial fiction, stay tuned…