This what we were promised:
Every Hero! Every Title! Every Story! Tomorrow, MARVEL LEGACY Changes the Comic Book Industry!
Get ready for a new dawn True Believers — one whose rays will touch every corner of the Marvel Universe in the days to come! Tomorrow, get ready for the return of what you’ve been longing for — and more! Prepare for the debut of MARVEL LEGACY!
“A new initiative that will take things back to our iconic history, with a firm eye on the future, MARVEL LEGACY will present stories that remind everyone — newcomers and longtime fans alike — why Marvel stands as the premier name in fiction,” said Editor in Chief Axel Alonso. “Our titles will unearth gems from Marvel’s rich history, remind readers of connections between characters, and usher in the return of some major characters who’ve been missed. Above all else, we want to inject our comics with a massive dose of fun!”
Kicking off this September with MARVEL LEGACY #1, an over-sized 50-page, one-shot special, Marvel Comics titles step towards a bright new future – one that harkens back to what has made Marvel a household name while looking towards tomorrow. With fun and thrilling reveals primed to excite fans, both existing and new, this fall, prepare for MARVEL LEGACY!
What we got were waves of announcements of titles that would be remaining as part of Legacy, and a handful of new titles. We got looks at homage variant covers, not even regular covers. We got no creative team announcements, instead we got the Marvel (ironically) 52.
Before we continue here’s a list of every title a part of Legacy so far, grouped by wave. You can check out our full coverage here.
“Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur”
“Incredible Hulk” (Amadeus Cho version)
“Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows”
“Invincible Iron Man” (Riri Williams version)
“Old Man Logan”
“Champions” (seemingly adding the new Wasp and others)
“Guardians of the Galaxy”
“Hawkeye” (seemingly Kate Bishop and Clint)
“Spider-Man” (Miles Morales)
“Avengers” (same line-up as the current iteration)
“The Despicable Deadpool”
“The Punisher” (teasing he’d become the new War Machine)
“The Mighty Captain Marvel”
“The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl”
“The Amazing Spider-Man”
“Spirits of Vengeance” (a Ghost Rider, Blade, Satanna, and Daimon Hellstrom team-up book)
“Defenders” (same line-up as the current generation)
“Spider-Man vs. Deadpool” (which had the wrong cover art at first)
“Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider”
“The Unbelievable Gwenpool”
Announced individually at the end
“The Mighty Thor” (depicting the death of Jane Foster)
“Falcon” (teasing Sam Wilson returns to his old mantle in the first ever Falcon ongoing)
“Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man” (teasing Peter behind bars)
“Marvel Two-In-One” (the revival of an old Marvel title starring the Thing and Human Torch)
Now let’s be honest with ourselves, how industry changing is this really?
There are only 8 new, returning, or renamed series, everything else is continuing from where they left off. They’re killing off Jane Foster (probably a throw away idea), but she is one of the best characters Marvel has grown in the last few years, and it will be a shame to see her go. Sam Wilson is going back to being the Falcon, and although it’s cool that that will be the first time there has ever been a title published under that name, it takes away from previous promises of Legacy of having Legacy characters and the originals live alongside one another. It also goes against the most recent Mark Brooks cover with Sam Wilson still as Cap on it. Also while we’re at it, where’s a Captain America title? They just announced and solicited a new “Runaways” that starts this fall, but it’s not here. “Ultimates” is gone after reverting to legacy numbering. And where’s Odinson Thor? Why is Tony still an AI, as previewed in September’s solicitations? There’s no Banner, no Black Widow? There’s so much about Legacy that I still don’t understand, but I do know that I believe this wasn’t earth-shattering, industry changing, with multiversal implications like was promised.Continued below
And that’s the problem.
I can believe that in a new relaunch Marvel would still keep most of the titles published. Their mainstays, things like “Amazing Spider-Man,” “Invincible Iron Man,” “Black Panther,” “Ms.Marvel,” should always exist and be a part of a Marvel line-up. But what this feels like is just folding in the recent Resurrxion titles and Marvel Now 2.0, and slapping a new name on it. Marvel’s promotional materials seemed to attempt to satisfy both sets of ornery fans: either Marvel is focusing too much on the newer, less established legacy characters, or they aren’t going all-in enough on those new characters, constantly keeping the older versions around. This was supposed to be Marvel Rebirth, an attempt to have both new characters and old favorites equally represented. And, from what I can tell, it is not. They gave us hope, and then they took it away.
I say all those things from looking both at the September 2017 solicitations and from looking back at the previous information Marvel has teased about Legacy. The September solicits teased prologues for huge stories. “The prologue to one of the biggest Iron Man stories in modern history!” says “Invincible Iron Man,” while “Amazing Spider-Man” sets up “the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN event of 2018.” That’s not even to mention “Secret Empire,” “Generations,” “Venomverse,” and “Spider-Men II,” which are still going in September. There’s no hard stop on everything like with Rebirth, this is merely Marvel’s next big continuation. Many people pictured the legacy characters with titles alongside the oldest of Marvel’s characters. An “Ironheart” next to an “Invincible Iron Man,” a “Totally Awesome Hulk” next to a “Incredible Hulk,” two “Captain America” titles still (perhaps not both written by Nick Spencer, but I digress). Again that is not what this is. Marvel has taken what many people pictured as Marvel’s Rebirth and turned it simply into the next big brand name.
And again, that’s the problem.
It begs the question, who is this relaunch for? If the majority of the internet crowd is clamoring for a Marvel Rebirth, why is this not that? Who is Marvel selling titles to? What market are they striving for? Because it seems it is not the typical comic book retailer and buyer market. Everyone I saw on Twitter on Friday expressed that same level of disappointment. It seems that we do not understand.
I spent 10 hours in a car coming back from a long trip continually checking my phone, excited about what it is Marvel could be doing, and with every passing hour I checked less and less, because I got frustrated. I wanted this to be Marvel’s answer to Rebirth, them apologizing, saying hey maybe this seasonal model isn’t working, maybe we don’t need a huge event every year, maybe we don’t need 10 little events every year, maybe we can let these characters evolve breath and grow on their own, maybe we can better. And I was disappointed. We were chatting in our Multiversity Slack about these announcements, and one of our editors, Alice W. Castle, remarked about how she doesn’t read much Marvel anymore, but reads “the good shit on Marvel Unlimited.” And then we all had a long conversation about older Marvel we liked and loved, stuff that held up or didn’t, we reminisced and mourned, is this the Marvel legacy?
I am willing to give Marvel one more shot, the benefit of the doubt that this is not all that Legacy will be. Perhaps they’re holding something back for SDCC, maybe there is spoilers from the “Marvel Legacy” #1 one-shot that will make all this moot, or bring back something that they seem to be missing, maybe there is still something else out there somewhere in the omniverse that can right this ship and get us back to a healthy, experimental Marvel resembling something we all used to know and love. And maybe we simply don’t understand, and Marvel is turning out profits like they’ve never seen appealing to some market that the typical comic book reader doesn’t know. But right now, the legacy of Marvel is one of relaunches and events big and small. And all this seems like is new #1s disguised as higher numbers, a new jumping-off point until the next reality changing thing comes along.Continued below
With great power comes great responsibility. And right now it seems that the Marvel legacy, is forgetting the latter part of that statement. But I’m willing to wait. I’m willing to be open. I’m hoping to be surprised. We shall see.
Sound off in the comments. “Marvel Legacy” #1 hits stores in September.