Marvel will publish a new "Secret Wars" by writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Esad Ribic as a year-long event starting in May 2015, the publisher revealed the Thursday night of New York Comic Con at an offsite event at Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. in Times Square. The story will commence at the conclusion of the currently running "Avengers" and "New Avengers" storyline, "Time Runs Out."
"This worked out for us pretty well a long time ago," Dan Buckley, Marvel's President & Publisher of print, TV and digital, said at the event. Buckley said it's a story Hickman has been planning since the start of his run on "Avengers" and "New Avengers" in 2012; saying he wanted to revisit the classic crossover but tell the story in a "different way."
"We've been sitting on this for a very long time," Buckley said. "When Jonathan brought this to us, we had an opportunity to just not celebrate this in publishing, so we're going to be extending this in a year-long program into 2016 with our merchandising partners, digital partners and other partners."
Buckley's plans fit firmly in "Secret Wars" tradition -- the original 1984 story, one of the most popular and influential mainstream comic book events, was a year-long 12-issue story, and had a heavy merchandising aspect in the form of a toy line from Mattel. Three of the merchandising partners named for the new "Secret Wars" was current Marvel toy license-holder Hasbro, Gentle Giant and retail chain Hot Topic.
"There will be many more announcements leading up to May and beyond May," Buckley said.
Thursday's event also revealed that an ABC prime time special celebrating Marvel's 75th anniversary, titled "Marvel 75 Years: From Pulp to Pop!" will air Tuesday, Nov. 4 in the usual 9 p.m. "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." time slot. The special will be hosted by "Revenge" star Emily VanCamp, who played Agent 13 in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."
The first portion of the brief media presentation featured Buckley giving a brief history of Marvel's evolution from Timely Comics to the cross-platform superhero powerhouse it is today. The new "Secret Wars," Buckley said, is a way of pushing Marvel's current momentum forward.
Keep reading CBR for more on the new "Secret Wars," and the latest news from New York Comic Con.