The Marvel Reboot

"There is a man. Sitting at a typewriter. All of this is his twisted imagination."
For the sake of my blood pressure, I think it's time for a short break. It's time to get into the Marvel reboot that I mentioned a few posts back. For those of you who haven't heard, Marvel is planning a reboot in 2015 of their entire comic book universe. Every super hero, every team, every location they own. (Of course, this won't directly affect DC superheros like Batman and Superman.) However, as of the writing of this post, the event in question has not yet occurred. So much of this will be speculation. Pieces will be based on the concept, rather than their specific execution. However, we do need to keep all eyes open. For example, a Marvel writer might be quoted saying something like this:
"There is no reboot coming. It was never planned to reboot. We don’t need to reboot. All continuity is still there."
-Brian Michael Bendis
If this is the case, then why is it being called a reboot? In preparation for this post, I looked around a bit. Now, bear in mind that I've never been all that good with comic books. But from the large assortment of articles I found, here's what I've managed to put together. Let me warn you, though, this is a little over the top.

There is no Marvel universe. There is a Marvel multiverse. Within the Marvel storyline, there are multiple universes, where the same character has a different storyline. Some sources have listed up to fifteen different universes within Marvel. After looking at other sources, I laugh at that number. The Marvel wiki has 4,290,001 official numbered universes (although admittedly, there are very frequent and large gaps in their numbering). That number isn't how many universes they have, it's just the highest numbered universe they have. Of course, there are still too many on the list for me to count manually. Keep in mind, this is labeled as an incomplete list of the official universes that have been named. Unofficial universes have their own list. Unnamed universes aren't on this list. And the list is incomplete.
However, this list, if it were complete, would include every Marvel universe ever, even if we only saw it in one issue for one panel. The number of used universes is far smaller. And, within those main universes, there are three main main universes. Universe 616 is the main main main universe, or the Main Continuity. Most stories happen there. Alternate realities are compared to this universe. Universe 1610 is the Ultimate Universe, which was something of a minor reboot in 2000. The cinematic universe is Universe 199999.

Are you starting to grasp how insanely complex this all is? I have a book called The Wolverine Files, which, as the name would suggest, contains information about all things related to Wolverine. The book is marketed as files from SHIELD. At the very beginning, the existence of the book is explained by a memo from Nick Fury requesting information. A part of the memo reads,
"Someone who is a key player in mutant affairs shouldn't have a dossier with nothing more concrete than, "Real name believed to be Logan" and "Is the best at what he does." I want to know what he does, who he is, and I want to know yesterday."
At the very end of the book, after a lot of information, much of it contradictory, Nick Fury sends another memo.
"Okay, people, it's official: This project has definitely gone off the rails. We still can't come to an agreement on the birth name of our Wolverine, or even if he's a mutant or a mutated animal, and now I'm reading about Wolverines in alternate universes?"
Even a fictional character from within the Marvel universe (er, multiverse) can recognize how messed up it all is. Hence, the upcoming reboot, along with all the controversy that comes with it. Marvel is planning to release (or, apparently, have already begun releasing) their final series. The Secret Wars. Apparently, in this storyline, universes have begun to collide. Two at a time, and a maximum of one of the universes will survive. Apparently, Universes 616 and 1610 are colliding. And, after they collide, everything is going to be different. Memories changed, different events, characters, heroes, teams, places... Apparently, issue #1 of their new series will take place eight months after The Secret Wars, and will not require any foreknowledge.

I, personally, think that this is a good idea. Comics are becoming popular. People are looking into the Marvel multiverse more and more. With a major reboot like this, it will give people a clear starting place. I've been interested in Marvel comics for as long as I can remember. I know a bit about the Marvel multiverse. But, at the same time, I don't keep up with it. I don't follow every little detail that goes on with it. There are some things that everybody knows from universe 199999 that I don't, because I don't watch the new Marvel movies until months or years after they're out. This reboot will, theoretically and if properly executed, give a fresh start. New lore for the new fans, old lore for the old fans, and a solid story that doesn't contradict itself.
"Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"
-L.M. Montgomery

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