The big event from 2015. Collects issues 0-9 and a cover gallery.

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artists: Esad Ribic, Paul Renaud

Marvel universe is dead – long live Marvel universe!

This is the culmination of Hickman’s Avengers, New Avengers, Fantastic Four, and FF runs. I’ve read them and so I knew what was going on. The story starts with the final incursion: Earths from alternate universes colliding into each other. These incursions forced some of Marvel’s most beloved heroes into, in essence, mass murderers. Granted, only Namor was, in the end, able to actually destroy a whole alternate Earth. But Reed, T’Challa, Tony, Bruce Banner, Dr. Strange, and even Hank McCoy created the weapons which made such monstrous action possible. And then Namor gathered his Cabal, the villains who battled those alternate Earths so that the heroes wouldn’t have to.

Now, the final two Earths collide. Reed and T’Challa have built a life raft for a group of the “best and brightest” who would restart the human race. But things go wrong: Susan, Franklin, and Valeria are destroyed despite Reed’s efforts to save them.

Or so Reed thinks. For this is a new world, gathered from fragments of other Earths, futures and pasts. And God Emperor Victor von Doom is the ruler of this Battleworld with Sheriff Stephen Strange as his right hand, Susan Richards as his wife, and Valeria and Franklin as Victor’s and Susan’s children. Some of the most powerful, or popular, villains are the Barons and Baronesses of their own little islands. And our heroes in the Battelworld don’t remember anything about the “real” past: as far as they know, they’ve always lived in these islands of conflict.

But two groups of people survive from the previous Earths and they intend to bring Doom down.

I love alternate universes and this one was especially intriguing with all Marvel characters redone. We don’t actually see a lot of the different fragments: the action is focused on Strange, Doom, and the people trying to bring Doom down. (The individual Warzones books are for that. Luckily the Finnish library system has three of them and Marvel Unlimited even more.)

I enjoyed this story but was mildly disappointed by the ending (mildly because I’m a long-time comics reader and was expecting it). My brother, who hasn’t read Hickman’s other comics, was confused by the start but ended up enjoying it was well. So, by itself it’s an interesting story. But has it actually changed anything? We’ll see.