WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the "Acts of War" story in Secret Warps/Soldier Supreme Annual #1 by Al Ewing, Carlos Gómez, Carlos Lopez and Travis Lanham, in stores now.
The Infinity Warps were created during 2018's Infinity Wars event, when Gamora took hold of all six Infinity Stones. In order to cut the amount of life in the universe in half, she folded reality in on itself, merging every two characters in the Marvel Universe to create one new whole. The combined superheroes and villain populated a whole new universe with its own history.
While the normal Marvel Universe was restored by the end of the event, Marvel's heroes still found a way to save the lives of the Infinity Warps. Now, this strange merged reality lives on as a pocket universe contained inside the Soul Stone, where the adventures of these warped characters continue. However, things have just taken a dark turn in Secret Warps/Sorcerer Supreme Annual #1.
While Infinity Wars ended with the heroes of this new universe forming a team called the Defenders, the start of Secret Warps draws battle lines as the Infinity Warps declare the start of their own superhero Civil War.
"War It Is"
Secret Warps/Sorcerer Supreme Annual #1 picks up some time after the events of Infinity Wars, as the heroes of the "Mergiverse" appear to have been active for a while. They even have a celebration, where we see that Stephen Rogers (the amalgam of Doctor Strange and Captain America) and Sigmund Stark (the warped version of Iron Man and Thor) have become good friends.
However, the heroes of the world soon find themselves under attack by villains that are usually associated with other heroes in a nod to Marvel's classic "Acts of Vengeance" crossover. The attack is coordinated, and it takes a different turn when the Soldier Supreme fights Madame Hel. The manipulative villain reveals that somehow, this attack was all orchestrated by Sigmund Stark, who believes it's time for the gods to rule the world once more.
Naturally, Stephen doesn't know what to believe, and he goes directly to his friend to get some answers. However, his brash entrance in Sigmund's home is met with resistance. The hero known as Iron Hammer is still struggling with his identity as an Infinity Warp and wishes to forge ahead as his own man. The misunderstanding between the two characters leads to a brawl, and it's only taken further when the U.S.Archmage joins the fight alongside Rogers.
Now, the Iron Hammer and the Soldier Supreme have declared war against one another, and it looks like the rest of the heroes of the Mergiverse will have to choose a side. However, the real person responsible for this Civil War is revealed to be the warped version of Dormammu and the Red Skull called Dormammu Red, who employed the shape-shifting Deathstrike (the warped version of Mystique and Lady Deathstrike) to pose as Madame Hel and create strife between Sigmund and Stephen.
Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's original Civil War is one of Marvel's defining modern stories, and saw Tony Stark and Steve Rogers disagreement over a superhero registration act lead to all-out war. The comic also served as the basis for the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Captain America: Civil War, where Stark and Rogers were manipulated by Zemo to battle one another.
At this point, it seems like Secret Warps is taking more points from the MCU's take on Civil War than the original comic crossover. While the two lead heroes are at war, but it only happens because of the machinations of a villainous third party. As this story roles on, all that remains to be seen is who will end up on the respective sides of this superhero civil war, and how long the Infinity Warps will fight before they realize who their true enemy is.