When Marvel Comics released its September 2017 solicits, the publisher provided a snapshot of what fans can expect from the Marvel Universe in the upcoming months. Most notable was the solicit for Marvel Legacy #1, boasting a story from writer Jason Aaron and artist Esad Ribic, and promising the start of a new dawn in the Marvel Universe along with teasing two returns.
Not content to let the solicit speak for itself, Marvel followed that up with the reveal of Marvel Legacy variants that homage iconic covers from the past. While the rollout featured titles that will fall under the Marvel Legacy banner – including ongoing and new comics like Spirits of Vengeance and Marvel Two-in-One – the fan reception overall was relatively lukewarm due in large part to the lack of news regarding the creative teams on the titles, as well as the specific storylines Legacy will kick off. And while the entire slate of creative teams was revealed in the weeks that followed, culminating with the publisher’s full solicitation slate for October 2017, there remains questions regarding exactly what Legacy will bring as Marvel closes out 2017 and looks to the future.
With that in mind, CBR breaks down the opportunities available and approaches we would love to see Marvel Legacy adopt. We’re talking a back-to-basics approach to storytelling, new heroes for a new generation, and what clues can be gleaned from the Marvel Legacy #1 solicit.
Cut Back On Heroes Fighting Heroes
When superheroes meet for the very first time, the following formula is typically followed: there is a misunderstanding, a fight breaks out, and the heroes eventually put their differences aside to work together to beat the true villains of the piece. While this gives readers a chance to debate who would win in a fight between their favorite characters, Marvel’s events have ramped this approach up to eleven. As a result, we’re seeing an increase in stories involving superheroes locked in life and death combat with one another, often over something as simple as a difference of opinion.
You have to look no further than to 2006’s Civil War event to witness a prime example of this play out. What started with a disagreement between Iron Man and Captain America over the Superhuman Registration Act quickly turned into an all-out war between heroes, with the reader caught in the middle. One can’t forget that there were casualties on both sides, with Bill Foster dying in-battle during the event, and Steve Rogers perishing afterward as a result of the conflict.
Of course, the event was one of Marvel’s most popular stories of the past decade, which understandably led to multiple attempts by the publisher to replicate its success, with varying results. The first example took place when Marvel’s two most popular franchises were pitted against one another in 2012’s Avengers vs. X-Men, and the second in last year’s Civil War II. Both saw the deaths of longtime pillars of the Marvel Universe: Charles Xavier, War Machine and Bruce Banner.
While there was definitely a time when seeing good guys fight each other was appealing and fresh, with Marvel Legacy on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to switch gears. Fans want to see heroes like Spider-Man and Captain America stand side by side as comrades more than they want to experience Miles Morales standing over a dead Steve Rogers.
Shine the Spotlight Even Brighter On New, Younger Heroes
Marvel has done a commendable job of creating new heroes for a new generation of readers. The likes of Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel and Miles Morales-Spider-Man became household names after their introductions in the comics, making the leap to other forms of entertainment, such as Disney XD’s block of Marvel animated shows. Who’s to say even more legacies can’t be formed out of Marvel Legacy?
The company already has a few newer heroes who could stand to have a brighter spotlight placed on them. For instance, we know Kate Bishop will co-star with Clint Barton in Generations: Hawkeye & Hawkeye. After that one-shot, Kate’s adventures will continue in Hawkeye #13 as a part of Marvel Legacy. The archer should continue to pop up in series other than her own, all across the Marvel Universe, taking on a larger role and perhaps even joining a superhero team like the young Champions.
The Unstoppable Wasp, Nadia Pym, is an example of a pretty recent addition to the Marvel roster of heroes. In her short life, she’s met the original Wasp, Janet van Dyne, and Black Widow, who she shares a history with as a fellow product of the Russian Red Room project. It would be great to see both Janet and Black Widow take Nadia under their wings for special training, while also having adventures together in some type of ongoing series.
A heavy focus should remain on Lunella Lafayette, also known as Moon Girl. Currently the smartest person in the Marvel Universe, besting big names like Iron Man and Black Panther, she gained this honor all before hitting puberty. Another under-the-radar Inhuman who deserves a boost is Ahura, the son of Medusa and Black Bolt. Aside from appearing in the opening arc of Uncanny Inhumans, the young prince has barely left an impact on the Marvel U. Being the son of the former king and queen of the Inhumans should be enough to warrant more storylines centered on him.
Marvel shouldn’t be content with these established heroes either; there is more than enough room for even more new characters to be created. Thankfully, it appears Marvel may be heading in exactly that direction with the debut of an all-new Patriot, who happens to be a cast member in a new Falcon ongoing series. It would also make sense to see Doctor Strange take on a new mystical apprentice, or the X-Men accept new students enroll into its reopened academy in Generation X.
A Child’s Prayer
“It begins at the dawn of the human race, and ends with a child’s prayer!” This is the first sentence in the solicitation for Marvel Legacy #1. Taken at face value, it reads like a straightforward opening, but in reality it offers our first clue at where Aaron is steering the one-shot’s story. 2012’s Thor: God of Thunder #1 (also written by Aaron) included a young alien girl who prayed to the Thunder God that her planet Indigarr would receive some much-needed rain. Thor (the original Odinson) heard her prayers and delivered a powerful storm to revive the barren planet.
When Thor questioned an elder as to why the girl didn’t pray to her own gods, the elder said that Indigarr had none. This began Thor’s millennia-long battle against Gorr, the God Butcher. Created by Aaron and Esad Ribic, Gorr grew up believing in and worshipping gods. But after his many prayers went unanswered and he lost his family, Gorr decided to instead hunt and kill as many deities as he could find.
The villain played a prominent factor throughout Thor: God of Thunder and is also the cause of Thor’s current “unworthiness” in the pages of Mighty Thor. It was revealed in the miniseries Unworthy Thor that the words Nick Fury whispered to Thor in the event series Original Sin were “Gorr was right.” What Gorr was inferring was that gods would be the cause of the end of the world with their narcissism and vengeful attitudes.
So, what does all this have to do with Marvel Legacy #1? What if Aaron plans to pull from his opening act on Thor: God of Thunder by ending the issue with the same alien child who prayed for rain? Instead of Thor answering the prayer, what if two missing heroes appear who readers haven’t seen in over a year?
That’s right, we may be seeing the return of Reed Richards and Susan Storm in the pages of Marvel Legacy #1. But instead of reforming the Fantastic Four, perhaps the couple will take the form of multiversal “gods,” a role teased in the finale to Secret Wars as they rebuilt the multiverse with other members of the Future Foundation. This would allow Reed and Sue to hover on the fringes of the Marvel Universe without being directly involved in storylines — at least until editorial decides to bring them back in during a line-wide event.
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