The Marvel Universe is going to be changing in a big way this year, although it's not quite clear yet just how significant those shifts will be. Still, now's a perfect time to fantasise about what might happen after the publisher's next crossover. Like maybe Miles Morales as the main Spider-Man?
During a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, senior vice president of publishing Tom Brevoort and editor-in-chief Alex Alonso talked about the company's upcoming Secret Wars event, describing it as something that will significantly alter Marvel's publishing offerings. Marvel's not calling it a reboot and the collective understanding right now is that it will be a patchwork quilt consisting of past continuity and status quo changes for various characters and concepts. That makes sense as Secret Wars will be a clash between the denizens of various alternate realities. "It's more than the Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe," it's all the universes you can imagine," Alonso said. "That is the Marvel Universe going forward."
Alonso and Brevoort also said that some of the books being published during Secret Wars will be laying the foundation for the next iteration of the Marvel Universe. Some of these have been announced, with a throwback X-Men book, a title with a married Peter Parker and a face-off between the Avengers and X-Men among them. While those will likely be mini-series, it seems that at least one new ongoing title — All-New, All-Different Avengers — has been teased already, the first of doubtless many marketing efforts to come in the next few weeks.
A few mentions were made of co-ordinating the new iteration of the Marvel Universe across the company's divisions, which of course includes the entertainment arm responsible for successes in the realms of film and TV. With Marvel's upcoming film slate already announced, it seems entirely likely that they will be working to raise the profiles of the characters who'll be headlining those movies.
But there's still a lot that readers don't know about what's coming. And, foolish as it may be, we can fill that space with our hopes and dreams. Does the X-Men '92 book mean that we'll see a resurrection for Professor X? Will May Parker make a comeback as Spider-Girl as result of Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows? We've got our own editorial predictions and desires here at Kotaku. Here's what we'd like to see happen in the next Marvel Universe:
The Sub-Mariner as a prime mover
He appears in the first issue of the first Marvel comic ever. He's been a king, a villain and a member of both the Avengers and the X-Men. But Namor hasn't felt central to the Marvel Universe in a while. The closest he's come has been his membership in the Illuminati, which culminated in lethal fashion in recent issues of Avengers. If there's a Sub-Mariner after the coming shake-up, events in those books could give Namor reason to become a full-on, surface-world-hating villain again.
An ongoing Black Panther title
The stars seem to be perfectly aligned for another regular series for the ruler of Wakanda: he's got a destroyed kingdom to rebuild, has been front-and-center for advent of the cataclysmic events that will re-shape reality and will showing up onscreen in the next wave of Marvel superhero movies. Granted he's one of my favourite characters, but it seems like a no-brainer to put T'Challa back in the spotlight after Secret Wars is over.
Ascendance for the Inhumans
For decades, when Marvel wanted a quick and easy way to explain why someone had superpowers, they'd make them a mutant. But, now new superheroes like Ms. Marvel are being created as Inhumans. Speculation points at the fact that Marvel wants to totally own the multimedia possibilities of its new creations, with X-Men-related movie rights at Fox for the foreseeable future. This could mean an even more prominent place on the Earth that's coming. They're the result of alien experiments and have always been freakier than mutants. If they become a bigger part of the Marvel Universe, it might wind up feel even more unpredictable.
Miles Morales as the main Spider-Man
If Marvel really wants to surprise people, they will retire Peter Parker as their main web-slinger and officially give the web-shooters to his Ultimate Universe successor. The Renew Your Vows series might just leave us with a married Spider-Man who's a dad, one who might see a responsibility to both mentor Miles and keep his family safe by hanging up the webs. It's a longshot to be sure but one that could happen since Miles' creator Brian Michael Bendis is one of Marvel's top writers.
A smart Hulk
There's been an intelligent version of the Green Goliath rampaging through recent Marvel stories of late. Historically, there have been periods where Bruce Banner's intelligence steers the unstoppable strength of the Hulk. A post-Secret-Wars universe with a Hulk that's tougher to outfight and out-think would be an even more dangerous one.
Surely, much of what follows Secret Wars has been planned already. Don't let that stop you from dreaming, though! What big, unlikely do-this-just-for-me changes do you hope Marvel might pull? Sound off in the comments below.