One of the biggest gambles Marvel is taking with Legacy is the renumbering of all of its titles to their “Legacy numbering,” incorporating all previous volumes into the count to come up with a linear number that the book should be at, had it remained consecutive through all of its iterations. That leaves us with comics such as Captain America #695, The Amazing Spider-Man #789 and The Mighty Thor #700, which all look to be great jumping on points for their respective series. However, it also means that readers of Chip Zdarsky and Adam Kubert’s Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man will find the comic going from #6 to #297 in the space of a month. Similarly, All-New Guardians of the Galaxy jumps from #12 to #146, and other titles barely out the gate like Luke Cage and Iron Fist are also making big jumps from single digits to double-and-triple figures.
It’s also odd that there are certain titles not making the jump to their Legacy numbering, despite closing in on milestone issues. The first volume of Kamala Khan’s tenure as Ms. Marvel clocked in at nineteen issues while the new volume joins Marvel Legacy with #25. That means Kamala is only six issues away from hitting fifty misses under writer G. Willow Wilson, which is the sort of milestone you’d think Marvel would be wanting to capitalize on. Similarly, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl would be at #35 with Legacy numbering but is retaining its current volume’s numbering, as are Defenders, Spider-Gwen and Champions.
The biggest selling point of Marvel Legacy is that it is indeed a fresh-start for fans, which DC Rebirth did by kickstarting back to fresh #1s for every character (with the exception of Action Comics and Detective Comics, both of which are in sniffing distance of #1000). Marvel Legacy instead is reverting to old numbering, and in the majority of cases, the creative teams are staying the same. Dan Slott is still writing The Amazing Spider-Man, Brian Michael Bendis is still on Invincible Iron Man, Greg Pak is still on The Incredible Hulk. It doesn’t feel as much of a fresh-start as DC Rebirth, but neither does it feel like a re-arranging of the deck chairs. If anything, the deck chairs are staying where they are, and the people sat on them are picking at the paint to show the wood underneath.
Marvel Legacy seems to have successfully aped DC Rebirth at least in terms of visuals and presentation, but its the DNA of the books that has kept DC Rebirth a success for the last year-and-a-half. It’s not yet clear whether Marvel has cottoned on to that part of the equation, though it’s clearly where Marvel Legacy’s ultimate success will lie. Can the publisher successfully prove to its audience that it has turned over a new leaf, or will readers just see more of the same from Marvel and grow tired with the publisher’s stubborn refusal to embrace genuine change at a fundamental level? It’s tough to say for sure at this point, though if there are more storylines in the works along the lines of what the recently announced Avengers: No Surrender promises (though the idea of a $4 weekly series may be a bit much for fans), Legacy’s future may turn out as bright as DC’s Rebirth has proven to be.
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