Jonathan Hickman has a reputation for multi-year arcs in his Marvel books, including Fantastic Four, Secret Warriors, Avengers and New Avengers. Later this year, Hickman’s Avengers run will come to an end and seemingly destroy the Marvel Universe just in time for Secret Wars, the event series that Hickman is also writing.
While speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Hickman stressed that Secret Wars can be read by itself, but “It’s the logical conclusion of them. It’s the resolution, it’s the final act. Think of Secret Wars like this: it is absolutely a self-contained story in that you can pick up issue one and read through issue eight, and you don’t have to have read all the Avengers stuff that’s been going on for the last couple years. You really don’t. Even though it’s the final act, it’s structured in such a way that everything is there.”
Hickman added that “[it’s self-contained] more than anything I’ve ever done at Marvel — because my natural inclination is that the books start with issue one, and if you’ve been paying attention the whole time, you’ll love it, and if you haven’t been, then I’m sorry.”
“This is certainly a self-contained thing,” continued Hickman. “Saying that, if you read Secret Wars and you’ve been reading not just Avengers but Fantastic Four and SHIELD and all the other stuff I’ve done, there’s so much stuff in there, payoff-wise, if you’ve been reading those books, that it’s kind of scary. It’s definitely the culmination of everything I’ve done at Marvel.”
More surprisingly, Hickman also explained why he feels his Avengers run isn’t a sci-fi mystery story.
“The Avengers books, we kind of billed it as a mystery — what’s behind all of this stuff, what’s causing all of the incursions? Which is a total lie, because it’s not a mystery, it’s a horror story. And we just didn’t tell anybody, so everybody is waiting for this kind of, “Ta da, whodunit” kind of stuff at the end and that’s not what the story is.”
“The inciting incident of this has been going on for years in the books,” said Hickman. “Even though they’re teasing Battleworld and all this stuff, people won’t know where we’re going. I’ll also say this: the structure of Secret Wars is kind of interesting. There’s huge stuff about the beginning of the story that we don’t give away until issue four. It’s not nonlinear, but it’s definitely not as straightforward as these things normally go.”
Secret Wars will begin in May 2015.