Marvel Comics had a tough start to the year, with sales dropping and a Retailer Summit that led to a heated controversy over diversity. Now, though, the publisher is gradually beginning to reveal just how they aim to get back on a stable footing: The answer, they believe, is Marvel Legacy.
Setting The Scene For Marvel Legacy
In the aftermath of this year's Summer Event, #SecretEmpire, #Marvel is planning to take us to something they're calling the "Vanishing Point." This appears to be some sort of reality-warp, probably caused by use of a Cosmic Cube, and it's going to kick-start the Marvel Universe's regeneration in a fascinating way. First up, we'll get the Generations comics: a range of one-shots that will face so-called Legacy Heroes with the icons who inspired them. So the All-New X-Men's Jean Grey will meet the Phoenix; Jane Foster will ally with the Mighty Thor in Ancient Egypt; and Sam Wilson will team up with the Steve Rogers he knows and loves once again.
Generations, though, serves another purpose. It's there to prepare the way for a 50-page one-shot by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic, which bears the title Marvel Legacy. This, it seems, will effectively relaunch the entire Marvel Universe. Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso explained:
"Marvel Legacy #1 will present all fans – new readers and current readers – the very best jumping on point in the history of comics."
The comic is set in 1,000,000 BC — at a time when the nascent human race numbered just 20,000 or so, and when we'd just learned how to master fire. Even in these ancient days, though, it seems humanity had its defenders. Because, according to Marvel Legacy, this was when the Avengers first gathered!
The Avengers Of 1,000,000 BC
The Avengers of this time sound to be a fascinating bunch. According to Marvel, we have:
- Agamotto, son of the benevolent Elder Goddess Oshtur, and Earth's first Sorcerer Supreme.
- Odin, the All-Father himself, suggesting that in these ancient days Asgard and Midgard were far more closely interconnected.
- Iron Fist, presumably one of the first to bear that title, whose presence suggests that back then the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven may just have been founded.
- Star Brand, a cosmic superhero empowered by a powerful, well, 'star brand.'
- Phoenix, a bearer of Marvel's cosmic Phoenix Force (will this be a human, or an alien?)
- Ghost Rider, possibly one of the earliest to be bonded with Zarathos.
- Black Panther, again possibly the first to bear the title.
It's worth noting that, with but one exception, these are all the classic Legacy Heroes — characters who bear a title, one passed down through the generations, apparently all the way back to 1,000,000 BC. We'd heard rumors that Marvel would be stepping away from the idea of 'Legacy Heroes,' but it seems instead the publisher is planning to double-down on them; to establish them as a core concept in their entire range. Marvel Legacy is billed as telling the "startling origin of the Marvel Universe," and will reveal how "it's all connected."
Marvel Executive Tom Brevoort added:
"Marvel Legacy #1 isn’t simply a history lesson. Rather, it’s the starting gun to a bevy of mysteries and secrets and revelations that will reverberate across the Marvel Universe in the weeks and months to come! No character, no franchise will be untouched by the game-changing events that play out across its pages. Jason and Esad pulled out all the stops to fat-pack this colossal issue with as much intrigue, action, surprise, mystery, shock and adventure as possible!"
Jason Aaron is one of Marvel's top talents, responsible for the some of the strongest issues of The Mighty Thor in years, and the mind behind Jane Foster's newest incarnation of the God of Thunder. Esad Ribic, meanwhile, is a phenomenal artist whose work was a highlight in 2015's Summer Event, Secret Wars, and it's a delight to see him returning to a central role in the Marvel fold.
The last year has seen Marvel's competition heat up, with DC Comics launching their success Rebirth event. Now, at last, we finally know how the House of Ideas plan to respond to the challenge.
It's time to explore Marvel's Legacy.
Are you excited to pick up 'Marvel Legacy'?
Source: CBR; Poll Image Credit: Marvel Comics)