Marvel’s Next Avengers Movie Could Shock Fans With a Historic MCU First
Avengers: Secret Wars may be a faithful adaptation of its universe-destroying source material.
Marvel’s Multiverse Saga feels like it’s just getting started, but many fans are already anticipating the end. The latest story arc is set to end with a highly-anticipated team-up, Avengers: Secret Wars, and while little is known about the film or even what heroes will line up for the Avengers, there’s been plenty of speculation.
Secret Wars may be one of Marvel Comics’ most talked-about storylines; it’s been an on-and-off influence for the past 40 years. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has been characteristically coy about the version of the story he means to adapt for the screen, but many fans assume the Avengers flick will most resemble Jonathan Hickman’s 2015 telling of Secret Wars. It seems like the safest bet in terms of story quality, though Hickman’s loftier concepts might be hard to embrace in live-action.
If Marvel insider Joanna Robinson’s sources are to be believed, however, Feige may be aiming for a truly faithful adaptation of Secret Wars... one that could reset the entire universe.
Robinson recently sat down with The Ringer podcast The Watch to discuss the future of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. As the author of MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, she’s more familiar with the franchise than most, enough so to speculate on Feige’s plans for the Multiverse Saga.
“We have a quote from Kevin Feige sort of implying that Secret Wars will serve as a soft reboot in which they can prune everything,” Robinson said. “[They’ll] prune everything that’s not working and just keep what is [working], or bring back people you thought were gone forever.”
Such a reset might be surprising, but there is a precedent for it. In Hickman’s Secret Wars comic run, the Marvel Universe as most knew it was destroyed, and later became a part of a realm called Battleworld. The characters from Marvel’s main continuity came face-to-face with those from the spinoff Ultimate universe, among others, and when the universe was later remade, they all came together in one timeline. Secret Wars made it possible for Miles Morales to jump into the main continuity, and the MCU version of events could do the same for heroes and villains from other properties.
Secret Wars could open the door for any character associated with the MCU. If Feige truly means to reset the universe, he could invite fan favorites back for good without working around Marvel’s intricate continuity rules. Anything is fair game, from Sony’s Spidey-adjacent universe to the street-level Netflix shows. The path would even be set for actors who have left the franchise and characters who have been knocked off. If some actors don’t want to return, we could see Iron Man or Captain America portrayed by different people, which could be a fun exercise.
Feige may also use Secret Wars to put Marvel’s biggest property center stage. Now that the studio has the means to integrate mutants into the MCU, it would make sense to reboot the universe with them as the focus. It would be the best way to wash away a decade’s worth of speculation, not to mention Marvel’s failed attempt to replace mutants with Inhumans. Resetting the multiverse could be just the solution the MCU needs, and it’s more or less in line with recent comments from Feige.
“Even after 32 movies, it feels like we’ve barely scratched the surface,” Feige recently told Variety. That’s technically true, as the MCU is only just beginning to expand into corners of the multiverse that were once considered unadaptable. But Marvel has been fighting an uphill battle against franchise fatigue for nearly five years now; maybe the only way to grow would be to start with a clean slate.