First Thoughts On Marvel “Legacy”

Source: The Hollwood Reporter

At C2E2, Marvel Comics announced its own relaunch of its entire line that promises to return the company’s characters to their roots. It’s entitled Marvel Legacy.

Following the Secret Empire event currently happening, where Captain America and Hydra have taken over America, Legacy will a renewed focus on wonder, hope, and fun. The publisher also promises a return to legacy numbering for many of its books, reflecting the continuous publishing history of the title. There will also be a consistent cover design across all books similar to that used by the publisher in the 1980s. Also promised iare two traditions going back even further, The return of Marvel Value Stamps and a Marvel-published fanzine titled F.O.O.M.. 

Joe Quesada summed up the relaunch as such:

“The Marvel Legacy initiative is a celebration of everything that makes Marvel the best in fiction and it’s a signifier of a new era for Marvel Comics,” Marvel CCO Joe Quesada said in a statement. “It’s a loving look at the heart of Marvel as we embrace our roots and move enthusiastically forward with all the Marvel characters you know and love starring in the biggest, boldest, best Marvel stories. All of which kicks off with the giant Marvel Legacy special.”

That special will be a fifty page special by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic which restore the status quo to the Marvel Universe and return a character to the publisher’s line-up. Of course, that could just mean Steve Rogers freed from the Hydra influence that is the basis for the Secret Empire event. The teaser image by Joe Quesada could offer clues.

 

Featured in the image are classic versions of Captain America, Thor, Daredevil, the Scarlet Witch, the Wasp, and Spider-Man. missing are the newer characters that seemed to revitalize Marvel and give it diversity. There is propensity of white men with the only representation from the past decade being Captain Marvel Carol Danvers. Those characters, such as the female Thor, Kamala Khan, and Riri Williams brought a lot of Internet outrage from those fans that opposed the influence of “social justice warriors” that championed the new diversity. It also follows the Generations event in July that teams up newer versions with the classic versions of those characters.

I really liked the new characters and welcomed a change in direction for many of the characters and to me, a company-wide relaunch signals a move of desperation. Marvel has lot its spot at the top of the heap to DC’s Rebirth initiative that promised a similar return to the roots of the characters. I also have this impression that at Marvel, the image of a hero has never been as permanently fixed as it is with DC’s pantheon. Marvel has a long history of updating the look of its characters and introducing new heroes into familiar roles. They even used the advantage given by the return of the classic characters to reshape the replacements into new heroes.

I am skeptical of the new concentrated theme. Marvel’s publishing line is big enough to offer a variety of approaches to comics. Marvel’s diversity didn’t just apply to its characters, it applied to the books as well. We could have serious, plot driven comics existing alongside fantastical reinterpretations of its history and comical takes on super-heroes aimed at readers of all ages. I’m afraid that the new focus will homogenize the line in a way the New 52 did for DC, and that fear has me drastically worried for the state of comics as a whole.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see in a few months.