Frommer's Guide to Marvel Continuity1 of 13Now that it's been about a day since Marvel Comics launched (or got working, anyway) their interactive map of Battleworld, the staging ground for their Universe-ending Secret Wars event, we thought we'd take you, our dear readers, on a tour of the various territories and timelines that make up Battleworld itself.
Some of Battleworld's locales have been given official explanations as part of Marvel's interactive map, so we're focusing on those places still left undefined. Some have hard evidence to suggest their origins, such as a name that clearly makes reference to a specific story, or a connection to one of Marvel's previously released teaser images. But some require whole cloth speculation, and a little bit of intuition.
This traveler's guide is our best guess at the nature of the numerous, as yet undefined pieces of Battleworld!
Editor's note: The numbers associated with each territory correspond with the number assigned to the name on Marvel's map of Battleworld.
4. Egyptia2 of 13Egyptia is bit of a doozy to kick off this guide, since "Egyptia" is not a name tied to any known Marvel world. However, there are some compelling bits of evidence to suggest the nature of this territory - obscure as its origins may be.
Egyptia is likely tied to Earth-9105, a world where Moses never led an exodus out of Egypt, and where ancient Egyptian culture is still pervasive. Though Earth-9105 has been rarely seen - mostly in the New Warriors story "Forever Yesterday" - but the presence of Horus, Earth-9105's equivalent to Thor in several pieces of Secret Wars promotional art gives this idea credence.
8. The Regency3 of 13There's not a whole lot to go on for World 8, "the Regency." The only thing giving any clue as to its nature is an Amazing Spider-Man teaser image of an unmasked Peter Parker standing with Mary Jane Watson-Parker along with a young girl, presumably their daughter, possibly May Parker, with the words "Renew Your Vows."
And... That's about it. While that's not much, it does provide a few possibilities. Could the Regency be a post-Civil War world where Peter never made a deal with Mephisto, forgoing the necessity of Brand New Day? Or could it contain nascent aspects of the MC2 Universe, where May "Mayday" Parker inherited her father's abilities, and became fan-favorite Spider-Girl?
9. King James England4 of 13This one is actually pretty easy to spot. In all likelihood, King James England refers to Earth-311. the setting of Marvel's acclaimed mini-series 1602. Showcasing versions of the Marvel heroes with an Elizabethan twist, 1602 seems a no-brainer to bring in in some way.
And, even though England was still the land of Queen Elizabeth in 1602, it was only in 1603 when Elizabeth died, and the Scottish monarch James VI ascended the throne of England. Perhaps a year has passed in that timeline, leading to this new moniker for the era.
10. Weirdworld5 of 13Weirdworld is another obscure Marvel reference - if it's a reference at all. The only real link between Marvel and the name comes from a '70's fantasy comic of the same title. Created by Doug Moench and Mike Ploog, Weirdworld debuted in the first issue of black and white magazine Marvel Super Action before Ploog departed, leaving John Buscema to draw subsequent stories published in Marvel Super Special.
Aside from the murderer's row of talent associated with Weirdworld, it's hard to piece together exactly why Battleworld would include elements of a fairly typical fantasy story starring a couple of elves and a dwarf named "Mud-Butt," but as Axel Alonso and Tom Brevoort have reiterated time and again, nothing is off the table when it comes to Battleworld.
12. Utopolis6 of 13Utopolis may refer to a couple of different things, all of which are X-Men related. First and foremost, it may refer to Utopia, the island home of the X-Men before it was sunk by the Phoenix Five in Avengers vs X-Men. With the Utopians, a long teased faction of X-Men debuting just before Secret Wars starts, and several other territories dedicated to the X-Men at various points in history, this seems a possibility.
On the other hand, Utopolis may refer to parts of Earth-900, a world where Professor X's dream of peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants has come true, with the X-Men serving as a kind of police force, Storm serving as headmistress of the Xavier school, and James Howlett acting as a mutant terrorist. There are a lot of little elements there that either line up with current continuity - like Storm as headmistress - or which feed into possible Secret Wars outcomes, like a return for Wolverine.
13. New Mars7 of 13The most obvious explanation for New Mars is that it will tie in with the terraforming of Mars by Ex Nihilo at the beginning of Jonathan Hickman's Avengers run. Since that run is said to have set the stage for Secret Wars, and Hickman touted Ex Nihilo and his companion Abyss as important additions to the Avengers - an assertion that has yet to truly play out - there's a lot to suggest that this may be the case.
That said, there is also another strong possibility. New Mars may refer to the world inhabited by Killraven, a cult-classic character created by Roy Thomas, and inspired by H.G. Wells's War of the Worlds. Killraven is a John Carter-like figure who fights for freedom in a world conquered by Wells's Martians. There have long been rumblings of a revival for Killraven. Could Secret Wars finally see that come to fruition?
16. Arachnia8 of 13When it comes to Arachnia, one guess is really as good as any. Prevalent theories seem to hold that Arachnia will spin out of the conclusion of Spider-Verse, playing something of a counterpoint to Spider-Island, which is recalls the recent event where many characters and numerous civilians received Spider-Man's powers.
Arachnia could very well be the catch-all locale for the various Spider-Men (and Spider-Women, such as Gwen Stacy) who might survive Spider-Verse. On the other hand, it could be something completely different, but given Spider-Verse's multiverse-spanning story, it's likely there will be some tie-in between the two stories.
17. Marville9 of 13Despite sharing a name with the much-maligned limited series of the same name, Battleworld's Marville doesn't seem to share much in common with its hated namesake. Created as part of a bet with Peter David by then Marvel honcho Bill Jemas, Marville told the insufferably obtuse and referential story of Kal-AOL, a bizarre, media-driven Superman analogue.
Battleworld's Marville, however, was tied to a Skottie Young Marvel babies cover brandishing the AvX logo. This suggests that Marville may share only the element of parody with its namesake, and could perhaps bring in elements of Not Brand Echh, the Spectacular Spider-Ham, or even works like Crazy that featured a satirical bent.
18. The Eye of Agamotto10 of 13The Eye of Agamotto is a tough territory to navigate. While it has obvious ties to Dr. Strange, it doesn't represent a locale or world of its own. Still, with Strange receiving a huge power boost and conquering the Black Priests - central figures in the ongoing Incursions - it's not impossible that the Eye of Agamotto territory is exactly what it seems like.
Given Dr. Strange's long history with inter-dimensional travel and alternate universes, and the Dr. Strange movie's supposed connection to that idea, it makes sense to draw some connection between the Sorcerer Supreme and the multiverse. While we hesitate to judge a comic event by the possible film implications, the timing adds up. Perhaps Strange's Eye of Agamotto represents a safe-haven from the multiversal chaos? A kind of metaphysical Sanctum Sanctorum, or, more aptly, the eye of the storm?
21. The City11 of 13This one is a no-brainer. The City likely refers to a location featured in Jonathan Hickman's Ultimate Comics: Utimates. The City was an artificial environment created by Reed Richards's evil Ultimate counterpart. Taking up a huge portion of Europe, the City was built by beings raised in an environment of accelerated time, leading to their advanced evolutionary stage.
With the Ultimate Universe playing such a huge part in Secret Wars, and Hickman himself being the creator of the city - and the former writer of Reed Richards in Fantastic Four - it's pretty obvious why The City would be one of several Ultimate locations to make it to Battleworld.
22. The Warzone12 of 13While the name Warzone carries its own implications, mostly tied to the long running title Punisher: Warzone, judging by the promotional image attached to this region in the aforementioned video, which featured several prominent characters in era-appropriate costumes, it seems that Warzone actually represents a time where Marvel's Civil War is still raging.
It's unclear whether Warzone will be drawn from the time in the mainstream Marvel Universe where Civil War was still taking place, or if it represents a kind of "What If?" reality where it is still occurring, or had a different result. Warzone does raise the question of whether Battleworld will only be comprised of elements of other realities, or if even the timestream is at play in Secret Wars.
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