Big superhero events are always marketed with promises of permanent status quo changes and shocking developments. The problem is, nobody believes that any more.
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The final issue of Marvel's everything-changing event series bids farewell to the fictional father figure of its superhero reality. Reed Richards doesn't exit the stage quite the way we've been led to believe, either.
There are lots of Spider-people in the Marvel Universe right now. But only two of them call themselves Spider-Man. One, of course, is the newly-rich Peter Parker, originator of the wall-crawler identity. The other is an alternate-reality successor to the Spider-mantle named Miles Morales. This week, we see Miles play a pivotal role in the last superhero battle of the Ultimate Universe.
Superheroes fight each other all the time. Usually, they get over it and pound the real bad guys into the ground. But in the new Civil War comic, which is an alternate-reality continuation of a 2006 Marvel crossover of the same name, Captain America and Iron Man are ready to do some real messed-up things. Like plotting to take away other superheroes' powers.
Ever since yesterday, Marvel's been talking about how the next version of their superhero universe will look a whole lot different. And a new teaser image gives a glimpse of even more changes, including a female Wolverine. Time to put on our thinking caps, true believers.
Eight years ago, in a Marvel Universe far, far away, Spider-Man was married. Then Marvel editorial had him make a deal with the devil -- a villain called Mephisto -- and he wasn't a husband anymore, like it had never happened. It was stupid. People hated it. This week, Marvel's teasing fans with the a world where that bonehead move never happened.
The Marvel Universe we knew is dead. In its place is a new gestalt planet, stitched together from pieces of the preceding multiverse by the all-powerful will of Dr. Doom. This week, we'll get our first real glimpses of the realms that make up Battleworld.
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?