I’ve been reviewing most of every GENERATIONS issue Marvel‘s put out, and each one was supposed to be building to this massive event known mostly as… LEGACY. Now, I think it’s fair to point out that all but ONE issue of the GENERATIONS that I read– well, they pretty much sucked. They lacked direction, and made it feel like Marvel still had no clue where they were headed. The thing that concerned me the most was that the writing was subpar at best, and when the worst, it made the issue nigh unreadable.
Despite the lack of direction, questionable writing and overall feeling of confusion in LEGACY’s predecessors, I see the silver lining of hope out in the distance after reading MARVEL LEGACY #1.
It’s no secret that I’m a DC Comics [and Image Comics] guy, and that I don’t relate with almost any Marvel character, BUT there’s something that trumps my bias– a great story with great writing. And I feel we got just that in MARVEL LEGACY #1. It was a true three-sixty from what the GENERATIONS were, and it finally gave me what I’ve been looking for… a metaphorical north star for Marvel to be guided by in where they’re going.
Right out of the gate, I loved how Jason Aaron (writer) gave us this 1,000,000–B.C.-esque style Avengers,
Esad Ribić (artist) is one of my absolute favorite artists in comics, and he was one of the reasons I actually bought SECRET WARS a couple of years ago and was one of the reasons I checked this out after the GENERATIONS were so underwhelming. His style really gave this issue a shot of adrenaline that it needed to match Jason’s solid story. It brought this issue together, and stepped it up a bar [or two.] Esad’s style also made this group of Avengers really appealing, and honestly made me think, “shit, I’d read a book with these guys.”
Something that was very prevalent in the issue, and that was conveyed through the GENERATIONS was this vibe– no, this heavy feeling of similarity to DC Comics’ REBIRTH. I had said in one of my previous reviews how it felt like they [Marvel] was trying to cash in on that, since it’s blatantly visible they’d lost a grasp on who their characters are over the last [roughly] decade or so. This issue focuses on trying to prove they remember, and honestly, it kind of uses the term “legacy” a little too much for my taste, and there came a point reading it where I said out loud, “okay, okay dude. We get it, the book is called LEGACY.”
That aside, I do believe one of the stronger points in the issue was the passing of the torch moment where a portion of the nu-Avengers came together battle Frost Giants sent by Loki.
Reading this issue you definitely get the vibe that Marvel wants to move on from its classic heroes, and continue stories with the next-gen. I know they’ve said they’re not getting rid of the classics, and if that’s actually true and not just a PR stunt, I still expect these characters to get more of the spotlight than their predecessors. And now that may not be so much of a bad thing, but it is definitely a double-edged sword, as the focusing on new[er] characters will surely leave older fans feeling alienated similar to how DC Comics‘ NEW52 had left a minority of its fanbase.
Something that made this issue a standout was the return [and foreshadowing of a return] of characters. From the FANTASTIC FOUR, as we were shown Johnny and Thing shooting a flare up into the night sky with their symbol, to possibly the biggest return in a while for Marvel,
WOLVERINE. The last we’ve seen of this savage was when he died in “The Death of Wolverine,” and he was ultimately replaced by his “Old Man” counterpart [as well as X-23.] Seeing him back brings up a lot of questions; like how he’ll factor into this new Marvel direction, and what that means for Old Man Logan, but most of all being why he was after an Infinity Gem.