Since his ‘arrival’ at Marvel Comics, Jonathan Hickman has carved out a place for himself as a master storyteller. His run on SHIELD (where a secret society protecting the planet from alien incursions formed by Imhotep with Leonardo DaVinci, Howard Stark and Nikola Tesla as prominent members), Fantastic Four (in which Reed Richards connects with other iterations of himself through a cosmic brotherhood spanning realities), Avengers and New Avengers (where multiple realities vie for survival against a new and massive threat) created a far-reaching mythology that delves into the core of the Marvel Universe only to expand outwards to its furthest reaches.
The upcoming Secret Wars event will act as something of a reset button, however Hickman is keen to point out that for anyone paying attention, it will also serve as the conclusion of his work at Marvel to date. That sounds like something everyone should be reading.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hickman describes plans for the upcoming Secret Wars as a “culmination of everything” he’s written at Marvel.
“[Secret Wars] is certainly a self-contained thing. Saying that,” Hickman says,” if you read Secret Wars and you’ve been reading not just Avengers but Fantastic Four andSHIELD 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.”
Secret Wars has been a mystery for readers, but Hickman reveals that was a misdirection on his and Marvel’s part to cover up something more scary.
“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,” Hickman reveals. “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.”
When asked what the theme of Secret Wars is, Hickman describes it as a memorial to the Marvel U.
“Secret Wars is a book about the Marvel Universe as an incredibly varied and fascinating place, and even out of the ashes of the destruction of it, the thing that takes its place,” the writer says. “You know how very important people die, and they make a statue? Secret Wars is the big statue of the Marvel Universe, and there’s all this stuff going on around it. That’s a terrible analogy, but it’s all I’ve got today.”
Hickman says that key argument leading into Secret Wars from Avengers and New Avengers came from the rhetorical question “what do heroes do when they can’t win?” which led Hickman to write “some” of the heroes “become villains” while others “rediscover” who they are.