Marvel have teased the final issue of Secret Empire this week, with the tagline of 'What is the Vanishing Point?' and with cover art taken from the Generations art created by Alex Ross.
This obviously suggests that there is a closer link to Secret Empire and Generations than previously assumed, but just what is that link? And is the Vanishing Point the connecting element? And if so, what is it?
So far in Secret Empire, we have see a second Steve Rogers, bearded and with major gaps in his memory, lost in some mysterious woods, trying to get home. With the next issue, previews show that we will see a second Sam Wilson there and a Bucky/Winter Soldier, who has two flesh and blood arms.
We've theorised before that this location is perhaps metaphysical and representative of the soul or mind. But what if it is more than that?
All of these characters after all have at some point been affected by a Cosmic Cube, some even having their personalities altered.
Speaking about Generations, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso states,
"These stories do happen, they really count. They really matter. This isn't some alternate reality story or some time-travel story."
So if not time travel, how do we get modern versions of characters side-by-side with the original versions? Could it be this Vanishing Point? And as such, could it be the location where we have seen the second Steve Rogers? Finally, is the link something to do with the Cosmic Cube?
Could these all be characters affected by Cosmic Cubes at some point? Perhaps some we were unaware of? Or maybe, Vanishing Point is within the Cosmic Cube itself?
Perhaps the characters' personalities and histories are like energy – they can never really be destroyed just transmuted into other things.
It would be an interesting meta-commentary to display for those who are upset when characters change or are replaced, as if somehow all the old stories they loved are somehow lost. Because, you know, they're not. Just because Wolverine is now a woman doesn't mean all those decades of Wolverine as a man are gone or somehow lessened.
So maybe that's the Vanishing Point….where characters changed or affected by Cosmic Cubes go on some level. And when the heroes gather the pieces of Kobik in their hunt to change Steve Rogers back, is this what leads to the adventures of Generations?