The more I think about Secret Wars, the more I like it. The entire premise of the Beyonder setting up SW can be used to explain absurd inconsistencies and plot holes around the MCU, like two Quicksilvers, the various Hulk/FF/Spider-Man/James Rhodes incarnations, etc. It would even be awesome to acknowledge the multiverse by snagging an older Nicholas Hammond, Tobey McGuire and Andrew Garfield as well as the current Hom Holland, a hint at a later Spiderverse premise.
The Kitchen Sink
Instead of Doctor Doom’s corny/sketchy “death” (pick either film), he is transported to the Beyonder verse, and after years, figures out how to get back to our world, inadvertently bringing back a Beyonder who becomes fascinated with our mortal existence. Misinterpreting Doom’s warped view of survival of the fittest, this Beyonder time/space slips through the entire Marvel cinematic catalog (Disney/ABC/Sony/FOX/Netflix) where he judges who the best and worst of our species is, and put Doom’s “theory” to test, by snagging the respective champions into a created world for a “secret war” to decide the fate of mankind. The multiverse angle would allow the recasting of characters where the original actors are too old or no longer available, but there could be plenty of “what if” moments to play out, like the Avengers’ Scarlett Wich, having lost her beloved brother, comes face-to-face with X-Men Quicksilver. Or the revelation of She-Hulk, who Bruce tried to keep hidden, protected from the manipulations of Tony Stark and Nick Fury. And c’mon, I’d love to have a moment where Michael B. Jordan’s Human Torch in awe of meeting Steve Rogers, proclaiming how awesome it must be “the” Captain America. with Chris Evans, not sure who the FF are, wishing he could say the same.
I would push the edginess and while it’s merely entertainment of a “fan film” for an omnipotent being, it really boils down to life-or-death combat for the contestants. In the first act of the trilogy, I would Game of Thrones key characters by the handful, changing the established dynamic early on. On both sides. Harder decisions have to be made. Once the heroes realize how brutal this can get, a pre-emptive strike to take out insane genius 2015 Doom succeeds, with 2005 Doom still hiding in the shadows. Steve Rogers and Tony Stark try to set aside their differences in light of this war, but their ideals clash again, such as the assassination of Victor von Doom was justified or crossing a line. This war is as brutally cerebral as it is phyical. Tom Holland grows up very quickly in this. Bruce Banner, pushed to the edge by the scales of this onslaught, wearily lets go, unleashing an unbridled, pent-up-way-too-long fueled by frustrations and inner confluct Hulk that goes on an unrelenting rampage that disrupts the war itself, sacrificing a few heroes and villains in his wake. The possibilities of interwoven tensions and appearances are endless.
The Fourth Wall
To signify the true omnipotence of the Beyonder, I’d grant his character the fourth wall with audience, almost in a Twillight Zone-ish cautionary way. In fact, I’d sneak it in, via Deadpool, as right in one of those cheeky moments he shares with us, the Beyonder would be the only one to notice, and gets curious. It would for-once throw off the Merc with a Mouth “you can see them too??”, and while he finds us “curious,” he moves on to more pressing matters. From time to time, he would interact with the camera, in a more philosophical tone than Deadpool, wondering what we would think of the value of our own humanity in light of developments.
In the end, the Beyonder realizes that the fate of humanity can’t be sorted out through a simple war. He needs more time to study us to better understand what makes us so human, and so dangerous. In an effort to atone for his short-sightedness, he retcons the entire MCU, wiping most of the contestants’ memories of the carnage they were forced to endure. While the tangible memories are wiped, the emotional scars still simmer beneath the surface. With a snap of his fingers, he thanks everyone for participating and sends everyone home with appropriate parting gifts, allowing Disney to either continue current franchises with minor nods to the war, or completely reboot titles into the new continuity.
So we get the FF movie we always wanted, with She-Hulk, as Ben Grimm, not ready to go back home yet, wishes to hang around the wasteland for a bit of time to sort stuff out, giving us a Thing franchise. And by unanimous decision, a similar fate befalls post-carnage Hulk, to take some time to blow off steam where he can’t hurt anyone, including himself, segues into Hulk 300: Crossroads, an animated mini-series that’s far more cerebral about Jekyll/Hyde than just physical.
X-Men goes forward with the characters who died in Secret Wars missing as if they never existed, the same with Avengers and other team franchises. This gives us a chance to revive Jocasta, and eventually an Ultron worthy picking apart the Avengers. The recast X-Factor go on to face Apocalypse and Mister Sinister. Moon Knight fills in for Iron Fist in the Defenders, the Guardians of the Galaxy have to take on Galactus on his way to earth, which sets up for the next FF movie, which culminates into another ginormous cross-over, where the Silver Surfer, a nemesis of the GotG and FF, turns coat when he identifies too much with earthlings to the fate of his own kind. Etc etc etc.
Related: Secret Wars Reading Order – Comic Book Herald