Marvel Studios Phase 6: What is Secret Wars?

Last Updated: 31/08/2022

In a flurry of exciting announcements from Marvel Studios, Avengers: Secret Wars was announced at San Diego Comic Con 2022 (SDCC), which left Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and comic fans in a frenzy! Based on the much-loved comic storyline from 1984 Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars, it seems like we’re going to see the most action-packed outing for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to date. But why is this adaptation so anticipated by Marvel Fans? We’re going back to the past to see what makes this unique comic run so fondly remembered by fans.

Marvel Comics

In 1984, Marvel Bigwig and editor-in-chief Jim Shooter announced Secret Wars in February to promote the then-upcoming line of Marvel Action Figures from Mattel Toys. The working title for this run of comics was originally known as “Cosmic Champions” before being revised as Secret Wars. We think the latter title adds a lot of intrigue for first-time readers!

So what happens in this comic crossover of cosmic proportions? Strap in, because this is where it gets interesting!

What is Secret Wars about?

A cosmic entity called The Beyonder closely watches over the Marvel Universe (Earth 616) and is fascinated by the presence of heroes and villains on Earth. He decides to whisk away some of the Earth’s greatest heroes and the most nefarious villains to a deserted planet called Battleworld against their will, and watches which side will come out triumphant in an all-out battle between good and evil.

The heroes taken include Spider-Man, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Thor, Hawkeye, Iron Man and She-Hulk, alongside the Fantastic Four (More like Fantastic Three as Sue Storm isn’t part of this adventure) and Members of the X-Men.

On the villains team, we have Doctor Doom, Doc Ock, Ultron, Titania (who appeared most recently in Disney Plus’s She-Hulk), and most notably, in this case, Kang the Conqueror as well as a host of others.

Both heroes and villains are given warring factors, including bases, weapons, and alien technology scattered around the planet. It’s now up to our heroes (and villains) to fight in the Secret Wars and more importantly, find a way out of the Beyonder’s twisted game.

This run of 12 issues became one of the most memorable comic book crossovers of all time, What was conceived to promote an upcoming toy line became a massively celebrated comic event which is still talked about today, paving the way for other Marvel crossovers like Infinity Gauntlet, House of M and Civil War.

Secret Wars also gave us our first look at a Spider-Man infused with the infamous Symbiote. That’s right, one of the most memorable sequences from the comic is the first appearance of Spider-Man’s black suit, although Venom would make his first appearance 4 years later!

Marvel Comics

What to check out before watching Avengers: Secret Wars

Speaking of Spider-Man, we also got to see Secret Wars adapted for the final season of Spider-Man the Animated Series from the 90’s The outlined plot remains the same, except The Beyonder is joined by Madame Web and the conflict is caused to see who would be the strongest to take on the multiversal threat known as Spider-Carnage. It’s seriously impressive that the series managed to combine Secret Wars and Spider-Man’s Clone Saga to form the final series and finale of this awesome animated series.

Secret Wars 2 and Secret Wars 2015

Secret Wars was so popular with Marvel’s comic reading audience, a sequel was given the greenlit, and in 1985, Secret Wars 2 continued the story over 9 issues. Secret Wars 2 continues to follow the Beyonder’s fascination of heroes and villains. Instead of being based in Battleworld, it’s set up on Earth and shows the Beyonder becoming obsessed with human activity and gadgets.

In 2015, Marvel had another crack at retelling the story of Secret Wars for modern audiences and tied it in with the Time Runs Out storyline running through the Avengers comics at the time. This time around, The hero lineup consisted of Mr. Fantastic, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Miles Morales, and yes, even Sue Storm gets to join the fray! Joining the villain’s team, Doc Ock and Doctor Doom return, and we even have Thanos joining the fight!

Marvel Comics

What will we see in MCU’s Avengers: Secret Wars?

While we still have no idea how the movie adaptation of this almighty battle will go down, it does leave us with a few questions. Which Avengers will be featured in Secret Wars? Will this be The Beyonder’s introduction to the MCU? What if the MCU’s multiversal take on Kang the Conqueror will craft his own Battleworld for our heroes and villains to fight in? And will Tom Holland’s Spidey swing into battle in a swanky new black suit? (we know a bit of symbiote is slithering around the MCU right now!)

For now, we can only predict how this crazy crossover will play out on our cinema screens as Marvel Studio’s Phase 6 will conclude with Avengers Secret Wars in November 2025.

If you’re looking for products inspired by your favourite characters, check out our range of Marvel Funko Pops and merchandise today.

Last Updated: 31/08/2022

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Sam Buckton

Sam Buckton

Writer and expert

Movie lover, Comic conneseur and collector of plastic tat, check out my toy photography blog on Instagram! @sbtoyphotography