So Where Will Marvel’s Latest Event Leave Its Newer, More Diverse Superheroes?
Marvel announced at C2E2 that they are going “back to basics” with a new event called Marvel Legacy. This event will see the return of a “beloved Marvel mainstay” and bring back classic iterations of Marvel characters. Marvel’s editor-in-chief, Axel Alsonso, described it as an event which “will decide once and for all if the Marvel Universe is big enough for Miles and Peter, Riri and Tony, Thor and Jane Foster, Laura and, dare I say, Logan? Spoiler alert: It is.”
Now, like many readers, I initially find phrases like “back to basics” and “legacy” pretty ominous after Marvel’s infamous “people didn’t want any more diversity” comments at the beginning of this month. They sound like the sort of words used as window-dressing for the idea of “no more diversity.”
However, according to CBR’s writeup of the panel at which Legacy was announced, “The panel stressed during the Q&A that ‘Marvel Legacy’ will not erase the progress made in diversifying the Marvel U in recent years, with Aaron promising that newer characters and characters of color are very much a part of the story he’s telling and the Marvel U moving forward.”
In addition, Marvel’s press release for the event listed both classic and new heroes. The new series is advertised as “starring Odinson, Squirrel Girl, Spider-Man, the Avengers, America Chavez, Iron Man, Moon Knight, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, Luke Cage, the X-Men, Captain America, Ms. Marvel, Deadpool, the Champions, Wolverine, Ironheart, Hulk, The Punisher, and so many more!”
The fact that heroes like Squirrel Girl, America Chavez, Ms. Marvel, and Ironheart are listed up-front is heartening. I hope it means they’re an integral part of the go-forward story.
The Marvel Legacy event will be preceded by the Generations event. (Oh, comics.) Generations will be a series of team-ups between classic Marvel superheroes and the “new generation” they inspired. Team-ups include “The Americas” (Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson), “The Bravest” (Carol Danvers and Mar-Vell), “The Thunder” (Jane Foster and Thor Odinson), and “The Best” (Logan and X-23).
After Generations, Legacy will kick off with a 50-page one-shot written Jason Aaron and illustrated by Esad Ribic. Titled Marvel Legacy #1, the one-shot issue will “set the stage for the next chapter of the Marvel Universe with hope, heroism, heart and the Earth-shattering return of a beloved Marvel mainstay.”
I’ve really enjoyed Aaron’s work with the Jane Foster iteration of Thor in Mighty Thor. He’s done a great job paying tribute to what makes Jane different from Thor Odinson – her practicality, her mortality, her compassion as a doctor – while still injecting The Mighty Thor with plenty of the hammer-swinging, space-Viking action that I expect in a Thor book. (A lot of the credit for that fantastical Thor feel also goes to artist Russell Dauterman and colorist Matt Wilson.) So I’m hopeful that Aaron can bring that same respect for both the newer, more diverse heroes and the classic characters to Marvel’s other superheroes.
Speaking to ABC News, Alonso said that the Aaron and Ribic story is “chock-full of twists, surprises, Easter eggs, and let’s just say, a last-page reveal that’s probably gonna break the internet. It’s a big moment, something we continually get asked about. We are going to answer that question.”
I personally have only one question about this “break the internet” page: CAN IT NOT BE ABOUT HEROES BECOMING NAZIS? (One hopes that Marvel has learned from the Captain America backlash, but they’re still Marvel, so.)
Alonso also said, “With Legacy, we want to tell stories that are accessible to all, but remind readers of Marvel’s rich history…Our stories will invoke that history, reminding readers of connections between characters they may have forgotten about, and ushering in the return of some big characters who’ve been missed. Above all else, we want to inject our comics with a massive dose of fun.”
Fingers crossed, everyone.
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