It’s incredible. ‘Secret Wars’ doesn’t start for five months yet, and already Marvel have released a map of Battleworld!
Today I’m going to look at the Battleworld map, and pull out some of the secrets… But first, I have a simple question to ask: Why have Marvel released the map?
Well, it’s obvious that Marvel are excited and trying to build up the hype. But this seems somewhat specific, and frankly surprisingly so. I think it’s actually a very clever marketing ploy; it builds up excitement, and in the next few months I suspect we’ll start to see how every comic is building towards Battleworld. For example, the fact that New Mars – Killraven’s reality – is on the map ties in nicely to the Martian plotline in ‘All-New Invaders’.
Remember what Axel Alonso said about the trailer: “Each piece of real estate you see in that teaser is it’s own story, and all those pieces comprise one huge story.”
So this map was made to be analysed. It was made to have the fans read through it, pick it apart, and get excited.
Let’s play Marvel’s game…
- Greenland – this is tied to ‘Planet Hulk’, and clearly is twisted round to display a world where, well, everybody kind of ‘Hulked out’.
- Dystopia – this is the ‘Future Imperfect’ reality, one created by Peter David and ruled by the future Hulk known as the Maestro.
- Domain of Apocalypse – no duhs here, this is Age of Apocalypse, and appears to predate the fall of Apocalypse in the original 1990s event.
- Egyptia – my bet is that this has something to do with Kang.
- Technopolis – unknown.
- Spider-Land – My bet is that this ripples out of the current ‘Spider-Verse’ arc.
- The Regency – This seems to be a world in which Peter and Mary-Jane were never separated by Mephisto, and so have a daughter, the young Mayday Parker!
- King James’ England – this is clearly tied to Marvel 1602.
- Weirdworld – This is a surprising one, an old Epic / Marvel Fanfare fantasy reality! Considering it’s not even on Marvel Unlimited, I’m somewhat surprised at its inclusion.
- K’un L’un
- New Mars – Killraven’s reality, a world in which Earth was conquered by the Martians. This aspect of Battleworld has been teased many times, and looks to appear in the ‘Uncanny X-Men’ annual.
- Higher Avalon
- Marville – this is the world of A-Babies and X-Babies, as featured in the ‘AvX’ special!
- The Eye of Agamotto – Little is known about this reality, but I reckon we’ve just seen it in ‘New Avengers’, a reality where Doctor Strange now rules the Black Priests.
- Manhattan – divided into multiple areas, with the Ultimate and 616 universe, and with Attilan rising…
- The City
- The Warzone – This appears to be from a reality where the Civil War never ended.
- New Quack City – With a ‘Howard the Duck’ comic launching, it’s no surprise that his world appears.
- The Far East – My suspicion is that this may be the Mangaverse.
- Valley of Flame
- The Hydra Empire – No duh, this appears to be a reality where Hydra rule.
- 2099 – With 2099 increasingly back in the mainstream (‘Spider-Man 2099’ is an ongoing run, and we’ve been told 2099 will appear in the ‘Uncanny X-Men’ / ‘All-New X-Men’ annuals), this is no surprise.
- Hala Field – Appears to be a world ruled by the Kree.
- The Monarchy of M – The House of M reality, under the rule of King Magnus.
- Sentinel Territories – It looks as though I was right that the main focus of the ‘Years of Future Past’ reality will be the future world the Sentinels rule…
- Westchester – This appears to be the reality teased as ‘X-Men ‘92’, and stars the X-Men of the classic animated series!
- Bar Sinister – Very uncertain, but my personal speculation is that this reality is based on Kieron Gillen’s Sinister in ‘Uncanny X-Men’.
- Limbo – My bet is that this is the mystic realm tied to Magik. Given she currently hosts the realm within herself, and that ‘Uncanny X-Men’ has a forthcoming arc called ‘Demon Hunters’, I suggest watching the Bendis books carefully.
- The Deadlands – Marvel Zombies.
- Perfection – This is the ‘Age of Ultron’ reality, unknown whether or not there’ll be any surviving heroes.
- New Xandar – Speculation is that this realm is ruled by Thanos!
- The Wall – Appears to be constructed to keep the most dangerous realities – Thanos, Ultron, and the Marvel Zombies – apart from the rest of the world.
Ironically, The Wall tells us one more thing: this is no accident. We know that the Incursions have been building up to a Convergence, and now we know that a conscious will is indeed behind all this – just as Reed Richards always speculated. My money’s on the Beyonder, not least because my fan-theory tying him in to Jason Quantrell in the pages of ‘Captain America and the Mighty Avengers’ looks increasingly likely (in #2, Jason Quantrell can suddenly move through space instantaneously, and trigger secondary Terrigenesis at a touch).
So: what are the CLASSIFIEDs?
Well, I have a few theories. First of all, I’m really hoping ‘Nation X’ – teased in ‘Avengers World’ as the future of the X-books is one of them. I also think ‘Spider-Gwen’ will feature in this somehow, as will ‘Miracleman’. So I suppose those are my three top shots. Another possibility is the Cancerverse, which would tie in with the recent ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ arc and potentially see the return of Richard Rider!
The alternative is that these aren’t comics – that Marvel have tied their games into this storyline, with ‘Avengers Alliance’ (which already has an Incursion plotline), ‘Marvel Heroes’, and, perhaps, ‘Contest of Champions’ being the three other realities? It would continue the trend of Marvel smartly working cross-media opportunities, and really pull these games into the mainstream. Again, Axel Alonso has commented that this story “has ramifications across all of our other media platforms.”
We’ll soon find out…
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