Part of Marvel’s big New York Comic Con news this year was the announcement of Secret Wars, a crossover from Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic that will act as an anniversary celebration of the original, as well as tie up all of the stories Hickman has been telling in his Avengers books. At the same time, Marvel started sending out preview art for old crossovers that…didn’t really match what the old crossover had happen, unless the original Planet Hulk was secretly a porno (check out that handlebar stache on the bottom Hulk in the headline picture) and I missed it. They’re digging deep on some of these crossovers, bringing back “Armor Wars,” “Planet Hulk,” “Days of Future Past,” “Age of Ultron,” “Marvel Zombies,” and “Civil War” among others. With that in mind, here are 12 more crossovers that they could bring back, and how they can update them as part of Secret Wars’ presumed multiversal insanity.
1. Operation: Galactic Storm
The Original Story: Operation: Galactic Storm was a sequel (sort of) to the Kree-Skrull War, and also a cynical cash grab tied to the first Iraqi War. In the story, the Kree go to war with the Shi’ar and the Avengers try to mediate the dispute. They do this using the time-tested method of alternative dispute resolution: they kill the Supreme Intelligence.
The Secret Wars Tie-In: The Kree, reeling from the goodwill earned by allying with the greater galactic community for 4 or 5 consecutive conflicts, decide to pick a fight with the Badoon, since they already fought the Skrulls and the Shi’ar. Iron Man, arguing preemptive defense, tries to pull Earth into the conflict. He is opposed by Captain America, who argues that the Badoon Spring uprisings of 2013 are indicative of a popular shift towards democracy in the Badoon empire. Major Victory attempts to resolve the dispute between Cap and Stark by killing the Supreme Intelligence. New name: Operation Enduring Galactic Freedom.
2. Marvel Universe Wedding Special
The Original Story: The Marvel Universe has more married couples than a Christian swingers convention, and almost all of them have had their weddings prominently featured in comics. Several of them have even seen special issues dedicated to their wedding ceremonies. Why should Secret Wars focus only on misunderstandings that lead to drawn out fights? They should look at the marriages, too.
The Secret Wars Tie-In: Join the New Warriors as they are rocketed through the multiverse, forced to attend (and bring gifts to) the most famous weddings in the history of the Marvel Universe! See the weddings of:
-Mr. Fantastic & the Invisible Woman
-Cyclops & Phoenix
-May Parker & Dr. Octopus
-Luke Cage & Jessica Jones
-Northstar & some dude named Kyle
-Spider-Man & Mary Jane Watson
-Regular Hulk & Red She Hulk
-May Parker & Jay Jamison
-Quicksilver & Crystal
-Ant Man & Wasp
-Vision & Scarlet Witch
Will they become too disillusioned with what Scarlet Spider calls “the whole bullshit marriage-industrial complex” before they get to the weddings they really should try and stop?
The Original Story: Jean Grey’s clone and the ex-wife and mother to Cyclops’s child, Madelyne Pryor, works with demons from Limbo to open a portal to Earth that lets them invade and transform the majority of New York ‘s residents and inanimate objects into demons. New Yorkers treat this like it’s nothing out of the ordinary, mostly because it’s not. The demons blow their chance to win through infighting and incompetence, and are destroyed by the combined might of the X-Men and X-Factor.
The Secret Wars Tie-In: The Marvel Universe comes under attack from the inhabitants of Limbo. The team of Him, Maggot, Killraven, Sergeant Barney Barker, robotic Richard and Mary Parker, Ultimate Luna (the daughter of the Ultimate Universe’s Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch), Artie and Leech attack the heroes of the 616 Marvel Universe in an attempt to transform the world into one that they feel more comfortable in. The heroes regain the upper hand when the Limbo inhabitants are caught in an argument between Sergeant Barker and Cyborg Mary Parker about why she’s wearing pants.
The Original Story: Fabian Cortez, the mutant equivalent of Harry Ellis, takes over Genosha and starts a civil war between the former mutate slaves and the human population. He raises the tension on the conflict by kidnapping Quicksilver and Crystal’s daughter Luna, which leads to the X-Men, the Avengers, and Magneto’s ex-right hand man Exodus all coming to beat the hell out of him. Then everyone has to beat the hell out of Exodus.
The Secret Wars Tie-In: Cortez, in an attempt to lay claim to titular leadership of the world’s mutants, tries to legally emancipate Luna and install her as the head of Genosha. What follows is a tense courtroom drama as Matt Murdock tries to outmaneuver a foe whose proximity secretly amplifies his natural power of having God hate him. Quicksilver is repeatedly late. Crystal breaks down on the witness stand when someone points out to her that dirt isn’t an element. When it’s discovered that Maximus allowed his notary license to expire, Crystal and Quicksilver’s annulment is invalidated, making her a bigamist in the eyes of the Genoshan and Inhuman governments due to her marriage to Ronan the Accuser. In an effort to help Murdock, Punisher murders the Supreme Intelligence. Can Daredevil save the case in closing arguments?
5. X-Cutioner’s Song
The Original Story: Professor X is shot by someone who looks just like Cable. Meanwhile, Cyclops and Jean Grey are kidnapped by Mr. Sinister, and handed over to Stryfe. Then a bunch of people fight, Apocalypse shows up, we find out that Stryfe and Cable are clones and the time-lost Summers kid, and there’s a big fight on the moon. And the Legacy Virus gets released. This was the absolute pinnacle of ’90s X-nonsense.
The Secret Wars Tie-In: Cable, Stryfe and Nate Grey all try molly at a rave and…stuff happens. Beast, Dr. Nemesis and Forge spend the rest of the comic arguing about whether the act was technically a gay encounter or if that’s just how X-Men masturbate. New name: “X-Men: Gay Panic at the Disco.”
6. ‘Nuff Said
The Original Story: Almost every Marvel comic published in December, 2001 was a wordless tribute to “the Snake Eyes issue,” a silent issue of GI Joe from 1984 that focused on Snake Eyes. Artists were told to run wild and show off their storytelling chops. They were freed to use every corner of the panel and page without worrying about word balloon placement covering up their art.
The Secret Wars Tie-In: A time spanning adventure! Every character Brian Michael Bendis has ever written or will ever write in the Marvel Universe becomes self-aware at the same time in 2001 and refuses to speak in order to rebel against their creator. Leads directly into Marvel Universe: Disassembled.
7. Marvel Universe: Disassembled
The Original Story: A series of catastrophes befall the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, leading to the destruction of both teams, and the reformation of the Avengers as the Marvel Universe’s “big 7” Justice League reboot equivalent. Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron Man, Spider-Woman, the Sentry, Luke Cage and Ronin replaced Jack of Hearts, Triathlon, Ant Man and Wonder Man. It was a good trade.
The Secret Wars Tie-In: Bendis destroys all of his creations and replaces them with characters from David Mamet movies cosplaying as Marvel heroes. The story ends when Al Pacino reveals himself to be Iron Man, causing Val Kilmer, painted green and floating naked in a tank of water, to collapse from a heart attack. His last words are “not like this…”
8. Heroes Reborn
The Original Story: After a giant battle with Onslaught (the psionic monster created when Professor X shut down Magneto’s brain), the Fantastic Four and Avengers are shunted off to a secret duplicate Earth by Franklin Richards. Widely considered the low point of the non-Spider-Man ’90s Marvel books, this crossover was shut down after barely a year.
The Secret Wars Tie-In: The original story will be reprinted by IDW in exacting detail as oversized Artist’s Editions, with special bonus flipbook panels added into each page showing Tom Brevoort getting progressively angrier.
9. Phalanx Covenant
The Original Story: A group of mutant-hating humans deliberately infect themselves with the Technarchy’s techno-organic virus and attempt to destroy mutants by assimilating them into the collective. The Borg were pretty big when this came out. The threat is ended by Cyclops, Phoenix, Cable and Wolverine, the most ’90s possible mutant team. This story led directly into Generation X.
The Secret Wars Tie-In: Warlock buys a house in Salem Center. When he tries to put up a basketball hoop in his driveway, the Salem Center Homeowners Association attempts to fine him for violating neighborhood rules. However, the board of the Homeowners Association, in a series of votes, eventually decide to waive the fine and let Warlock put in whatever he wants. When Cyclops and Phoenix buy a nearby home and are met with gifts by their new neighbors, Stephen Lang and Cameron Hodge, Cypher suspects something sinister.
10. The Twelve
The Original Story: Apocalypse kidnaps eleven mutants of varying powers and familial histories in order to run their power through the Living Monolith and grant himself real ultimate power. None of the mutants are also ninjas, so his plan was doomed to fail. He eventually transfers his consciousness into Cyclops, who’s had a pretty rough go of things ever since.
The Secret Wars Tie-In: Cyclops, Phoenix, Magneto, Polaris, Storm, Sunfire, Iceman, the Living Monolith, Cable, Bishop, Mikhail Rasputin and Professor X team up to fight The Black Widow, Blue Blade, Captain Wonder, Dynamic Man, Electro, Fiery Mask, Laughing Mask, Master Mind Excello, Mister E, the Phantom Reporter, Rockman and Witness. Written by J. Michael Straczynski and drawn by Joe Madureira, but only three concept sketches are ever released. Two of them are of the wrong Rockman.
11. Marvel Swimsuit Special
The Original Story: Heh. “Story.”
The Secret Wars Tie-In: The Marvel Universe’s greatest mystery is here! Someone has murdered the Supreme Intelligence, and the only clue left at the scene is a banana hammock bearing the NFL shield. Hand painted by Ashley Wood (Uncanny X-Men Annual 2001), this book will leave you wondering why and how it ever got made.
12. Maximum Security
The Original Story: When the intergalactic community decides it’s had enough of Earth’s crap, they turn the planet into a giant space prison with Ronan the Accuser as Warden. US Agent leads the condemned in a massive prison riot, while Professor X and a group of Skrull mutants fight the Supreme Intelligence, who is miraculously not killed. His plan is to use Ego the Living Planet to grow Earth the bitchenest goatee a planet’s ever had. Also a bunch of new cosmic entities try to rearrange the galaxies of the universe because it’s screwing up their feng shui.
The Secret Wars Tie-In: Government contracts flooded into Damage Control following their record-setting IPO following the Skrull invasion of 2012. However, gross irregularities in accounting methods are revealed by a long SEC investigation, leading to criminal charges for the public board of directors of Damage Control: Norman Osborne, Silver Sable, Wilson Fisk, Tony Stark, Justin Hammer, Angel and Nighthawk. Following their conviction on 132 counts of defrauding the government for tens of billions of dollars, each is sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in “Summer Camp”, a minimum security facility outside Otisville, NY, listed as one of Forbes Magazine’s 12 best places to go to prison. New name: “Orange is the New Mutant.”
Previously by Jim Dandeneau