Avengers: Secret Wars


  • Release Date: May 1, 2026
  • Owner: Marvel
  • Marvel Phase: 6

Avengers: Secrets Wars is on the way. At Comic-Con, Marvel laid out a plan for the future that has fans rightfully excited about what’s to come from this studio. While there had been speculation about where things were heading for the MCU, with a number of different rumors about possible stories to adapt, nothing had been set into stone. Until now.

It looks like we are going to be getting some major, and highly-anticipated productions coming down this pike to bookend Phase 6 before it’s all said and done. And the one that will wrap everything up is going to be Avengers: Secret Wars which could end up being the biggest Marvel movie ever. That’s really saying something considering what we got with Avengers: Endgame.

Let’s take a look at everything we know about Avengers: Secret Wars, who could show up, what story they might adapt, and much more. Again, this could be one of the biggest productions yet so there’s a lot to explore when it comes to this movie.

AVENGERS: SECRET WARS COULD INCLUDE THE ENTIRETY OF THE REMAINING MARVEL UNIVERSE

Which characters will be in Avengers: Secret Wars? The easy answer could be: everyone. Because this is the culmination of Phase 6 we can already begin drawing parallels in size and scope between Avengers: Secret Wars and Avengers: Endgame. The latter movie wrapped up a number of storylines and, by the end, had nearly everyone involved when they were all snapped back into existence by Banner.

But in terms of who will actually show up in Avengers: Secret Wars this time around, we are likely a bit too far off to know exactly how it shakes out. Some safe assumptions are that the Fantastic Four will be heavily involved seeing as how they had a major part in the original series and that movie will kick off Phase 6 for Marvel. And Doctor Doom is likely to either be making his first appearance or at least working towards a final standoff with this group of heroes.

That being said, there is a chance within the plot mechanics for the 2015 version that we don’t have to have the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe involved with Avengers: Secret Wars.

With the Multiverse collapsing, not everyone ends up making it to Battleworld, meaning the story there could be hand chosen in terms of what folks make for the best overall arc. It’s unlikely, just because of how things are shaping up in Phase 5 and Phase 6 that we have a 1:1 telling of the Hickman story anyway. So there’s plenty of leeway in terms of who shows up.

One thing that is sure to happen over the next few years is rumoring around Marvel characters making heralded returns as well. With the Multiverse, anything is possible and this would be one of those scenarios where bringing past stars into the mix could work.

THE RUSSO BROTHERS WILL NOT DIRECT SECRET WARS

While we don’t know who is directing Avengers 6, it looks like to start we know who won’t be in the big chair(s). Despite mentioning they had an interest in the prospect, Marvel head Kevin Feige has said that the Russo Brothers, Joe and Anthony, won’t be back for the fifth or sixth installment. It’s a shame considering how they basically called it a dream project. Check it out:

They had helmed both Infinity War and Endgame as well as Civil War, which were all massive wins, and handled the prospects of many different Marvel characters in a movie all at once with a deft touch. Feige ruled the director team out of the running, saying they were busy with their own movie along those lines. So the door is open for someone or someone-s to take on the projects.

AVENGERS 6 WILL BE IN THEATERS ON MAY 1, 2026

Though there is still plenty of mystery around Avengers 6 we do know at least one thing for sure. The flick will hit theaters on May 1, 2026. That’s one year after the release of Avengers 5, The Kang Dynasty. So we know at least that these two epic films will essentially roll out almost back-to-back for fans. 

THE ORIGIN OF SECRET WARS
CREATED IN 1984

There have been a number of different Marvel Comics events named Secret Wars, all of which have been hugely impactful on its universe of superheroes and villains. The original (and arguably most significant) event is officially titled Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars, which launched as a 12-part limited series in 1984 and set the template for them all.

The basic gist of the 1984 Secret Wars was that one of Marvel’s trademark incomprehensibly powerful cosmic entities named the Beyonder becomes interested in the endless fights between heroes and villains on Earth. He then transports a whole bunch of them to an artificial environment dubbed “Battleworld.” The assembled group is separated into heroes and villains, but with a catch: it’s good guys and bad guys as the Beyonder sees it, not their own beliefs.

That means Magneto gets lumped in with the Avengers, the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and Spider-Woman. Meanwhile, the villains include Doctor Doom, Ultron, Doctor Octopus, the Enchantress, the Absorbing Man, Kang the Conqueror, Klaw, the Lizard, the Molecule Man, Titania, Volcana, the Wrecking Crew, and briefly, the Devourer of Worlds, Galactus. The latter is usually thought of as an entity beyond good or evil. Both Magneto and Galactus immediately become unaligned, but it is telling that things were not as cut and dry as they seemed.

The various heroes and villains have numerous battles and interpersonal drama during Secret Wars (as Marvel characters are wont to do), using alien weapons and technology provided by the Beyonder. Eventually, Doctor Doom creates a device that allows him to absorb the power of Galactus and temporarily defeat the Beyonder. That is until he is overwhelmed in his Tower of Doom by the sheer power and teleported away by the repowered Beyonder. 

As usually happens, Reed Richards puts his brain to things and creates a device that transports everyone home, except the Thing, who chooses to remain on Battleworld, where he can control his rock form.

RE-IMAGINED IN 2015

While the 1984 Secret Wars had lasting consequences (more on that in a moment), the next most significant event of that name occurred in 2015. Unlike the original series, this Secret Wars was the culmination of several storylines in The Avengers and New Avengers and was intended to be a huge climax for its long-running but legally embattled Ultimate line of comics. 

In this story, the Multiverse is collapsing (sound familiar?) and incursions are threatening basically all of the realities. As all versions of Earth collapse on each other, the only place left is Battleworld which is now run by Doctor Doom. The world is sectioned off with fragments of different universes and there’s been something of a system set up here around who lords over each one.

As far as an adaptation is concerned, Avengers: Secret Wars will likely be at least loosely adapted from the Hickman story seeing as how they’ve already been setting up issues within the Multiverse for this story. Now that we know about Incursions thanks to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and things aren’t looking stable along these lines it should at least be the basis for the story.

Plus, we know that the movie prior to Avengers: Secret Wars is Avengers: The King Dynasty which will probably set into motion the series of events that begin to collapse the Multiverse. It’s already happening, but when Loki happened and Kang was sent back to his original form, it opened the door for this to happen.

BATTLEWORLD CONNECTIONS

Both the 1984 and 2015 versions of Secret Wars primarily take place on an artificial planet called “Battleworld,” which has become an iconic part of Marvel Comics mythos.

In the first series, the Beyonder builds Battleworld out of pieces of random planets (including a chunk of Colorado) and stocks it with weapons for the assembled heroes and villains. 

In contrast, the 2015 Battleworld was created by fragments of entire realities. It included a version of the world in which the Civil War event resulted in President Anthony Stark in a years-long way with General America, the 1602 Marvel Universe, House of M, and many more. 

In this version of Battleworld, God Emperor Doom employs the Thors Corps (a police force comprised of multiple variants of the God of Thunder) to keep order across Battleworld, while Sheriff Stephen Strange acts as his second-in-command. Unlike the earlier Battleworld, Doom’s reality is all that exists in its universe, with its own unique cosmology and structure.

THE BEYONDER

The Beyonder was created for Secret Wars by Jim Shooter and artist Mike Zeck and was initially conceptualized as otherworldly energy from the “Beyond-Realm,” part of which gave the Molecule Man his powers and the remains of which formed sentience and curiosity about humanity. The resulting being is essentially omnipotent, even by the standards of a universe that contains Galactus and the Infinity Gauntlet.

Over time, Beyonder’s origin and nature have changed. Sometimes, he has been portrayed as an evolved Cosmic Cube, an Inhuman who has mutated past the capacities of the secretive race of superbeings, and finally, a child of the race of Beyonders involved in the 2015 Secret Wars.

LASTING EFFECT ON MARVEL

While the original Secret Wars was a limited event, it caused a number of unforeseeable, huge changes to the world of Marvel. Most famously, the original event introduced the symbiote that would eventually become Spider-Man foe/antihero Venom, essentially laying the groundwork for one of the most popular comic book characters ever.

Secret Wars also replaced the Fantastic Four’s Thing with Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk, when Ben Grimm decided to remain on Battleworld, where he could control his change to a rock monster.

Furthermore, Secret Wars was followed by several sequels, the second of which foregrounded the Beyonder as more of a direct antagonist to Earth’s heroes, and finally, the huge, multiverse-destroying reset of the 2015 series.

secret wars
A GIMMICK TO SELL TOYS

For all of the significance and popularity of Secret Wars,  its origins lie in something much more prosaic: merchandising. Marvel had noticed that its eternal competitor DC Comics had made a lucrative deal producing branded action figures with Kenner and that Mattel already had the hugely successful line of He-Man toys.

The company decided to get in on that action and partnered with Mattel for a line of toys, with Secret Wars (originally titled Cosmic Champions) acting as a tie-in event series. 

Reportedly “Secret Wars” was chosen as a name when it tested positively among focus groups, and Mattel requested Marvel come up with new high-tech looks for Doctor Doom and Iron Man, as well as fortresses and weaponry that could be manufactured and sold as play sets.

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