Secret Wars #1

Issue Date: 
July 2015
Story Title: 
The End Times

Jonathan Hickman (writer), Esad Ribic (artist), Ive Scorcina (colorist), Chris Eliopolous (letterer), Alex Ross (cover artist) , Simone Bianchi & Simone Peruzzi, Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor, John Tyler Christopher, Amanda Connor & Paul Mounts, Butch Guice & Andy Troy, Esad Ribic &, Skottie Young, Chip Zdarsky (alternate covers), Idette Wincour (production), Jon Moisan & Alana Smith (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort & Wil Moss, (editors), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Dr. Doom, flanked by Dr. Strange and the Molecule Man, faces the Beyonders. On Earth 616 and Earth 1610, the final incursion takes place. Egged on by their Reed Richards and the Cabal, SHIELD from 1610 sends helicarriers and their Iron Man to attack the other Earth. The heroes from 616 respond in kind or try to help people. The Fantastic Four, the Black Panther and some other heroes try to evacuate scientists with their life raft. When the evacuation plane is destroyed, the Avenger called Manifold teleports in substitutes, namely Captain Marvel, Star-Lord, Thor, Spider-Man, who leave on the life raft along with the Fantastic Four, the Future Foundation and the Black Panther. Cyclops opens the Phoenix Egg, becomes one with its power and teleports aboard as well. In the meantime on Earth 1610, another liferaft takes off with evil Reed Richards, the Cabal and stowaway Miles Morales. The two universe are destroyed and the heroes’ life raft breaks apart, killing all of the Fantastic Four except for Reed and the children. Sometime later, impossibly, the life raft lands somewhere.

Full Summary: 

Somewhere else:
Dr. Doom, flanked by Dr. Strange and the Molecule Man, faces the almighty Beyonders.

They are Beyond, they boom. Dreamers. Destroyers. All of reality their whim. Who dares stand before them? I, Doom, comes the reply.

Manhattan, Earth1610:
Incursion event imminent.
At the Triskelion, this world’s SHIELD HQ General Nick Fury is in communication with Reed Richard aka the Maker. Told the world is ending, he asks if Richards thinks he’s blind. Richards says it’s ending today. Fury wants to know how long they got left.

From the City (currently housing the Cabal and residing above Manhattan), Reed Richards replies calmly that everything dies. In fact, much of what could be defined as existence already has. “Now all that remains is our universe… and theirs.” What follows, this incursion between their Earths, will begin very soon. Minutes perhaps. How long will it last? That depends on a small numbers of variables and how good Fury is at eliminating them.

Fury asks if they destroy the other Earth, will their universe survive? Is this the last one? Richards replies the City’s machines have witnessed the collapse of the once infinite multiverse. He is more sure of this than of anything else. He tells Fury to save their world one last time. Save them all. Then he ends the transmission.

Can they trust him? Hawkeye asks. Fury sighs. Reed Richard is a thousand year old megalomaniacal boy genius who wiped out most of Europe on a whim. No, they most certainly cannot. But he’s also not wrong, their job is to protect this world. So if it comes down to either world killing the other… well, that’s no choice at all. Send everything they got!

The City:
Reed Richards is informed by the City computer that the Triskelion is sending all their ships to the other world. He muses that the other Earth will respond in kind and while they play he and they will be hard at work with the real matters. What’s their current estimated time of completion? Undetermined, but it figures at about an hour.

Thanos and the other members of the Cabal join him. Thanos asks why he lied to Fury. They have reached the end. There is no victory to be had. So why lie? They show them one hand and hide their objective in the other, Reed replies. They’ll fight a little harder and won’t that be fun for Thanos and his Cabal to watch? Thanos scoffs at the humans and their theatrics. There is no honor running from death. People should know when their time is up.

Manhattan, Earth 616:
The incursion point between both worlds:
The heroes had told the world leaders of the incursion and the coming end that morning and watched as they told their nations. The message was always the same, telling the people of the danger and urging them to remain calm. They would do everything to solve the problem. But no one believed them. How could they?

The ships from Earth 1610 are attacking and the heroes of Earth 616 fly into the Manhattan sky  to respond. Spider-Man is trying to calm the panicking crowd of people on the ground.

In the Baxter Building, the Fantastic Four, the Future Foundation and the Black Panther are building an escape vessel, a life raft to restart the human species. The Black Panther asks the Invisible Woman what the ETA on their cargo is. They are due any minute, she replies, but that was before the attacks started. She’ll check in.

She contacts Spider-Woman and the Black Widow, who are flying a vessel, asking what their status is. Transport’s still five minutes out, she is told. They had to take a longer less explosive route. How did it go? Sue asks. She is told they spent an hour literally tearing families apart. So it went exactly as expected sand nobody is taking it well. Two of the scientists changed their mind and stayed behind. They send Sue the passenger list. Among the scientists present is a grieving Beast.

Sue tells Reed they lost Doctors May and Zhang. Reed is relieved that those are specialists in chemistry and physics. They were redundancies so the group should still be okay. Let’s start the countdown.

T’Challa is preparing with the mysterious Avenger called Manifold. Two scenarios, he tells him. One: everything goes as planned, they launch with their resurrection team. Manifold teleports aboard and they are off. Two… everything goes wrong… And then he saves the day, Manifold finishes the sentence as he puts on the space suit. He tells him to turn this thing on. There isn’t much time left.

In the sky, Iron Man from Earth 1610 contacts his Nick Fury, warning him about the large number of meta-humans. Does he want to impart some of that tactical acumen he is so famous for? Overwhelming force is what’s called for, Fury replies. Just win, baby! Iron Man attacks.

Down below, buildings are destroyed. Spider-Man saves a civilian. Luke Cage and Iron Fist too try to evacuate civilians after the building fell.

The Guardians of the Galaxy’s spaceship lands nearby. Star-Lord tells Drax and Rocket Raccoon to focus on the giant robot thing in the sky. He means the tacky massive red-gold thing that basically says: “Hello, I was built by a giant tool, please, oh God please, just shoot me out of the sky?” Rocket asks. “No problem.”

The female Thor and Storm combine powers to attack the heli-carriers. Sentinels fly in to join the fight and the new Captain America asks Iceman whether they are friend or foe. Complicated question, Iceman replies. They are from Nation X. There is no telling what Cyclops has planned.

The Sentinels land. One of them carries a floating egg on which Cyclops stands. He orders them to keep everyone away for as long as they can. He needs a little more time.

More heroes attack and the heli-carriers from Earth 1610 take heavy losses. Iron Man from Earth 1610 as well loses his mobile weapon platform as he is beset by Captain Marvel and fired at by Rocket and Drax.

Several other heroes from 616 are at the Incursion site close to Triskelion and Colossus throws the Hulk at it with a fastball special. Moments later, the Hulk crashes through the Triskelion, which still manages to stand afterwards. For now, the Hulk adds.

Earth 1610
In the Triskelion:
Fury contacts the City. He explains they failed to secure the Incursion site on the other Earth. So Richards is just gonna have to launch his doomsday world killer weapon and hope for the best. As much as he hates to admit it, they failed.

The other heroes attack the Triskelion.

Fury tells Richards to finish the job. “Finish” implies that Fury’s task was uncompleted, Richards replies. He assures him this was always how it was going to end. Fury bought them some time, and that is remarkable for someone whose time has long ended.

The Triskelion falls and Kitty Pryde, Jean Grey, Jimmy Hudson and Cloak and Dagger from Earth 1610 watch in horror.

Earth 616:
Nightcrawler shouts an alert and they see a bubble engulfing the other Manhattan, a temporal bubble.

Earth 1610:
The Cabal is not impressed. Namor orders Richards to do something. Richards addresses the City and announces it is time to show what secrets they hide in that dome. When it launches their doomsday weapon, send their children along to guide the way. Show these primitive people the future they could have had! Ships emerge from the dome to fly towards 616 Manhattan. Miles Morales aka Spider-Man standing on the dome holds on to one of it.

Earth 616:
Medusa alerts the others to the attack. Inferno witnesses horrified as a mechanical arm goes for Black Bolt’s throat. Who are these guys? Iceman shouts. The new Captain America has no idea either.

In the meantime, the Lizard, Bullseye, Norman Osborn and more villains have received an email by the Kingpin, inviting them to a party at the end of the world celebrating their enemies’ defeat.

They celebrate until the Punisher stands in the doorway. They say that when you die you can’t take it with you, he announces. So what is he going to do with all these bullets?

The ship carrying the scientists also comes under fire. Black Widow notifies Sue Richards that they are not going to make it moments before the ship explodes.

Black Panther tells Manifold to prepare for option two. His power through the machine he is strapped into will find who they need. Energy begins to radiate in all directions from the Baxter Building.

The Sentinels alert Cyclops their shields aren’t holding for more than a minute. He will not need more, Cyclops replies. The Phoenix egg is ready to hatch. He greets it as an old friend. Remember him? Remember how this feels? It’s love, he announces as he becomes one with the energy.

The Guardians keep battling, while Drax rants that he hates Earth. Rocket agrees when he is killed by a stray shot. Gamora grieves and Star-Lord is suddenly teleported away.

Elsewhere on the battlefield, Storm witness Thor being teleported away. As is Spider-Man. And Captain Marvel, who is still battling the other Iron Man, who is hitting on her.

The Baxter Building:
Mr. Fantastic announces they are out of time and tells the Black Panther to cut Manifold loose. The extended family is already boarding the life raft. T’Challa explains Manifold wants to stay, believing he can still find what they need. And the life raft lifts off.

Elsewhere, in another ship:
The other Reed Richards tells Thanos some call it theft but he always believed when you take something and make it better, gratitude is in order. After all, it’s not every day that you really learn something. And what lesson has the apocalypse taught him? Thanos asks. That some things refuse to die, Reed replies as everything detonates below them.

You can’t kill an idea, Cyclops/Phoenix announces as he takes to the air. It always comes back resurrected or reborn into a different form. He burns and then rematerializes on the Fantastic Four’s ship.

The Black Panther announces the planet’s structure is fracturing. This is everyone they are going to get! Reed orders everyone aboard to strap in and asks the Panther if they are going to make it. Barely, is the reply.

The ship is shaking as they make their way through the incursion. Then they are hit and the hull is breached. The carrier section with the rest of the FF and the kids is split off. The Invisible Woman surrounds them with a forcefield.

Reed asks T’Challa to drop the ship’s shield, so he can draw them back in. T’Challa warns him about the forces at play out there. He’ll only have a few seconds before the entire raft is compromised. T’Challa gets ready, announcing that it takes five seconds for the shield to go down. He can put it back immediately, but if hull integrity goes below 90 percent he has to do it.

Reed begs his wife to hold on as T’Challa counts down.

A moment before the shield goes down, Sue’s forcefield breaks. A moment later, their section splinters apart. Reed screams. Captain Marvel drags him back and orders T’Challa to get the shield back up.

The ship leaves as the two universes collide.

“You spend your entire life looking for that one perfect someone and when you find her you think you’ll never love anyone more. Then you have children and realize what a fool you were to believe that. And now I have lost everything. We have all lost everything. My entire life I believed in better days ahead. I believed in tomorrow. I hid that belief in my heart – a stronghold against a world that devours hope. But now the walls have fallen. I have been overrun. And I hope… I believe… in nothing.”

Briefly the visage of Doom superimposes itself over the nothingness.

The Marvel Universe 1961 – 2015
The Ultimate Universe 2000 - 2015

There is only darkness.

And then the ship has landed somewhere…

Characters Involved: 

Earth 616
Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (Fantastic Four)
Valeria and Franklin Richards, Bentley 23, Leech (Future Foundation)
Black Panther, Black Widow, Cage, Cannonball, Captain America (Sam Wilson), Captain Marvel VI, Hulk, Iron Fist, Manifold, Pod, She-Hulk, Spider-Woman, Spider-Man, Thor, Vision, War Machine (Avengers)
Black Bolt, Inferno, Medusa (Inhumans)
Amadeus Cho
Human Torch I
Drax, Gamora, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, Star-Lord (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Nightcrawler, Storm (X-Men)

Absorbing Man, Bullseye, Kingpin, Norman Osborn, Sandman, Scorpion

Dr. Doom
Dr. Strange
Molecule Man

Black Swan, Maximus, Namor, Terrax, Thanos (Cabal)

Earth 1610
Nick Fury
Iron Man

Jean Grey, Kitty Pryde, Wolverine II (X-Men)
Cloak, Dagger, Spider-Man II (all-new Ultimates)

Reed Richards / Maker
Children of Tomorrow

Story Notes: 

Secret Wars is the culmination of a long storyline running through New Avengers (3rd series) and the latter parts of Avengers (5th series), most of which concerns the Illuminati’s inability to stop the destruction of the Multiverse via incursions between different Earths. At this point of the story, only the Marvel Universe proper (616) and the Ultimate Universe (1610) are left and a final incursion is taking place. The Fantastic Four and some other heroes are trying to at least save some people and Dr. Doom, Dr. Strange and the Molecule Man are confronting the true villains – the Beyonders.

The Guardians of the Galaxy should recognize Iron Man, even one from another universe, as he used to be a member in the early issues of their 3rd series.

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