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Your Guide To Marvel's Secret Wars

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This summer, the Marvel Universe goes to war as some of Marvel's biggest characters battle it out in what is shaping up to be one of 2015's most cataclysmic events!

What are the Secret Wars' need-to-knows?

For answers, we turn to Marvel’s Senior Vice President of Sales David Gabriel. In our exclusive interview, the SVP discusses what you can expect from this new event including details on how Secret Wars will affect the entirety of the Marvel Universe going forward.

PREVIEWSworld: Let’s recap the storyline and the different banners of titles one more time so everyone knows what’s coming in Secret Wars!

David Gabriel: Every title launching during Secret Wars falls into one of three separate categories – LAST DAYS, BATTLEWORLD and WARZONES! Each will tell different kinds of stories, and each relates to Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic’s SECRET WARS #1-#8 in different ways. Here’s a quick idea of our guide to ordering:

titles are creators bringing their stories to their natural conclusions before the destruction of the Marvel Universe. Note that while these may herald the “616 Finales” of these series, this is by no means an indication that these series will never return to Marvel’s publishing slate.

- BATTLEWORLD titles are almost like our regular monthly titles. The core continuity. These books are what’s happening in the Secret Wars Universe and the continuity of Battleworld. How do these territories all co-exist? How do they work? These books will tell you all you need to know about what’s happening during the event.
are the building blocks of the Marvel Universe, event-level stories all on their own. While these are mostly self-contained, they’re also grand pieces of continuity from Marvel’s past and new spins on existing favorites. All of which are laying foundations for a new Marvel Universe. Each of these stories can be read on their own, but you can bet that each of these titles is going to have a big effect on the future of the Marvel Universe post-Secret Wars.

Another short and easy way to remember that: LAST DAYS are the past, BATTLEWORLD is the present, and WARZONES! are the future.

Secret Wars has a lot of different books… is there an easy way to keep track of them all?  

David Gabriel: Absolutely. It’s certainly a lot to take in but we’ve lots of steps to ensure that fans can easily find stories that interest them and how those stories relate to the overall Secret Wars saga. For starters, each of the three banners has a unique and distinctly different trade dress which will make them instantly recognizable on the shelf.

Secondly, the Marvel PREVIEWS catalogs during Secret Wars was deliberately broken down by series type so that fans would have a handy guide to all the series launching during Secret Wars.

Keep in mind that by ending the entire Marvel Universe prior to Secret Wars, it’s safe to say that the majority of the Marvel Universe titles shipping from May to September are all Secret Wars!

If you’d still like a bit more info, has constantly updating checklists of every Secret Wars series as well as interviews with the creators:

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PREVIEWSworld: You’ve made the distinction elsewhere that some titles are Secret Wars series—not just tie-in books. Can you explain Marvel’s thinking on these—because fans see a lot of books labeled as "#1 of" but many more just have #1 in the title?

David Gabriel: Every month Marvel has ongoing series and limited series. That’s no different during the duration of Secret Wars. We marked series in PREVIEWS as #1 and a “Secret Wars series.” This was the simplest way to convey that these series run throughout the length of Secret Wars and pretty much take over for our main Marvel U titles. For example, as Amazing Spider-Man gets its “616 Finale” in May, Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows takes right over in June.  For the most part the connections are pretty obvious. Hopefully by now it’s apparent that the entire Marvel Universe will be overtaken by Secret Wars.

PREVIEWSworld: Much has been made of many current Marvel books being discontinued when Secret Wars is over. Is there a definitive list of books that will continue after the event and books that will be not be returning?

David Gabriel: The only two titles we’ve announced so far that will be coming out the end of Secret Wars are All-New, All-Different Avengers and Uncanny Inhumans. As we get closer to the September and October PREVIEWS catalog, fans will get a better picture of what the Marvel Universe looks like, but I’m afraid I can’t say any more than that!

PREVIEWSworld : Many parts of the Secret Wars storyline are buried in great Marvel storylines from the past. What are you doing to promote those collections and stories to fans?

David Gabriel: Great question! We’re putting a lot of promotion behind backlist of collections related to not only Jonathan Hickman’s main Secret Wars story but also the series launching during that window. The comics selected for the True Believers promotion ($1 single issues of classic stories on sale in April) were specifically chosen as they all correlate to a series launching during Secret Wars. And inside each of those issues are ads designed to sell collections currently available in comic shops. We’ve also created a double page ad spread within our FREE NEW YORK BULLETIN SECRET WARS NEWSPAPER (coming to comic shops in late April) that shows a flow chart for collected editions starting from Marvel Super Hero Secret Wars TPB leading right up to Secret Wars #1 in May!

In addition to all of this we have also created a Secret Wars Prelude TPB (FEB150858) that will provide fans with more details as to the origins and the groundwork for Secret Wars within the Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe.                                                       

PREVIEWSworld: Are there any plans that you can share for the titles coming after Secret Wars?

David Gabriel: Fans should definitely look toward the FCBD All-New, All-Different Avengers issue for two looks into some new titles coming after Secret Wars. One for the Avengers and one for the Inhumans. We just unveiled the roster of Avengers you’re going to see after Secret Wars. I think the images and characters speak for themselves.  So what I can say is take the excitement generated by just those two images and multiply by about 100 and that should give you an idea of what to expect.

Both these stories will give fans a peek of what’s to come later this year. But you’ll have to read Secret Wars to find out why!

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A-Force #1 Pencils by Jorge Molina
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Secret Wars #1 Interior by Esad Ribic Secret Wars #1 Interior 2 by Esad Ribic
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Secret Wars #2 Variant by Esad Ribic Secret Wars #2 Interior by Esad Ribic
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Secret Wars #1 Chip Zdarsky Party Variant Thors #2 Variant by Dale Keown
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Weirdworld 1 Interiors by Mike Del Mundo
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The New York Bulletin Promotional Newspaper
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Secret Wars Backlist Double Page Flowchart
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