Secret Wars – Big Pimpin’ Marvel Style


Welcome to Prequelandia: Where nothing really changes, so nothing really matters!

It has taken Marvel quite some time to get around to it. We’ve all wondered and waited for Marvel to take the leap. If you’re a reader of DC Comics you know what I’m talking about. Rebooting the Universe.


Marvel has teased with it in the past. Age of Apocalypse,  House of M or the recent Brand New Day were stories which looked like they restarted the Marvel Universe by changing some element in the past by using time travel, chaos magic or some other uber-powerful magic or technology.

And each time the event was over, Marvel turned its primary universe, dubbed Earth-616 back to its normal self, warts and all. The offending universe was splintered off (if it was good and well received) and was given a Universal designation. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a designation of Earth-199999, for example. If a universe was not well-received or the event was short-lived, it might be erased from continuity completely. Strangely enough, unlike DC, Marvel embraced its shadow universes, giving designations to hundreds of them.

But they never appeared to seriously embrace the idea of rebooting/erasing Earth-616, the core canon Marvel Universe.

Now, Marvel has taken a page from the DC Handbook on “How to Restructure Your Universe in 3 Easy Reboots.”

The Marvel 616 Continuity is being erased.

Death of Earth-616

Goodbye history, goodbye relationships we have grown to know and love.

Goodbye ideas created by greater writers than the current crop of hacks could ever be. Will there be a chance for those minority heroes who were just starting to take off? Probably not. Who knows, they may reappear when the event is over but no less than 33 books are being shut down for the duration of SECRET WARS II.

But not to fear because Marvel, like DC has too much invested in the characters, but nothing in the readers. has the entire list of books that are going to “end” for the duration of Secret Wars.


What does this mean for the readers? We will get: New costumes, loads of new costumes for fanboys to scream and cry over, gnash their teeth at women getting pants, breast reductions and sensible shoes.  Creating new relationships between ideas which might have occurred 10-50 years apart, now they will be fused together in hellish symbiosis which will make absolutely no sense to anyone except the crazed hyper-caffeinated writer and editor who dreamed it up.

Exhibit number one: The daughter of Cyclops and Emma Frost: Ruby Summers


Characters will be rebooted and will now have entirely new histories which will be aborning again, like a movie reboot where you have seen the origin half a dozen times but now this time we’ll get it right.

Dikto’s classic Spider-Man will be replaced with some super-amazing well-drawn, mega-realistic, soul-less cardboard cut-out. He may be black, he may be white, but we will return to the beginning of his career (or maybe not) it’s all so Secret (Wars). Or perhaps we will have the dimension-crossing Spider-Gwen or the enigmatic Silk to create Spider-Man and his Amazing Spider-Friends!

Asgardians, gods or aliens (or both)? Mutants, 200 or 2 million? Magneto, Omega or not-Omega, Nick Fury, white or Black? Will it be SHIELD or HYDRA or AIM or maybe a fusion of all three: SHYAME?

What about Hercules? Poor bastard always played second fiddle to Thor, then he was erased and replaced with a Chinese young man named Cho whose super-power was hyper-calculation. What a low blow…

Eternals, Deviants, Mutants, Inhumans, Galactus, Watchers, Soul Gems – So many amazing threads over the decades are in the hands of a group of people who have not proven adult enough to handle even one of these themes well…(Franklin Richard’s makes Galactus HIS herald? Need I say more?)


Celestials turned over in their stasis chambers and Eternity closed the comic shaking his/her/its damn head.

How fitting this reboot should be based around the product that made Marvel the most money, started the horror of extended comic events and created the most loathed character in comics, The Beyonder. Okay, maybe he wasn’t the MOST loathed, but I couldn’t stand him and when he finally disappeared from the Marvel Universe, I gave a hearty cheer. I wonder, does this mean he’s back too? Ugh.


I can foresee nothing good coming from this event because like DC’s New52 Marvel will not address any of the underlying problems in its universe. There will still be too many white guys, white aliens and white metahumans who will lord their powers over the Marvel Universe reminding minorities of their place. There will be too few women in positions of interest and authority waiting to be rescued from refrigerators.

This is purely a money grab. Since new readers don’t care about continuity, this means Marvel can reboot, restart and throw out stuff that might not make any sense to them any more and cater to an audience who knows nothing, has no history and can maybe try to bring order to its chaotic universe.

Hey Marvel, ask DC how that’s worked for them so far…

Intervention Time: Marvel, you make decent movies. This wasn’t always true, but since you founded the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I blame that on Joss Whedon. Your comic line, which you have admitted is nothing more than a gateway drug to your movie industry has suffered lately. You are not impressing me with going back to the Secret Wars to correct the problem.

You remind me of an old pimp wearing the suits he used to wear in his heyday, thirty years ago, strutting through the neighborhood where he used to be King and having people shaking their head wondering who this crazy person is, shouting “They better have my money.”

Yeah. It’s just like that.

I’m like Thor, I’m outta here.


State of Black Science Fiction 2012 – Ouroboros Rising

The State of Black Science Fiction 2012 has been a web/bloghop series started by Alicia McCalla and the Black Science Fiction Society in an effort to bring more awareness to the existence of Black writers of science fiction and fantasy and our diverse reasons and experiences for reading, writing and creating it. This is week seven of our journey. (Yes, I owe you two articles but I have to write other things, too.)

I have enjoyed this explosion of creativity and it is setting me up for my favorite yearly challenge, 30 Short Stories in 30 Days in April. Be sure to tune in then. Perhaps I can get some of my compatriots to join me. If you write and you want to join me, send me an email or post a comment. It’s one of the best experiences of my writing life. Give it a try. I leave you with our writing prompt inspired for a lecture given by the Black Science Fiction Society at Georgia Tech. You can see the writers reading their stories on my post marked the Bracelet.

Ouroboros Rising


“Yes, master.”

“It’s time.”

I help him up and walk him into his study. He is paper-thin, light like a bird, a wisp of the force I remember from my youth. I can feel the fire burning through him, my second sight, even shielded cannot block the visions of his power. I help him to his workbench, a central seat of his gift. It was only as we drew close could I sense it.

The bracelet. It shimmered in darkness the way his power glowed brightly. A cool black metal that flickered like glass, lit from within with a sinister madness. This was my last time to say no.

Once he sits, his palsy stops when he picks it up. His eyes harden like flint and his unspoken gaze beckons me to sit across from  him. The light from the power within him dims. “Once you put this on, you will enter our Order. There is no release, no resistance, no rest from Ouroboros, her power is complete and unending. Do you understand?”

Of course I did. This was what I trained for this last fifteen years. This decision would mark my journey to true power.

“I know that look, boy. You think, you are getting what you want. Do you think I don’t know what you’re feeling? I sat there once.”

“Master, I am just eager to begin our work.”

“Don’t be in such a rush to go out and subjugate the world.”


“Spare me. Your lust for power was why you were chosen. Ouroboros requires strong passion, better to harness your gift.”

“Harness my gift?”

“Give me your hand, child. This is not a toy, or just a tool. It is a weapon coupled with your intent. Fail to harness your intent and it will kill you.”

He rubs the bracelet and taps it on his stone workbench. He taps it again. And again. The flat sound echoes across my senses, first a ripple, then a tide. Then a crack appears in the surface of the stone. Ironwood, once was living, now a metallic stone, one of the hardest natural substances, cracks, splinters to dust, with a sound like the world ending.He grabs my hand and his grip was as strong as it was weak a moment ago. The bracelet had expanded and my hand slipped into it easily. Then all I could feel was the power. All that I thought I knew about power was now erased. My inner energy was as a candle compared to this burning sun. He was right. I had no idea. The things I would do.The metal burned my flesh as it began to close tightly on my wrist. As mine grew darker, I could suddenly see his. It was always there, you only saw it for a second whenever he would transit a window curtain and the light hit it just right. Now it was alive, visible and its energy flew toward me.

“Yes, you can feel the power of Ouroboros and you think, I can do anything. And you are right. But with light, comes the darkness. Ouroboros is between all things, so I now give unto you the other side of power. Responsibility. The chains that binds this power to your very soul. Each time you partake of her power, you are dying. You will do great things. But whenever you reach beyond what is yours, and ask her for power, your sacrifice will be your time left to live. And you have much to do.”

The black shadow fell on my bracelet and its light was diminished, flecked with shadows, nuances and shades of grey. My vision returned to normal. His grip loosened and he fell back into his chair, boneless and still. I rushed to him over the remnants of his work desk, its power drained into me.

He looked at me, then down to the bracelet. He smiled fiercely. “Chained you again. He’s a strong one. Your scourge will be contained, for a time.” He lifted his head, his eyes rheumy with age. “I’m sorry, Kal.” His whisper barely reached me.

He died slumping forward into my arms.

“He was a bitter, old man. We will do great things, you and I.”

I could feel her coiled around my heart. Squeezing and settling down like a snake. Making my power her own.

All that light. The radiance that dwarfed my own. Those were the lives of mages she’d claimed before me. I am insignificant to her. She thinks to use me up. I am no more than food to her. I may never be able to be free of her, but I certainly don’t have to give her what she wants. She will earn every meal.

“They all said that. All fell before me. Ambition is a hard taskmaster.” She paused to let me think on that. Then she continued. “We have time; there is no rush to get back to taking your world for my own. Let us get to know one other.”

We conspired deep into the night.

Ouroboros Rising © Thaddeus Howze 2012, All Rights Reserved

Thaddeus Howze, Author – is a veteran of the IT and Communications industry with over 26 years of experience retooling computers to best serve human needs. Unknown to humanity, our computers have another agenda. Thaddeus recently released his first collection of short stories, Hayward Reach. In a coded format, he has secretly informed Humanity of the impending computerized apocalypse. You can read parts of the code here: or You can read excerpts and other short stories at Hub City Blues

Part of a series of essays on: The State of Black Science Fiction


Check out the other members of this Online Black History Month Event

Winston Blakely, Artist/Writer – is a Fine Arts/Comic Book artist, having a career spanning 20 years, whose achievements have included working for Valiant Comics and Rich Buckler’s Visage Studios. He is also the creator of Little Miss Strange, the world’s first black alien sorceress and the all- genre anthology entitled – Immortal Fantasy. Both graphic albums are available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and other online book store outlets. Visit him: or

L. M. Davis, Author – began her love affair with fantasy in the second grade.  Her first novel, Interlopers: A Shifters Novel, was released in 2010, and the follow-up Posers: A Shifters Novel will be released this spring. For more information visit her blog: or her website

Ja Ja (DjaDja) N Medjay, Author – DjaDja Medjay is the author of The Renpet Sci-Fi Series. Shiatsu Practitioner. Holistic AfroFuturistic Rising in Excellence. Transmissions from The Future Earth can be found at:  or on Facebook – or on Twitter –!/Khonsugo.

Milton Davis, Author – Milton Davis is owner/publisher of MVmedia, LLC . As an author he specializes in science fiction and fantasy and is the author of Meji Book One, Meji Book Two and Changa’s Safari. Visit him: and

Margaret Fieland, Author – lives and writes in the suburbs west of Boston, MA with her partner and five dogs. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines: available from  Her book, “Relocated,” will be available from MuseItUp Publishing in July, 2012. The Angry Little Boy,” will be published by 4RV publishing in early 2013. You may visit her website,

Valjeanne Jeffers, Author – is an editor and the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend and Immortal III: Stealer of Souls. Her fourth and fifth novels: Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch: Clockwork will be released this spring. Visit her at: and

Alicia McCalla, Author – writes for both young adults and adults with her brand of multicultural science fiction, urban fantasy, and futurism. Her debut novel, Breaking Free will be available February 1, 2012. The Breaking Free theme song created by Asante McCalla is available for immediate download on itunes and Amazon. Visit her at:

Carole McDonnell, Author – She writes Christian, speculative fiction, and multicultural stories. Her first novel is Wind Follower. Her short fiction has appeared in many anthologies and have been collected in an ebook, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction. Visit Carole: or

Balogun Ojetade, Author – of the bestselling “Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within” (non-fiction), “Moses: TheChronicles of Harriet Tubman” (Steampunk) and the feature film, “A Single Link”. Visit him:

Rasheedah Phillips, Author – is the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair in Philly. She plans to debut her first spec/sci-fic novel Recurrence Plot in Spring 2012. You may catch her ruminating from time to time on her blog,

Nicole Sconiers, Author – is also a screenwriter living in the sunny jungle of L.A. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and she recently published Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage. Visit her:

Jarvis Sheffield, M.Ed. – is owner & operator of, & Visit him: