Initially teased in mid-February with a conversation-starting piece of Alex Ross artwork, Marvel's "Generations" has been revealed as a ten-issue series kicking off in July and running through September 2017.
Announced via ABC News, each issue will feature a pairing of different incarnations of ten different heroes, teaming the likes of original Thor and Jane Foster Thor, or Amadeus Cho's Hulk with a gamma-irradiated Bruce Banner.
"We are looking to honor the legacy of the entire universe, so we are taking the iconic legacy heroes and pairing them with the new class," Alonso told ABC News. "It very much indicates where we are going in the future with all of these characters and what we've been planning for some time for the universe."
"There's that old cliche, 'absences makes the heart grow fonder.' You don't take these characters off the board with the intention to keep them off the board forever," Alonso said of the inevitability of the dead heroes' return. "One of the tropes of our medium is characters get a second wind. They die and come back. That's part of the beauty of what we do."
As for how the dead heroes will stand alongside their replacements, or in the case of Captain America, how the classic Steve Rogers Cap is pictured alongside Sam Wilson's version, despite the former currently being a Hydra agent in the "Secret Empire" event that will still be unfolding while "Generations" takes place, Alonso was evasive, though he promises it will all make sense.
"How did we do this is part of the fun," he said. "Right now, Rogers isn't much of a good guy. Why would Sam want to team up with him? Banner's dead! Logan's dead! These are questions that demand to be seen. What I will tell you is we have an ingenious device [to bring them back]."
Whatever that device may be, there's two things it isn't; Alonso asserted that this is not an alternate reality or time travel rewrite. The story unfolding across "Generations" is one firmly entrenched in the Marvel Universe-proper. "These stories do happen, they really count," he said. "They really matter. This isn't some alternate reality story or some time-travel story."
While no art teams have been announced, the writers and characters they'll be scripting are as follows:
- Iron Man (Tony Stark and Riri Williams) – written by Brian Michael Bendis
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker and Miles Morales) – Brian Michael Bendis
- Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers and Kamala Khan) – G. Willow Wilson
- Thor (Odinson and Jane Foster) – Jason Aaron
- Hawkeye (Clint Barton and Kate Bishop) – Kelly Thompson
- Hulk (Bruce Banner and Amadeus Cho) – Greg Pak
- Jean Grey (young and older) – Dennis Hopeless
- Wolverine (Logan and X23) – Tom Taylor
- Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell and Carol Danvers) – Margie Stohl
- Captain America (Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson) – Nick Spencer
Speaing to his issues, Brian Michael Bendis told ABC the chance to team Ironheart with her predecessor, Tony Stark, will have a profound effect on the young hero. "Riri [Williams] is at the MOST impressionable stage of her life," Bendis said. "Every reveal to her has fascinating potential."
"At its heart, 'Ms Marvel' is about growing up, and a big part of growing up is discovering that your idols have feet of clay -- and forgiving them for their flaws as you gain an adult understanding of your own," G. Willow Wilson said of her pairing, which has already caused head-scratching among Kamala Khan and Carol Danvers fans alike "Carol and Kamala have a close, mentor-and-student kind of relationship, but it's been tested in some very serious ways. They've come down on opposite sides of important questions."
Speaking on what the return of Logan means for Laura Kinney, aka the former X-23, Tom Taylor promises it will only help the new Wolverine continue to gain her footing as a solo hero. "Being alongside Logan will only strengthen Laura's resolve to be the best there is at what she does," Taylor said. "Logan battled his demons, literally, until his dying breath. Laura has overcome most of her own demons in 'All-New Wolverine.' She's ready to show what else her claws can do. She's ready to step away from her violent past and use her claws for good. You know, good stabbing."
So, will the resurrected heroes remain once the story told in "Generations" concludes? Alonso wouldn't answer straightaway, though he offered some clues. "The answer might be different for each character. There's potential for friction, there's potential for team-ups. Minimally, it's something that's going to require food for thought and introspection on the part of every character. That's part of the goal when we were sculpting it."
Marvel Comics' "Generations" arrives in July.