Secret Wars

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Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #1 (May 1984). Cover art by Mike Zeck.

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars is a twelve-issue comic book limited series published from May 1984 to April 1985 by Marvel Comics.

Publication history

The series was conceived by Marvel Comics' Editor-in-chief Jim Shooter and primarily pencilled by Mike Zeck. The series was supported by a toy line produced by the company Mattel.


A godlike cosmic entity called the Beyonder has been observing the Earth-616 universe - the mainstream Marvel universe. Fascinated by the presence of metahumans on Earth and their potential, this entity chooses a group of both superheroes and supervillains and teleports them (against their will) to "Battleworld", a planet created by the Beyonder in a distant galaxy, and stocked with alien weapons and technology. The Beyonder then issued the following decree: "I am from beyond! Slay your enemies and all that you desire shall be yours! Nothing you dream of is impossible for me to accomplish!" [1]

The heroes (the X-Men choose to stay as a separate unit) and villains have several skirmishes, and there are several significant developments both within the series:

  • Spider-Man finds and wears a black costume for the first time. He is initially unaware of the fact that the costume is in fact an alien symbiote and will eventually be worn by rival Eddie Brock, who will become the supervillain Venom. [4]
  • Doctor Doom temporarily steals a portion of the Beyonder's power. [5]
  • The Thing remains behind on Battleworld and explores the galaxy for a year. [6]

Cast of Characters




Tie-in issues

Unlike later crossovers, none of the following issues were bannered or promoted as being part of Secret Wars, but do feature characters leaving/returning from 'Battleworld'. The first issue for each entry denotes departure; the second return.

Note: Spider-Man returns to Earth in a new black costume, with Curt Connors.

Note: The Avengers return without She-Hulk.

Note: Mr. Fantastic and Human Torch return with She-Hulk as part of the team.


A sequel, Secret Wars II, was published in 1985.

Alternate Versions

What If?

The story "Brave New World" by Jay Faerber and Gregg Schigiel explored what happened to Earth if the heroes had stayed on Battleworld after defeating the Beyonder. [8]

Other Media


An abbreviated form of the Secret Wars is featured in a three-part story of Spider-Man: The Animated Series.

Mattel Toy Series

Mattel released two lines of figures (with a series of vehicles and accessories) in 1984 and 1985.


  1. Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #1 (May 1984)
  2. Secret Wars #3 (Jul. 1984)
  3. Secret Wars #6 (Oct. 1984)
  4. Secret Wars #8 (Dec. 1984)
  5. Secret Wars #10 (Feb. 1985)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Secret Wars #12 (Apr. 1985)
  7. Avengers #243 (May 1984)
  8. What If...? #114 (vol. 2, Nov. 1998)

External links