Secret Wars (1984-1985) Reading Order

The first major Marvel crossover. When Mattel decided to create a toy line based on Marvel characters, they found the two most popular words with boys at the time were ‘secret’ and ‘war’. So, we got Secret Wars. Marvel released a twelve-issue limited series to tie-in with the launch of the figures. What they ended up with was the model for event-level stories in the Marvel Universe. And it got eight-year-old Dave Molyneaux into comics, back in the day!   Sure, there are issues leading in and out of the main 12-issue series, but the main series stands alone perfectly and is all you actually need to read to understand this event.   Secret Wars’ lasting impact is still felt today, with the introduction of the alien Symbiote that would eventually lead to the birth of Venom, Magneto truly allying himself with the X-Men, She-Hulk joining the Fantastic Four for the first time and much, much more. See our ‘Fallout’ section below for the full list!  

SCROLL DOWN to the bottom for the KEY COLLECTED EDITIONS for this event!  

Major Crossover: A twelve-issue limited series with optional stories that lead into and out of the main event. Though the tie-ins aren’t required reading, it could be argued that it’s not a ‘major’ event at all, but the series should be read by those following the titles starring heroes who appear in this event.  

Must Reads: Story arcs marked with a ✔are must-read stories from this time period, along with any key related stories and often-forgotten tales that are worth a read.  

Anthology Issues: When an issue contains multiple stories, the relevant story is denoted with square brackets. For example, [2/5] refers to the second story of the five stories in that issue, so you don’t need to read the other four. 

Note: The 1984 ‘Secret Wars’ event is not to be confused with SECRET WAR (2004-2006) or SECRET WARS (2015-2016).

Want to keep it simple? Here’s the chronological reading order without story descriptions, or spoilers:

  •      Uncanny X-Men #180
  •      Iron Man #181
  •      Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #89 (tie-in)
  •      Marvel Team-Up #140 (tie-in)
  •      Avengers #242
  •      Captain America #292 (tie-in)
  •      Thing #10
  •      Amazing Spider-Man #251
  •      Incredible Hulk #294
  • Secret Wars #1-7
  •      Fantastic Four 265 [1/2] (tie-in)
  • Secret Wars #8-12
  •      Amazing Spider-Man #252
  •      Incredible Hulk #295
  •      Avengers #243
  •      Iron Man #182 (tie-in)
  •      Fantastic Four #265 [2/2]
  •      Uncanny X-Men #181
  •      Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #90 (tie-in)
  •      Marvel Team-Up #141 (tie-in)
  •      Thing #11
  •      Thor #341 (tie-in)

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Must ReadsTitle, Issue Number & Synopsis
Captain America #292 (tie-in) (pp.1-12)
Steve Rogers suffers from nightmares of giant spectral crow. Steve’s relationship with Bernie Rosenthal grows stronger. Nomad starts getting his life on track. The Black Crow attacks Steve Rogers on the street in the hope of symbolically freeing America from the white man. Steve is concerned that this mystery assailant knows he’s secrety Captain America.
Uncanny X-Men #180 (pp.1-21)
Professor X makes the most of his new cloned body that allows him to walk again, but the alien probes that are sweeping the Earth are causing him serious harm. Colossus struggles with Kitty Pryde‘s decision to marry Caliban to save his life, even though she didn’t have to go through with it. Kitty makes peace with Storm over her new look.
Also part of AWAY GAME
Amazing Spider-Man #251 (pp.1-16)
Spider-Man‘s explosive battle with the Hobgoblin has almost resulted in both their deaths. As their fight continues aboard the Hobgoblin’s Battle Van, the vehicle careers into the Hudson River. The van sinks and explodes and all Spidey can find is the Hobgoblin’s torn mask. Spider-Man tells J Jonah Jameson that he’s free from the Hobgoblin’s blackmail scheme, but JJJ has decided to step down as Publisher of the Daily Bugle and confess to helping create the Scorpion.
Iron Man #181 (pp.1-22)
James Rhodes has taken up the mantle of Iron Man since Tony Stark‘s descent into alcoholism and the loss of Stark Enterprises to Obadiah Stane. Now faceing the Mandarin in battle, Rhodey finds himself unmasked and under the control of the villain’s rings. Only the headaches he’s experiencing allow him to break free. He tricks the Chinese Air Force into destroying the Mandarin’s mountain headquarters and heads back to America.
Iron Man #182 (pp.1-16)
The inebriated Tony Stark wanders the snow-covered New York in search of his pregnant friend, Gretl Anders, unsure if the cold or the alcohol will kill him first. Gretl finds him and he helps her give birth to a baby boy before the cold takes her life. Tony and the baby survive the night.
Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #89 (pp.1-20) (tie-in)
Spider-Man is still recovering from his recent bouts with Mister Hyde and the Hobgoblin. He goes in search of the Black Cat to repair their relationship. Meanwhile, the Cat rushing about the city trying to get super-powers so Spidey will consider her an equal. When she’s turned down by the Avengers and Fantastic Four, the Black Cat turns to her underworld connections and accepts an offer from a mysterious benefactor. After gaining ‘bad luck’ powers, she learns the Kingpin is behind her upgrade and is now in his debt.
Captain America #292 (tie-in) (pp.13-22)
Captain America and Nomad are drawn into battle with the Black Crow on the Brooklyn Bridge. Despite almost succeeding, the Black Crow relents when he realises Cap is a good man.
Marvel Team-Up #140 (pp.1-11) (tie-in)
Spider-Man is witness to a robbery in which a pawn shop owner is shot dead. The crime is pinned on former gang member Juan Santiago. The case is rushed to court due to its sensitive nature. Matt Murdock is brought in to act as defense for Juan.
Iron Man #181 (p.23)
Under Morely Erwin’s advice, James Rhodes dons the Iron Man armour and investigates a strange structure in Central Park, only to disappear on his way inside…

Must ReadsTitle, Issue Number & Synopsis
Marvel Team-Up #140 (pp.1-11) (tie-in)
With Juan’s sentencing only a week away, Spider-Man and the Black Widow search for evidence to help Matt Murdock prove the boy’s innocence. The duo confront the gang and Spidey obtains the murder weapon.
Avengers #242 (pp.1-6)
The Avengers return to Avengers Mansion after their mission in California to celebrate Hawkeye‘s surprise marriage to Mockingbird.
Also part of TOTAL WAR!
Thor #341 (tie-in)  (pp.1-2)
Thor returns to Earth after months away and heads into Avengers Mansion…
Avengers #242 (pp.7-15)
Thor rejoins the Avengers. The Vision is back on his feet (since the injuries he suffered during ANNIHILATION GAMBIT), though he’s been uncharacteristically forceful about the direction the Avengers should be taking. He warns the team about the strange energies he’s been detecting lately, and demands the Avengers’ roster should be expanded so that he and the Scarlet Witch can rejoin.
Thing #10
The Thing and Alicia Masters discuss their relationship. Thing seems to be coming to the conclusion that it’s unfair on Alicia for them to stay together as he’ll never be able to turn back into the human form of Ben Grimm and her life is constantly in danger. Their talk is interrupted when Mister Fantastic orders him and the Human Torch to investigate an energy surge in Central Park. The three male members of the Fantastic Four leave Alicia and the pregnant Invisible Girl back at the Baxter Building and disappear inside the structure…
Avengers #242 (pp.16-18)
Wasp, Captain America and Thor discuss the possible changes to the line-up, but are interrupted when the energies in Central Park surge. All present Avengers head off to investigate…
Also part of WRIATH WAR
Avengers #242 (pp.16-18)
Wasp, Captain America and Thor discuss the possible changes to the line-up, but are interrupted when the energies in Central Park surge. All present Avengers head off to investigate…
Also part of WRIATH WAR
Avengers #242 (p.20)
The Vision, Mockingbird, Scarlet Witch and Starfox are horrified when the structure vashishes.
Also part of WRAITH WAR
Uncanny X-Men #180 (pp.21-23)
Kitty Pryde agrees to accompany Doug Ramsey to the Massachusetts Academy only to be confronted by Emma Frost on the plane journey. The X-Men investigate the source of Professor X’s headaches that seem to be coming from a structure in Central Park. They walk inside it and disappear…
Also part of AWAY GAME
Amazing Spider-Man #251 (pp.17-18)
Peter Parker checks in on Harry Osborn who now knows his father was the Green Goblin.

Must ReadsTitle, Issue Number & Synopsis
Amazing Spider-Man #251 (pp.18-21)
Marvel Team-Up #140 (pp.19-20) (tie-in)
Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #89 (pp.20-21) (tie-in)
Spider-Man investigates the structure in Central Park and disappears inside…
Incredible Hulk #294
Bruce Banner not only has full control of the Hulk, he’s also using his gamma research to cure various terminal diseases. Former crime kingpin, Max Hammer, hires Boomerang to kidnap Banner’s girlfriend, Kate Waynesboro, and forces him to jump from animal testing to human to save Hammer’s life. Hammer survives the process, despite ending up with green skin. On his way to retrieve Kate, the Hulk is drawn to the structure in Central Park and disappears inside…
Marvel Team-Up #140 (pp.21) (tie-in)
Lawyer Matt Murdock is brought in to provide legal representation for the wrongly-accused gang member when it’s revealed that the gun wasn’t the one used to kill the pawn broker…
Secret Wars #1
Magneto, Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, Avengers and Fantastic Four find themselves on a construct in space. A similar vehicle containing some of Earth’s worst villains floats nearby and both groups witness the introduction of the disembodied Beyonder and the creation of his Battleworld from chunks of other planets. He offers to grant them their desires if they slay their enemies. Galactus tries to confront the Beyonder, followed by Doctor Doom only for them both to be cast down to Battleworld. Once the two groups are beamed down, the heroes question the inclusion of Magneto among them, so he takes his leave. Captain America is selected as the heroes’ leader. Doom finds the other villains in a building filled with weapons, but opts to approach Mister Fantastic to find a way home. Kang shoots down Doom’s ship and, when Mister Fantastic offers him help, he rejects it and leaves. That’s when the villains decide to attack!
Secret Wars #2
The villains suffer their first loss and some are taken prisoner. The heroes discover a gigantic building which they decide to use as a headquarters. Doctor Doom (who’s meant to be dead since THE TRIAL OF REED RICHARDS) witnesses Galactus’ recovery and returns to ‘Doombase’ where he reprograms Ultron as his bodyguard and takes leadership of the remaining villains. Magneto leaves his own HQ and breaks in to the heroes’ base and kidnaps the Wasp. The Thing tries to free her, but ends up unespectedly transforming into human form…
Amazing Spider-Man #252 (pp.1-3)
J Jonah Jameson and Joe Robertson discuss thew apparent disappearance of a number of notable costumed heroes.
Secret Wars #3
The Wasp becomes less of a prisoner and more of a romantic interest when she discusses an alliance with Magneto. Spider-Man discovers the X-Men’s plans to join with Magneto and almost defeats all of them, but Professor X wipes his memory to stop him from telling the others. Doctor Doom empowers two women from the chunk of Denver that makes up part of Battleworld. They name themselves Volcana and Titania. Volcana immediately becomes enamoured with the Molecule Man who’s been trying to turn away from his criminal past. Enchantress convinces Thor to free her and go elsewhere with her and put their enmity behind them. Hulk starts to lose his intellect and doesn’t notice the attacking villain craft as Doom leads his forces against them…
Secret Wars #4
Under Doom’s direction, the Molecule Man destroy’s the heroes’ headquarters. They try to escape, but Molecule Man drops a mountain range on them. Enchantress and Thor return, but she turns her back on him when the villains attack. Ultron appears to disintegrate Thor, then kills Kang for betraying Doom. The X-Men arrive at Magneto’s base and the Wasp take the opportunity to escape. The Hulk props up a tiny gap in the mountain and Mister Fantastic uses Iron Man’s armour tech to power a device to break them free. Thor helps them out and the group head to an alien village where Mister Fantastic makes a terrifying realisation…
Secret Wars #5
The Human Torch hooks up with the village’s healer, Zsaji. Galactus’ Worldship looms above Battleworld. Magneto and Professor X send the X-Men to monitor Galactus while they try to make contact psychically. Mister Fantastic tries to convince Galactus not to consume Battleworld, but is hit with feedback. Galactus send a robot to keep the heroes at bay. They defeat it, but the villains take the opportunity to attack them in their weakened state. The X-Men join the fight against the villains, but leave the injured Colossus behind when it’s all over. In the chaos, Doom takes a shuttle up to the Worldship…

Must ReadsTitle, Issue Number & Synopsis
Secret Wars #6
Doctor Doom finds and reconstitutes Klaw on the Worldship (his energy was blasted at Galactus during BEHOLD… GALACTUS!) and sends him back to Battleworld, despite now being insane, and relays Doom’s orders. Wasp finds the Lizard in a swamp and befriends him until she’s shot dead by the Wrecking Crew‘s tank. A team of X-Men intercept Doom’s efforts to use the Molecule Man’s power to distract Galactus by firing up dormant volcanos. Wolverine slices Molecule Man open. The villains escape, but Cyclops activates the volcano, anyway. Back at the village, Colossus becomes obsessed with Zsaji after she heals him. And someone’s watching the heroes from the shadows…
Secret Wars #7
A new Spider-Woman emerges, having arrived on Battleworld when Denver formed part of the planet. The Wrecking Crew drive through, hurling Wasp’s corpse at the heroes on their way. Captain America orders the heroes to stand down and focus on Galactus instead of seeking revenge. Volcana makes a deal with the Enchantress to be transported to the injured Molecule Man’s side. The X-Men renew their fight with the small group fo villains and Wolverine cuts the Absorbing Man’s arm off while he’s in rock form. He manages to reattach it when they return to base. Galactus senses Doom’s efforts to look for a weapon to use against the Beyonder on his ship and casts him back to Battleworld. She-Hulk goes off alone, seeking revenge over Wasp’s death. She breaks into Doombase and defeats the Wrecking Crew singlehandedly, only to fall at the hands of the other villains led by Titania. The X-Men agree to monitor Galactus so the other heroes can rescue She-Hulk…
Marvel Team-Up #141 (pp.1-12) (tie-in)
Matt Murdock takes to the streets as Daredevil and, with Black Widow, looks for clues that might save Juan Santiago from going to jail for a crime he didn’t commit.
Fantastic Four 265 [1/2] (tie-in)
The Trapster breaks into the empty Baxter Building, but is defeated by Roberta the robot receptionist.
Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #90 (pp.1-19) (1984)
The Black Cat searches for the missing Spider-Man, even coming to his apartment and almost blowing his cover to his landlady, Mamie Muggins, and the staff at the Daily Bugle. The Vision has no information, but offers her membership on the tyeam. She rejects the offer, but he still encourages her to stay on the strait and narrow as many Avengers have criminal pasts.
Secret Wars #8
The heroes defeat the villains and find the battered She-Hulk. Mister Fantastic uses Doombase’s cell-regenerating devices to help her heal. The villains, including a burnt-out Doctor Doom are locked up in the base’s prison cells. A severely weakened Zsaji comes to Colossus having used her powers to bring the Wasp back to life. Spider-Man discovers a costume-making machine that gives him a new look that’s very similar to Spider-Woman’s. And Galactus begins to devour Battleworld…
Secret Wars #9
Ben Grimm somehow transforms back into the Thing. Spider-Man discovers his costume can generate its own webs at will and change shape. The heroes join the X-Men in trying to stop Galactus from eating the planet. Galactus pauses the battle and brings Mister Fantastic to his Worldship to show him how his wife, the Invisible Girl, is doing on Earth. Galactus could consume Battleworld and be rewarded with an end to his hunger by the Beyonder, but Mister Fantastic will fight to see his family again. The battle is renewed and Galactus is defeated. He escapes Battleworld and begins to absorb his Worldship to stay alive. Doctor Doom uses the dissected Klaw as lenses to power a device that allows him to steal Galactus’ energy for himself…
Secret Wars #10
Captain Marvel flies back to Doombase to witness Doctor Doom absorbing the energies from the Worldship. The cosmic-powered Doom dons new armour and assaults the Beyonder. Battleworld begins to crumble due to the energies from the cosmic battle and Doom sends his consciousness to the heroes to ask for allies. Magneto is tempted, but the heroes hold him back. The heroes free the villains from the crumbling Doombase. Despite losing body parts and being on the brink of defeat, Doctor Doom appears as a giant above the heroes on Battleworld and announces himself as victor, having taken the Beyonder’s power. He returns to normal size and unmasks!
Secret Wars #11
Doom reveals his healed face and new outlook. Molecule Man threatens to kill Doom who, instead, opens Molecule Man’s mind to show him the full scope of what his powers allow him to do. Molecule Man gathers the villains, lifts Denver out of Battleworld and powers it through space toward Earth. The heroes are summoned to the Tower of Doom where Doctor Doom has restored Klaw and resurrects Kang. A form of energy hops from Spider-Woman to Klaw. Doom offers to grant the heroes’ desires, but warns them not to oppose him. Later, Colossus and Zsaji get together. The heroes meet in the ruins of Doombase to decide what to do about Doom. When they all agree to oppose him, Doom sends an energy blast over that kills them all…

Must ReadsTitle, Issue Number & Synopsis
Secret Wars #12
The Enchantress tries to use Volcana’s life-energy to transport herself back to Asgard, but she’s attacked by the Lizard and transports herself and the savage creature back to Battleworld by mistake. She blasts the Lizard and risks teleporting back to Asgard, anyway. The Molecule Man restores the stars destroyed by the Beyonder and takes Denver back to Earth. Klaw questions Doctor Doom, asking if he has subconsciously resurrected the heroes or if Zsaji use her power to resurrect Colossus at the cost of her life to that Colossus used the regenerative machines at Doombase to restore the others. Either way, the heroes are alive again and they’re attacking the Tower of Doom! They fight their way through Ultron and Klaw’s cosmically-generated monsters and Captain America faces Doom one-on-one. Klaw repeatedly resurrects Cap each time Doom destroys him. The energy inside Klaw is revealed to be the Beyonder and it takes the opportunity to reclaim his power from Doom. Klaw and Doom disappear. Mister Fantastic creates a device that transports the heroes back to the ships that brought them to Battleworld and return them to Earth. The Thing decides to remain on Battleworld so he can change back to Ben Grimm whenever he wants to, so She-Hulk takes the Thing’s place on the Fantastic Four when the team return home.
Fantastic Four #265 [2/2] (pp.1-7)
The Invisible Girl recalls the disappearance of the Fantastic Four. She catches up with Alicia Masters and stops by at Avengers Mansion where she chats to Mockingbird who’s struggling with the apparent loss of her new husband, Hawkeye.
Avengers #243 (pp.1-14)
The Vision gives a press conference to announce himself as leader of the remaining Avengers, but the public don’t warm to him. Despite this, he has bigger plans in mind. Starfox stops a bank robbery and the Scarlet Witch helps stop a fire in an apartment block.
Amazing Spider-Man #252 (pp.3-6) (1984)
Marvel Team-Up #141 (p.13)
The gigantic structure appears in Central Park once again. Spider-Man is the first to emerge from it with Dr Curt Conners – the former Lizard – and celebrates his return.
Incredible Hulk #295 (pp.1-6)
The Hulk emerges from the construct, nursing a leg injury from the final fight with Ultron and with limited control over his rage. He immediately resumes his search for Kate Waynesboro.
Avengers #243 (pp.15-16)
Iron Man #182 (p.16)
Amazing Spider-Man #252 (p.6-7)
The Avengers emerge from the construct in Central Park.
Amazing Spider-Man #7-9 (7-9)
Marvel Team-Up #141 (p.14)
Spider-Man takes Curt Conners home to his family.
Iron Man #182 (pp.16-18) (tie-in)
After flying off, Iron Man tests the upgrades Mister Fantastic gave the suit using alien tech from Battleworld.
Avengers #243 (pp.16-17)
The Avengers from Battleworld reunite with the teammates they left behind.
Also part of WRIATH WAR
Fantastic Four #265 [2/2] (pp.7-11)
The Invisible Girl is walking in Central Park with Alicia Masters and her son, Franklin Richards, when a blinding flash signals the return of the Avengers. The Fantastic Four soon follow, but She-Hulk emerges in the Thing’s place. The Human Torch starts explaining to Alicia that the Thing has stayed behind when the Invisible Girl is suddenly stricken with pain and a flash of radiation. It looks like the birth of her second child may be as dramatic as the first. The Human Torch rushes her to hospital.
Incredible Hulk #295 (pp.7-11)
Hulk locates and defeats Boomerang when he rescues Kate Waynesboro from Max Hammer’s apartment.

Must ReadsTitle, Issue Number & Synopsis
Amazing Spider-Man #252 (pp.10-22)
Peter Parker returns to his own apartment, leaving again just before the Black Cat shows up. He destroys the photos he took on Battleworld and his new costume – which almost seems to be alive – slinks back onto him, encouraging him to go for a web-spin. He interrupts two arguing kids and shows them how great New York is, in celebration of being home again.
Uncanny X-Men #181
When the X-Men teleported off Battleworld, a giant alien dragon came along for the ride! Now, the X-Men emerge in Japan and the dragon has come with them. Rogue is sent back to America to check on the New Mutants while the X-Men and Sunfire face the dragon, but it’s Lockheed who shoos her away from the city. A girl called Amiko loses her mother during the dragon’s rampage. Wolverine decides to adopt her, but leaves her in the care of Mariko Yashida. Cyclops is conveniently dropped back into his honeymoon with Madelyne Pryor. Back in America, the US Government puts forward a bill for the Mutant Affairs Control Act.
Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #90 (pp.19-22) (tie-in)
Black Cat creeps outside May Parker‘s house when Spider-Man appears, spooking her out in his new black costume…
Avengers #243 (pp.18-22)
Wasp gathers the Avengers at the Mansion and officially hands the role of Chairman to the Vision who announces the plan to form a team of West Coast Avengers led by Hawkeye. Earth will need all the Avengers it can get if it has a chance of tackling the threat of the Dire Wraiths.
Also part of WRAITH WAR
Iron Man #182 (pp.18-21) (tie-in)
Rhodey finds out Tony Stark is in hospital and pays him a visit.
Incredible Hulk #295 (pp.12-22)
Returning to his lab, Bruce Banner discovers Hammer has been giving away gamma treatments to loads of people. When one of the tested dogs comes back dead, having been shot by its owner to protect his family from its rage, Hammer ends up transforming into an angry behemoth right before the Hulk’s eyes.
Marvel Team-Up #141 (pp.14-22) (tie-in)
Spider-Man swings back into action in his new costume and helps Daredevil and the Black Widow apprehend the pawnbroker who shot his rival and clear Juan Santiago’s name.
Thing #11
It’s been three days since the heroes left Battleworld, and Ben Grimm is starting to get lonely. The device that can transport him off Battleworld is stolen by a creater called a Taker. He gives chase and discovers a village where he meets a female alien called Llrrllllnnllyyrrl who helps Ben by giving him a flying beast. He flies it into the Takers’ tower and is transported to another part of Battleworld. He changes into the Thing without thinking and confronts the Takers who give him back the device.
Thor #341 (pp.3-22) (tie-in)
A week after returning from Battleworld, after returning to Earth, Thor gets help from Nick Fury in creating a new civilian identity as ‘Sigurd Jarlson’. He saves Lorelei from Fafnir, unaware it’s actually all part of her plan.
Iron Man #182 (pp.22) (tie-in)
The experience with Gretl’s baby convinces Tony Stark to change the direction of his life and get help.

Must ReadsIssues & FalloutEvent / Crossover
New Mutants #15-16 (1984)
Emma Frost reveals her plan to take Kitty Pryde back into the Massachusetts Academy by force; Kitty saves herself and Doug Ramsey with help from the New Mutants.
Secret Wars: Battleworld #1-4 (2023-2024)
An untold tale from Spider-Man’s time on Battleworld with his new black costume is revealed.
Code of Honor #3 (1997)
It’s revealed that the villains who weren’t taken to Battleworld ran rampant while the heroes were away.
Fantastic Four #266-268 (1984)
Having been arrested after Denver returns to Earth, Doctor Octopus is one of a small band of scientists called upon to assist in the delivery of the Invisible Girl’s baby; sadly, the baby doesn’t survive.
Marvels: Eye of the Camera #4 (2009)
The return of the heroes is celebrated on TV.
Uncanny X-Men #183 (1984)
Colossus breaks up with Kitty Pryde due his relationship on Battleworld with Zsaji.
Incredible Hulk #296 (1984)
Hulk defeats Max Hammer.
Incredible Hulk #300 (1984)
The Hulk’s growing rage on Battleworld comes to a head as he becomes a savage Hulk, thanks to Nightmare‘s manipulations; Doctor Strange banishes the Hulk to the otherdimensional Crossroads to save New York.
Thing #12-14 (1984)
The Thing’s adventures on Battleworld continue; the Thing battles a wizard who’s remarkably similar to Doctor Doom and meets Tarianna, the woman of his dreams.
Avengers #244-245 (1984)
The Avengers join in the war against the Dire Wraiths; Quicksilver asks Bova to become Luna’s nanny, but it doesn’t end well.
Amazing Spider-Man #255 (1984)
Hobgoblin returnss, having survived the Battle Van crash.
New Mutants #21 (1984)
Doug Ramsey joins the New Mutants as Cypher; Magneto next appears, having returned to the seclusion of Asteroid M.
Iron Man #183 (1984)
James Rhodes discards the upgrades Mister Fantastic added to his armour with alien tech on Battleworld when they prove to be too powerful to use on Earth.
West Coast Avengers #1 (1984)
As Iron Man, James Rhodes joins the West Coast Avengers.
Iron Man #188 (1984)
Tony Stark creates Circuits Maximus, a new company to replace the lost Stark Industries .
Amazing Spider-Man #258 (1984)
Mister Fantastic performs experiments on Spider-Man’s new costume and reveals it to be a living alien Symbiote; Spider-Man’s costume is removed and contained.

Thor #350 (1984)
The Enchantress is revealed to have survived the journey back to Asgard.
Thing #16-18 (1984)
A mysterious cloaked man begins to make the Thing’s life difficult on Battleworld.
Avengers #250 (1984)
The second source of suspicious energy detected by the Vision is revealed to be from Maelstrom; the bi-coastal Avengers join forces to defeat him.

Must ReadsIssues & FalloutEvent / Crossover
Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #100 (1985)
Spider-Man learns the Black Cat gained her powers from the Kingpin, permanently damaging their relationship.
Avengers #252-254 (1985)
The Vision’s long-term plan to take over the world’s computers is revealed and ended by the Avengers.
Thing #21-22 (1985)
Ultron’s body is restored and he build an army of conquering robots on Battleworld; the Thing realises his experiences on Battleworld have been created by his own will, including the threat of Grimm the Sorcerer; the realisation ends Ultron’s threat and dissolves his body, leaving him as just a robotic head; the Thing takes Ultron’s head back to Earth while Battleworld explodes.
Fantastic Four #277 (1985)
The Thing returns to Earth with Ultron’s head; Thing learns ‘Alicia Masters’ has become romantically involved with the Human Torch.

Thing #23 (1985)
Thing learns that he could transform back into human form is he’d managed to get over the mental block caused by Alicia Masters, which was already theorised by Mister Fantastic; feeling betrayed, the Thing decides not to rejoin the Fantastic Four.
Iron Man #195 (1985)
Alpha Flight’s Shaman helps cure James Rhodes’ headaches caused by the Iron Man armour not being adjusted to his brain patterns.
Secret Wars II #1 (1985)
The Beyonder comes to Earth to observe humanity directly; the Molecule Man and Volcana next appear, having moved in together and trying to maintain normal lives.
Iron Man #200 (1985)
Tony Stark becomes Iron Man again.
Thing #28 (1985)
The Thing becomes a wrestler when he joins the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation.
New Avengers: Illuminati #3 (2007)
Mister Fantastic, Professor X and other members of the Illuminati confront the Beyonder directly when he comes to Earth, though the apparent origin they uncover is probably a fabrication created by the Beyonder to misdirect them.
Uncanny X-Men #200 (1985)
Magneto joins the X-Men and takes over the tutelage of the New Mutants at Professor X’s request.
Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #109-110 (1985-1986)
Daredevil reveals to Spider-Man that he’s figured out his secret identity.
Uncanny X-Men #201 (1986)
Cyclops and Storm battle for leadership of the X-Men; Storm wins and Cyclops leaves the team.
Secret Wars II #7 (1986)
Absorbing Man, Kang, Titania and Wrecker next appear as part of the army of villains hired by Mephisto to kill the Beyonder.
West Coast Avengers #7 (1986)
The Ultron-11 from Battleworld clashes with the more evolved Ultron-12 who wants to form a genuine bond with his ‘father’, Hank Pym; Ultron-11 kills Ultron-12.
Fantastic Four #288 (1986)
Doctor Doom next appears when the Beyonder restores him to his original form, reconciling his appearance son Battleworld after the destruction of his physical body.

Secret Wars II #9 (1986)
It’s revealed that the experiment that gave the Molecule Man his powers also opened the pinhole to the Beyonder’s universe; the Molecule Man clashes with the Beyonder who dies trying to give himself a more vulnerabe human form.

Avengers #266 (1986)
The Molecule Man and Volcana help the Avengers to save Earth after the final battle with the Beyonder.
Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #117 (1986)
Doctor Strange alters the Black Cat’s powers, removing the ‘bad luck’ element.
Uncanny X-Men #206 (1986)
Spider-Woman next appears as a member of the government-sanctioned Freedom Force team.
Daredevil #237 (1986)
Klaw next appears, having returned to a semblance of sanity, trying to reestablish his reputation by taking down Daredevil.
Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #125 (1987)
Bulldozer, Piledriver and Thunderball next appear, reforming the Wrecking Crew.

Must ReadsIssues & FalloutEvent / Crossover
Fantastic Four #296 (1986)
The Thing returns to the Fantastic Four.
Amazing Spider-Man #283 (1987)
The Absorbing Man and Titania’s ongoing relationship is confirmed; Titania is revealed to have a phobia of Spider-Man after he defeated her on Battleworld.
Fantastic Four #300 (1987)
The Human Torch marries ‘Alicia Masters’; She-Hulk unofficially leaves the Fantastic Four and returns to the Avengers.
Silver Surfer #1 (1987)
A rejuvenated Galactus returns.
Thor #383 (1987)
The Enchantress’ attempt to lure Thor to her side in the Secret Wars is expanded in a flashback sequence.
Amazing Spider-Man #289 (1987)
The Hobgoblin’s reign of terror comes to an end.
Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #127 (1987)
Dr Curt Conners is transformed into the Lizard again.
Amazing Spider-Man #298-300 (1988)
Spider-Man’s black costume is revealed to have bonded with Eddie Brock to become Venom.
Fantastic Four #319 (1988)
The ‘true’ origin of the Beyonder is revealed; the Molecule Man merges with the Beyonder to form a giant Cosmic Cube.  
X-Factor #38 (1989)
Death does part Maddie Pryor and Cyclops when she dies opposing the X-Men as the Goblin Queen.
Solo Avengers #14 (1989)
Titania continues her feud with She-Hulk.
What If? #4 (1989)
The Watcher reveals alternate reality, Earth-1089, in which Spider-Man is possessed by his Symbiote alien costume.
Quasar #8 (1990)
Quasar finds out that Iron Man’s discarded Secret Wars armour has gained sentience.
Fantastic Four Annual #23 (1990)
The Beyonder takes a new form as Kosmos when he meets the former Cosmic Cube called Kubik.
Uncanny X-Men #268 (1990)
It’s revealed that Captain America and Wolverine already met in World War II.
Amazing Spider-Man #343 (1991)
The Black Cat completely loses her powers.
Avengers West Coast #74 (1991)
Spider-Woman joins the Avengers.
Uncanny X-Men #280 (1991)
Professor X loses the use of his legs again in a battle with the Shadow King.
Fantastic Four Annual #24 (1991)
The Molecule Man is ejected from the new Cosmic Cube and returns to Earth; Klaw is employed by AIM to capture the Molecule Man, but is fended off by Volcana; Volcana is unable to renew her relationship with the Molecule Man and needs time to think.
Fantastic Four #358 (1991)
The Thing is reunited with the real Alicia Masters when the one who married the Human Torch is revealed to be a Skrull called Lyja.
Amazing Spider-Man #361 (1992)
The alien costume starts reproducing on Earth, beginning with the Carnage symbiote.
Avengers West Coast #84 (1992)
Spider-Woman’s origin is revealed.
Avengers West Coast #100 (1993)
Hawkeye and Mockingbird’s marriage ends when she dies fighting Mephisto.
Wolverine #82 (1994)
After the death of Mariko Yashida, Amiko is moved into the foster care system; Wolverine learns Amiko’s foster parents are keeping the money he’s been sending and he releases her from their care.
Fantastic Four Annual #27 (1994)
The Molecule Man takes out his frustrations over the disappointing direction his life has taken on Kosmos who takes the form of the Beyonder once more.
Force Works #6 (1994)
James Rhodes next faces the Mandarin as War Machine.
Amazing Spider-Man Super Special #1 (1995)
Other Symbiotes begin an invasion of Earth.

Must ReadsIssues & FalloutEvent / Crossover
Incredible Hulk #442 (1996)
The Molecule Man and Volcana’s relationship is confirmed as having ended; the Molecule Man returns to life as a super-villain.
Avengers Unplugged #4 (1996)
Titania marries the Absorbing Man.
What If? #114 (1998)
On the alternate timeline of Earth-9811, the heroes never return from Battleworld.
Captain America #20-22 (1999)
The Beyonder complying with Captain America’s wish to repair his shield is revealed to be the cause of a virus that threatens to destroy Earth’s Vibranium supply.
Thanos #8-10 (2004)
The Beyonder takes on a new form as the Maker; Thanos traps the Maker in this form to avoid unleashing the Beyonder’s power.
She-Hulk #10 (2005)
How Volcana and Titania were selected by Doctor Doom is revealed in a flashback sequence.
Wolverine: Soultaker #5 (2005)
Amiko Kobayashi discovers her parents belonged to a family of warriors, so she tries to follow in their footsteps to impress her surrogate father Wolverine.
X-Men: Kitty Pryde – Shadow & Flame #4-5 (2005)
‘Puff’ returns and is reunited with Lockheed.
Beyond! #1-6 (2006)
A replica Battleworld is created by the Stranger who emulates the events of the Secret Wars by kidnapping a group of superhumans against their will.
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #3 (2006)
The Maker is revealed to have been killed when the Annihilation Wave was unleashed into the positive mater universe.
Ms Marvel #6 (2006)
Following the return of the original Spider-Woman, Rachel Carpenter adopts the codename Arachne.
What If?: Secret Wars #1 (2009)
On Earth-90251, Doctor Doom kept the Beyonder‘s power when he defeats him on Battleworld.
Spider-Man: Secret Wars #1-4 (2010)
On Earth-20051, the heroes experience a similar set of circumstances as their Earth-616 counterparts when they’re whisked off to Battleworld.
Superior Spider-Man #24-25 (2014)
The Symbiote briefly returns to Spider-Man (unaware that his body houses the consciousness of Doctor Octopus).
Howard the Duck #4 (2015)
The Human Torch reveals a gem he brought back from Battleworld.
She-Hulk #11 (2015)
Volcana returns to villainy when Nightwatch hires her and Titania to lure She-Hulk away from incriminating documents.
Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #1-4 (2015)
It’s revealed that Deadpool was present but unnoticed on Battleworld; Deadpool’s insanity influenced a darker side of the Symbiote before Spider-Man tried it on; after the heroes’ victory, the Wasp’s wished for everyone to forget Deadpool was present on Battleworld; Deadpool wished for Zsaji to return to life and live in peace on her home world.
New Avengers #30 (2015)
Another origin of the Beyonder is revealed; the Molecule Man’s origin is also altered when he’s revealed to be a bomb created by the other Beyonders to kill the Beyonder of Earth-616.
Secret Wars #1-9 (2015-2016)
Doctor Doom gains ultimate power from the alien Beyonders and creates a new Battleworld (Earth-15513) shards of numerous alternate Earths; Doom is defeated by the heroes of Earth-616 and reality is restored during
Venom #3-4 (2018)
The origin of the alien Symbiotes is revealed.
X-Men: Gold #30 (2018)
Lockheed and Puff are revealed to have had young dragons together.
Fantastic Four #5 (2019)
The Thing marries Alicia Masters.
Avengers Beyond #1-5 (2023)
The Avengers encounter the Lost One – a being created by the Celestials who went on to create the Beyonders; the Beyonder returns and draws the Lost One into a trap.

Defenders Beyond #2 (2022)
The Beyonder offers up a new origin for his entire race.

See how this event fits into the wider Marvel Universe with these reading orders:

Notable collected editions featuring the Secret Wars (1984)…

Collected Edition TitleCollects…
Secret WarsSecret Wars #1-12
Secret Wars OmnibusSecret Wars #1-12
She-Hulk (2010) #10
Thor #383
What If (1989) #4, 114
Secret Wars Battleworld Box Set SlipcaseAlpha Flight #28
Amazing Spider-Man #251-252, 268, 273-274
Avengers #242-243, 260-261, 265-266
Beyond! #1-6
Captain America #292, 308
Cloak and Dagger (1985) #4
Code of Honor #3
Daredevil #223
Dazzler #40
Deadpool Team-Up (1998) #1
Doctor Strange (1974) #74
Fantastic Four #265, 277, 282, 285, 288, 316-319, 351
Fantastic Four Annual #23-24, 26-27 [part]
Incredible Hulk #294-295, 312
Iron Man #180-181, 197
Marvel Age Annual #1
Marvels: Eye of the Camera #4
New Avengers: Illuminati #3
New Defenders #152
New Mutants #30, 37
Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #111
Power Man and Iron Fist #121
Power Pack #18
Pulse #6-9
Quasar (1989) #8
Secret War (2004) #1-5
Secret War: From the Files of Nick Fury #1
Secret Wars (1984) #1-12
Secret Wars II #1-9
She-Hulk (2010) #10
Spider-Man: Secret Wars #1-4
Thanos (2003) #8-10
Thing (1983) #10-22, 30
Thor #341, 363, 383
Uncanny X-Men #180-181, 196, 202-203
Web of Spider-Man #6
What If (1989) #4, 114
What If: Dark Reign #1 [part]
What If: Demon in an Armor #1 [part]
What If: Secret Wars #1 [part]
What If: Spider-Man – Grim Hunt #1 [part]
What If: Wolverine – Father #1  [part]
Thing Classic vol.2Fantastic Four #274
Thing #11-22
Spider-Man: Birth of VenomAmazing Spider-Man #252-259, 298-300, 315-317
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #10
Fantastic Four #274
Secret Wars #8
Web of Spider-Man #1

Collected Edition TitleIncludes…
Spider-Man: The Complete Alien Costume Saga vol.1Amazing Spider-Man #252
Marvel Team-Up #141
Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man #90
Marvel Decades: Awesome EvolutionsAmazing Spider-Man #252
Spider-Man: Black and BlueAmazing Spider-Man #252
Spider-Man by Roger Stern OmnibusAmazing Spider-Man #252
Spider-Man: Saga of the Alien CostumeAmazing Spider-Man #252
Spider-Man: With Great Power Comes Great ResponsibilityAmazing Spider-Man #252
Epic Collection vol.11: Duel of IronIron Man #181-182
Superior Iron Man vol.2: Stark ContrastIron Man #181-182
Captain America: Death of the Red SkullCaptain America #292
Marvel Masterworks: The Uncanny X-Men vol.10Uncanny X-Men #180 -181
Uncanny X-Men Omnibus vol.4Uncanny X-Men #180 -181
Thor Omnibus by Walter Simonson OmnibusThor #341
Thor by Walter Simonson vol.1Thor #341
Thor Visionaries: Walt Simonson vol.1Thor #341
Avengers: Absolute Vision vol.1Avengers #242-243
Incredible Hulk: RegressionIncredible Hulk #294-295
Fantastic Four Omnibus by John Byrne vol.2Fantastic Four #265
Thing #10
Fantastic Four Visionaries: John Byrne vol.4Fantastic Four #265
Thing #10
Thing Classic vol.1Thing #10
Thing OmnibusThing #10-11

Reading Order ©OmniverseComicsGuide 2023

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