“This monumental adventure figures importantly in the continuity of nearly every single Marvel title. Events in this maxi-series will permanently and shockingly alter the histories of everyone from Captain America to the X-Men to Spider-Man! No matter who your favorite Marvel hero or villain is, you’ll find yourself absorbed in THE SECRET WARS to stay on top of the catastrophic changes in that superstar’s life!”
“…But what could possibly wound the Hulk, the Fantastic Four to change its membership, or make Spider-Man put on a new costumer? [Jim] Shooter tells us that these dramatic effects are nothing compared with the uncanny turbulence the Beyonder can cause!”
from Marvel Age #12 (March 1984)
“You know, a lot of fuss was made about ‘The Big Changes in Secret Wars!’ And the fact is that change was not the point of Secret Wars. It was never the point. I don’t know how the talk started because here at Marvel, we always have changes. [...] So the fact that in the twelve issues that made up the saga of Secret Wars there were significant events in the heroes and villains’ lives, considering how many issues there were, how could there not be changes?”
Jim Shooter, from Marvel Age #27 (June 1985)
images from Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #12 (April 1985) by Jim Shooter, Mike Zeck & John Beatty, Incredible Hulk #295 (May 1984) by Bill Mantlo, Sal Buscema & Danny Bulanadi, and Incredible Hulk #296 (June 1984) by Mantlo, Buscema & Gerry Talaoc. Yes, the Hulks came out before Secret Wars #12, but take place afterward.
Thanks to Andrew Weiss for research assistance.
For further discussion of crossovers and their impact on characters, or lack thereof, here is this previous post of mine, from which I recycled some of the above quotes.