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Secret Wars

Secret Wars (the actual title of the series was Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars) was a 12-issue comic book mini-series published by Marvel Comics from 1984 to 1985. It was Marvel's answer to the company-wide, universe-spanning "crossover series" begun at DC Comics with Crisis on Infinite Earths. Although the first issue of the series was published before issue #1 of Crisis, comic book industry insiders say the series was hastily approved and put together in order to appear on newsstands and comic book store shelves before DC's mini-series.

Secret Wars literally pulled together the most popular of the many superheroes of the "Marvel Universe," pitting them against their most dangerous enemies in an all-out battle that was meant to be the ultimate battle of good vs. evil. It introduced an enigmatic, all-powerful, godlike character called the Beyonder to the Marvel Universe. At the beginning of the story, the Beyonder had apparently been observing the events of the Marvel Universe for some time. For reasons of its own, it literally snatched about two-dozen of Earth's greatest heroes away from their lives, bringing them to the other side of the universe, and creating a planet especially so that the heroes could battle their greatest foes (which the Beyonder had also taken from Earth and brought to the same location).

The battle between superheroes and supervillains was fought, with the tide of battle turning in favor from one side to the other. Even the Beyonder found itself caught up in a battle for its life, as Doctor Doom put his own plans into action. In the end, the heroes won and everyone returned to Earth (though The Thing remained behind for another year, starring in his own comic book series at the time).

Unlike DC's 12-issue epic, Secret Wars had few long-lasting repercussions in the Marvel Universe. Spider-Man gained a new costume in this series, and the costume evolved into the supervillain "Venom," but otherwise Secret Wars is seen as merely an entertaining diversion from the long, drawn-out plots and subplots of the various Marvel comic book series. Nevertheless, the series was an enormous hit for Marvel, breaking sales records for monthly comic book series of the time.

Marvel Comics also began its series of yearly, company-wide "crossover epics" with Secret Wars. It followed up the story with Secret Wars II a mere few months later. Soon, both Marvel and DC settled down into a yearly routine of having one "epic" crossover series (sometimes even more than one), classified under such storylines as The Fall of the Mutants, Mutant Massacre, Acts of Vengeance, The Infinity War, and Heroes Reborn.

Cast of Characters

Good Guys

Bad Guys

  • Doctor Octopus[?]
  • The Molecule Man
  • The Absorbing Man
  • The Wrecking Crew
  • Volcana
  • Titania
  • Kang the Conqueror

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