While most of the Marvel Universe has moved on from Secret Wars (and is already on to "Marvel NOW!"), New Avengers has consistently dealt with the multiversal fallout of Marvel’s 2015 mega-event. In New Avengers #17, readers finally get some answers to longstanding questions – not just about the multiverse, but about a classic Marvel character whose had more than his share of hard times in recent years.
Spoilers ahead for New Avengers #17.
New Avengers #17 opens with the Maker, the evil version of Reed Richards from the now deceased Ultimate Universe, explaining how he came to exist in the post-Secret Wars reality. As it turns out, he was personally saved by Owen Reece, the Molecule Man, himself. Reece’s abilities powered and created Battleworld, and became the engine by which the mainstream Marvel Universe’s Reed Richards began rebuilding the cosmos.
But Reece didn’t only save The Maker – he created another version of him in every new universe, with the same personality and the same goals. Maker doesn’t exactly say why, but implies that he is the counterpoint to the Reed Richards that is still sequestered in a pocket dimension – a Reed who “actually gets things done.” And, as he reveals to Roberto DaCosta later in the issue, part of “getting things done” is building wheels within wheels of conspiracy and plotting, of which he claims Nadia Pym, the new Wasp, is a part. Again, Maker doesn’t clarify what role she might play in his schemes, but makes it clear he has some connection to her.
The new Wasp isn’t the only Marvel character with some big news in New Avengers #17. It turns out Dum Dum Dugan - revealed to have been replaced with an LMD by Nick Fury in 2014's Original Sins, and now the likeness of a whole squad of killer robots – isn’t actually dead. Fury put his injured body in suspended animation, and has been using his actual consciousness to power the army of LMD’s that have menaced Avengers Idea Mechanics.
Dugan ceases his attack after this revelation, but needless to say, he ain’t happy. However, the fallout from this - and from DaCosta’s eventual capture of The Maker - will have to wait for the series finale in New Avengers #18, due out November 23.