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Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game – Secret Wars, Volume 1» Forums » General

Subject: Secret Wars - A Primer *SPOILERS* rss

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Itai Rosenbaum
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As I mentioned in the "What We Know" thread - this post is meant as a primer to what exactly Secret Wars is. It's meant for those who don't regularly read the comics, and would like to get caught up on what's been going on in the Marvel Universe as of late.

**WARNING** There will be spoilers for recently published comics, so if you don't want to be exposed to those, stop reading now.

Last chance...

Still here? Alright, here goes.

--------------------------------------------------------------

"Everything Dies".

These two words pretty much jump start a chain of event that transpired over the course of the past 2 and a half years. The majority of events happened in Avengers and New Avengers, both written by Jonathan Hickman, who will also be writing Secret Wars.

Act 1 - Infinity

Black Panther, Reed Richards, Tony Stark and several others form the clandestine group known as The Illuminati. Together they discover an imminent threat known as "an Incursion". An Incursion occurs when an Earth from a parallel dimensions "bumps up" against "our" Earth (that is, Earth 616 - the core Marvel U. Earth). The resulting friction will wipe out both Earths (and their respective universes, as Earth is the focal point of the Universe), unless one Earth is destroyed - ending the Incursion. The Illuminati, together with Steve Rogers, form the Infinity Guantlet to push back the Earth brushing up against theirs, and succeed in deflecting it, ending the Incursion. The stress causes the Infinity Gauntlet to break, shattering the Infinity Gems in the process.

Steve Rogers is concerned that without the Gauntlet the Illuminati might have to resort to more drastic measures to prevent the next Incursion. After a heated Argument, the Illuminati have Dr. Strange mind-wipe Steve, so he has no recollection of the Incursions, the Illuminati, or anything to do with them.

On the other side of Space, Thanos is alerted to the presence of the Gauntlet and the Gems on Earth, and heads there to try and reclaim it. In the process, he plans to exterminate his heir, which he knows is hiding somewhere among the Inhumans. Unfortunately for Earth, when Thanos invades - most of Earth's heroes are off world, helping a confederate of Galactic Empires fight off "The Builders". These are ancient robots tasked with either fostering life on barren planets, or destroying it - based on their judgement. They're cutting a swath through Space on their way to Earth - intent to destroy it and prevent more incursions from occurring. The Avengers, together with the Shiar, Skrulls, Kree and pretty much every major alien race manage to defeat the Builders - and even return in time to beat Thanos and his Black Order.

Act 2 - Everything Dies

All the while, the Illuminati continue to investigate the Incursions. They capture Black Swan - a servant of a being called Rabum Alal, who knows about the incursions. She claims Rabum Alal is responsible for them, and there is no stopping it.
Further investigation leads Reed Richards to learn that at some point in the past, an Earth was destroyed prematurely. This led the universal space around it to contract - causing two Earths to crash into each other, creating the first Incursion. The chain reaction from this event has been causing the Incursions ever since. They further investigate what is going on, and try to find ways to push back the Incursion. In the end, they realize that destroying the rival Earth is the only way to protect theirs. They set forth building an arsenal of "World Bombs", dreading the day they will have to trigger one.
It arrives, an Incursion takes place - and faced with the ultimate price, none of the Illuminati are able to pull the trigger. None except Namor, who destroys the alternate Earth. The Illuminati are shocked, and they expel Namor from their group (he will proceed to form The Cabal - along with Thanos and his Black Order. They in turn take on the dirty task of destroying Earths and blowing them up).

Meanwhile, a story called "Original Sin" takes place. In it, the Watcher is murdered and many of the secrets he has witnessed over the years are let out. One of these secrets is what the Illuminati did to Steve Rogers, who suddenly remembers everything.

He blows the story wide opening, explaining about the Incursions and what Tony and his group have been doing behind everyone's backs.

Act 3 - Time Runs Out

It's at this point that several Marvel titles jumped forward 8 months (namely the two Hickman-penned Avengers titles). In this future, the Illuminati are hunted down by Rogers and SHIELD. In their fugitive state, they are still trying to find a solution to the Incursions by researching their origins. The "New Avengers" - formed by Sunspot, are also trying to investigate, sending a group out into the furthest reaches of space. Meanwhile, the UN and world-governments are made aware of Namor and the Cabal's activities - but begrudgingly allow them, as they are the only things keeping the Earth from being destroyed.

The origin of the Incursions are discovered to be connected to two warring factions: Rabum Alal and his Black Swans and the Ivory Kings (the Ivory Kings, we discover, are The Beyonders - transdimensional beings who can shape the universe to their whims). Dr. Strange assumes command of the Black Priests, another powerful universal factions - and uses their forces to storm Rabum Alal's fortress and comes face to face with Rabum Alal himself - or, as he is most commonly known, Dr. Doom. Doom learns that Owen Reece, the Molecule Man, is a unique being that is a single conciousness shared across all parallel universes. Meaning, every "version" of the Molecule Man is the same being. The Beyonders created him as a sort of fuse for a multiversal bomb - when the Molecule Man dies, his universe goes with him. Their plan was to kill all the Molecule Men simultaneously and see what happens. In attempt to thwart them, Doom (under the guise of Rabum Alal, the Destroyer) begins to jump from universe to universe and systematically murder the Molecule Man. As more and more universe are destroyed prematurely, the incursions begin. Through his activities, Doom learns the Beyonders weakness - they are linear beings and cannot travel through time. So, he attempts to destroy them. The gambit doesn't seem to work and causes the mass destruction of countless universes, until only a handful remain.

Meanwhile, the Cabal arrive in the Ultimate Universe and strike a deal with Ultimate Reed. Together they convince Ultimate Nick Fury that the only way to ensure his world's survival is launch an all out assault at the 616 universe. As the final incursion begins, Fury sends everything he's got at the 616 heroes. Down below the battle, Tony and Steve are finally having the confrontation they've been building up to (Steve in a modified Iron Patriot suit). The two are still fighting when a helicarrier from the Ultimate universe seems to crash on top of them, crushing the two.

This is where we are now - on the very brink of the final Incursion. The one between the standard Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe.
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Itai Rosenbaum
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P.S. - this is no way explains everything that's been going on, but I tried hitting on the major plot points and goings on.

As I said - this is several titles, published over the span of 2.5 years. With some high-concepts that are pretty out there. Your really can't encapsulate everything into a clear and concise post, but I tried
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Dane Turner
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Thank you for summarizing this. This is about the most coherent telling of a major comics event I've read, especially one helmed by Hickman. I love his stories, but you hit the nail on the head with "pretty out there".

To get into this, would just Avengers and New Avengers suffice, or would I need to look into other titles?
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Evan Dunn
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Avengers and New avengers would do it pretty well. The only thing I can think of that would confuse you is that for some reason I don't know the answer to, Captain America is suddenly really old.
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Itai Rosenbaum
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quietcorn wrote:
Avengers and New avengers would do it pretty well. The only thing I can think of that would confuse you is that for some reason I don't know the answer to, Captain America is suddenly really old.

This happened in his own book. The gist of it is that the Super Soldier Serum was removed from Steve's body, causing it to rapidly age and catch it up to where it should be, had he never been injected. It's also why Falcon took up the mantle of Captain America.

Steve now operates on a tactical level, helping run SHIELD and hunt for the Illuminati.

As for reading to catch up - New Avengers and Avengers should cover the major plot points. I would also read Infinity, as it is closely tied to the events leading up to Secret Wars.
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Josh Worley
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Falcon being Sam Wilson, or someone else?

Also, the Infinity Gems - weren't they what were on Guardians of the Galaxy?

This must somehow be tied to the scheme "Forge the Infinity Gauntlet", right?
 
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Evan Dunn
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The Infinity Gems were off the table and out of sight for a long time. In the 90s, Warlock's team 'The Infinity Watch' had them. When that series ended they fell out of sight for the most part. The next time I became aware of them, it was revealed that this secret group calling themselves the Illuminati had them.



A lot happened since then, and supposedly they were discovered and forced to give the gems up. Well, they didn't, and the current "New Avengers" run picks up from there.
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Itai Rosenbaum
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swirlsaepi wrote:
Falcon being Sam Wilson, or someone else?

Also, the Infinity Gems - weren't they what were on Guardians of the Galaxy?

This must somehow be tied to the scheme "Forge the Infinity Gauntlet", right?

Sam Wilson.

And yes - we're starting to see the MCU's version of the Infinity Gems and why Thanos is after them - most likely he wants to reforge the gauntlet. It's probably why the next Avengers movie (after Ultron) is a two-parter called "Infinity War".
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aaron Haycraft

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quietcorn wrote:

A lot happened since then, and supposedly they were discovered and forced to give the gems up. Well, they didn't, and the current "New Avengers" run picks up from there.

From my understanding, the gems were destroyed when Captain America used the Infinity Gauntlet to stop one of the incursions from destroying our Earth. That was a while ago, though, so who knows what has happened since then.
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Evan Dunn
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Well, I don't want to get too into specific spoilers
Spoiler (click to reveal)
but yes, the gems were destroyed when Steve used them to push away a incursion-ing universe. Nothing is certain when it comes to the games though, and more recently the time gem reappeared and sent the avengers into the future, the future's future, the far future, and the far far future's future, before pulling them back. It's clear we haven't seen the last of the gems.
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Itai Rosenbaum
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quietcorn wrote:
Well, I don't want to get too into specific spoilers
Spoiler (click to reveal)
but yes, the gems were destroyed when Steve used them to push away a incursion-ing universe. Nothing is certain when it comes to the games though, and more recently the time gem reappeared and sent the avengers into the future, the future's future, the far future, and the far far future's future, before pulling them back. It's clear we haven't seen the last of the gems.

Well, it's not so much that the time gem re-appeared.
It shattered along with the rest of the gems, but due to its nature as the time gem, shattering it caused it to jump forward through time, taking those around it with it.
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Aaron Gray
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So basically this is "Crisis on Infinite Earths", the Marvel version
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Evan Dunn
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Yep. Pretty much.
 
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Tyrell Archer
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Thanks for the great summary. I have been reading and enjoying Hickman's Avengers run myself, but I have such a terrible memory for past issues that when major revelations occur, such as, "Rabum Alal is Dr. Doom", I have to flip back to try to remember just who the heck Rabum Alal was in the first place. Not to mention all the different factions, such as the Black Swans, the White Priests, the Purple Kings, the Black Doodads...
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Erik Hatinen
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I'll add my kudos to the mix by saying this was a remarkably well-constructed summary.

I've only read one paperback collection of this (which covered about half of Act I), and appreciate knowing what titles they're in.

And the Infinity Gems are the Infinity Stones mentioned in Guardians of the Galaxy. They're massively powerful artifacts, and on at least one occasion Thanos had all six, which meant when he showed up for a fight, almost the whole damn Marvel Universe had to unite to take him down. The Guardians of the Galaxy cards has the six of them as Villains who serve Thanos.

If you don't have the set and are curious, they're Mind, Power, Reality,
Soul, Space and Time. I can't tell you what they do in the comics.

Years ago I read a website article about Thanos in the Marvel movies, and it claimed that the Tesseract (AKA Cosmic Cube) is one of the six Infinity Gems. I have no clue if that's true, nor what the others are.
 
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Tsallak wrote:

If you don't have the set and are curious, they're Mind, Power, Reality,
Soul, Space and Time. I can't tell you what they do in the comics.

Years ago I read a website article about Thanos in the Marvel movies, and it claimed that the Tesseract (AKA Cosmic Cube) is one of the six Infinity Gems. I have no clue if that's true, nor what the others are.

Watch the new movie.
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Nathan M
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Many people guessed the infinity stones were coming to the MCU and have made educated guesses about them. Current theories, some confirmed, are: the tesseract is the space gem, the aether is the reality gem, loki's staff is the mind gem, and the gem from the guardians movie is the power gem. That leaves us with soul and time yet to be seen.

*edit, typos fixed.
 
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Itai Rosenbaum
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jodokast4 wrote:
Many people guessed the infinity stones were coming to the MCU and have made educated guesses about them. Current theories, some confirmed, are: the tesseract is the space gem, the aether is the reality gem, loki's staff is the mind gem, and the gem from the guardians movie is the power gem. That leaves us with soul and time yet to be seen.

*edit, typos fixed.

Yup, my guess is we'll see the Soul gem in the Dr. Strange movie. Then the time Gem will pop-up in Guardians 2 and from there it'll lead straight into Infinity War.
 
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I'm guessing time gem in Thor 3. He seems to have the low down on these things. And the movie is called Ragnarok, after all. Maybe Thanos comes in and wrecks house on the way to Infinity War the next year.

EDIT: Although I'm not sure why we're talking about any of this here.
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Josh Worley
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Aether? The black goo from Thor 2?

It's been a while since I've seen it - did it have a physical form other than that sludge that looked mysteriously like the alien symbiote from Spider-Man?
 
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swirlsaepi wrote:
Aether? The black goo from Thor 2?

It's been a while since I've seen it - did it have a physical form other than that sludge that looked mysteriously like the alien symbiote from Spider-Man?
The aether was kind of red. Remember that Volstagg called it an Infinity Stone when he gave it to the Collector.

And if you watch Age of Ultron closely, you'll see it flash by when the four known stones line up.
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Josh Worley
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DiggetyDog46 wrote:
swirlsaepi wrote:
Aether? The black goo from Thor 2?

It's been a while since I've seen it - did it have a physical form other than that sludge that looked mysteriously like the alien symbiote from Spider-Man?
The aether was kind of red. Remember that Volstagg called it an Infinity Stone when he gave it to the Collector.

And if you watch Age of Ultron closely, you'll see it flash by when the four known stones line up.

Thanks. Apparently I didn't look at it closely enough when I watched it over the weekend.

Now that you mention the Collector, I seem to recall in the end movie credits of Thor 2, the Collector saying he now had two of the Infinity Stones - the Tesseract and the Aether.
 
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Itai Rosenbaum
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swirlsaepi wrote:
DiggetyDog46 wrote:
swirlsaepi wrote:
Aether? The black goo from Thor 2?

It's been a while since I've seen it - did it have a physical form other than that sludge that looked mysteriously like the alien symbiote from Spider-Man?
The aether was kind of red. Remember that Volstagg called it an Infinity Stone when he gave it to the Collector.

And if you watch Age of Ultron closely, you'll see it flash by when the four known stones line up.

Thanks. Apparently I didn't look at it closely enough when I watched it over the weekend.

Now that you mention the Collector, I seem to recall in the end movie credits of Thor 2, the Collector saying he now had two of the Infinity Stones - the Tesseract and the Aether.

Just one. The Tesseract is in Odin's vault.
In fact - that's why they decided to give the Aether to the collector's in the first place, they felt storing two Infinity Stones in the same place was unsafe.
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Itai Rosenbaum
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I've updated the OP with events from Avengers 44 & New Avengers 33 - the last two issues before Secret Wars proper begins.

If there's a demand, I'll keep updating with the events of the Secret Wars series itself, which starts today.
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Bert McCloud
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IronSyndicate wrote:
I've updated the OP with events from Avengers 44 & New Avengers 33 - the last two issues before Secret Wars proper begins.

If there's a demand, I'll keep updating with the events of the Secret Wars series itself, which starts today.

Personally I would appreciate knowing the basics of the series as it goes on. Whether you update or I read it somewhere else I don't mind but I'm sure I'm not the only one on here that would appreciate it if you do decide to!
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