Next year marks the 40th anniversary of Marvel’s iconic event crossover series, Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars. The storyline introduced new characters and concepts, most notably the alien symbiote that would ultimately become Venom. Marvel’s decided to mark the anniversary just a little early, with a new miniseries set during the storyline that reveals new details and mysteries of the saga. Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars: Battleworld is a new four-issue miniseries from the creative team of writer Tom DeFalco and artist Pat Olliffe. The first issue of the series is set to drop in November.

Here’s how Marvel describes Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars: Battleworld:

The mysteries of the Secret Wars deepen! Get ready for an all-new cataclysmic battle from when Spider-Man first got his alien costume and a mysterious being called the Beyonder assembled super heroes and villains from Earth to do battle on a patchwork planet. Witness now an untold adventure set during the original Secret Wars!

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars set the standard for Marvel Comics events (as well as action figures and the characters existing at the forefront of pop culture), and this new story will at last reveal some secret connections and missing characters going back to the original series! What secret test are the Beyonders conducting…and how will Spider-Man, the Human Torch and the whole cast determine the fate of the universe? (PLUS: Surprise super villain appearances inside!)

(Wait, have there always been multiple Beyonders? I might need to reread the original series.)

In a statement announcing the series, DeFalco and series editor Mark Basso elaborated on adding new material to such an iconic storyline:

“Pat Olliffe and I were handed a daunting creative challenge,” DeFalco said. “We were asked to do a sequel/new tale of a classic Marvel story that first saw print 40 years ago and created ripples that are still felt throughout the universe today. Since we share a kinship with a certain web-swinger (and his family), we were also compelled to do a story that ripped to his core and defined his unique place in the Marvel Universe while examining the budding relationship with his new black costume. With the aid of editors Mark Basso and Drew Baumgartner, Pat and I constructed a tale that we believe has repercussions for today’s readers and creative ripples that we hope will still be felt 40 years from now.”

“The original Secret Wars was so multi-dimensional, it’s been thrilling to add new dimensions to the saga!” Editor Mark Basso added. “While the new story fully stands alone, I can tease that the connection to the original Secret Wars goes even further than just the comics pages…Old-school fans will know what I’m talking about…!”

That connection beyond the comics page? Has to refer to the circular shape on the first issue’s main cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli above. It’s nearly the exact shape of the Secret Shield that was included with every hero figure in Mattel’s Secret Wars action figure line in the mid-’80s:

He got the shield along with the costume. Photo from Hakes.

In the comic strips on the figures’ cardbacks, heroes and villains could use their Secret Shields to see what their adversaries were doing, and to communicate with each other. The lenticular inserts that came with the figure’s shields showed different battles and powers for the characters, as well as revealing their secret identities, which is maybe not a great idea to carry around with you if you’re concerned about privacy. The villain figures had different, square, silver shields. Maybe that will be featured on a future cover.

Speaking of covers, check out variants by Ryan StegmanTodd NauckFrancesco Mobili, and Olliffe below (and scroll all the way down for Mattel’s take on Spidey receiving his black costume from the action figure’s cardback). Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars: Battleworld #1 (of 4) is due out in stores and digitally on Wednesday, November 22nd.