Marvel Legacy is finally here! The “rebirth” of the entire line of Marvel comics, bringing us into a new era that is supposed to return the line to its former glory. There’s a lot to unpack, so let’s dive in!
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
Writer Jason Aaron takes us from one million years ago to today, all to examine what a hero’s legacy is. First introducing us to the Avengers of the Stone Age, we take a journey throughout all of the 616 as the entire universe gets a course correction.
One thing Legacy managed to do immediately was finally make Robbie Reyes cool. He’s a character I’ve tried many times to like but just never clicked with me. Seeing him here made me realize it was the art that never sold me before. If Robbie’s Ghost Rider always looked this badass, I would’ve long been a fan.
Where DC Rebirth felt like it’s main effort was to erase a lot of history and revert back to the old days, Legacy feels it’s pushing forward unashamed of where it’s been. Not to take anything away from the triumph that was DC Rebirth, but Marvel managed to do something different when we all assumed it would be almost a carbon copy.
This book heavily benefits by having Jason Aaron at the helm. The world of Thor is very much at the center of Legacy, as it should be, and there’s no writer with a better handle on Asgard than Aaron.
One thing that was important in separating this event from the yearly Marvel relaunches is that it is deeply entrenched in and focused on Marvel Comics. That may sound stupid but ever since the MCU’s massive success, there has been a focus on blending fans of the movies with the comics and it never panned out.
To have the 616 Universe focused on itself and not tying into the next movie release is a major factor in getting fans to buy in.
For all the mixed reception that Secret Empire received, you can’t deny what it does for Captain America going forward. This is completely uncharted territory for Steve Rogers. Having always been the heart of every hero, as well as the nation, for the first time ever Cap is going to have to earn the world’s trust back. We may have our Steve back but he doesn’t have his world back. This new era we’re entering for the character is an exciting one.
All the little seeds planted were well executed, from Norman Osborn’s thirst for power to the subtle newscast about how well Wilson Fisk is polling for NYC mayor. The tiny previews of stories to come across all of Marvel’s line, while setting up the status quo, didn’t read like a cheap plug. This is another key element that sets it apart from the Civil War II failures in recent memory.
Now for the big return, I successfully avoided every spoiler heading into this. I know it’s weird to do that, who likes to naturally react to things anymore? Having no clue what to expect coming in, the reveal of James Howlett in all his Wolverine glory was stupendous. I pity those that didn’t get to experience the inner-squealing and massive smile that engulfed my face when he stepped out of that beer truck. That sequence will no doubt go down in history as one of the most Logan things to have ever happened.
Some of the strongest moments in Marvel, and comics history as a whole, have revolved around the infinity stones. Having them not only be at the heart of all things Marvel cosmic right now, but also at the heart of Legacy is a sign of relief. Marvel operates best when it’s sci-fi cosmic world is intertwined with both the world of gods and the mortals on Earth.
The other reveal at the end, of Valeria Richards having been the narrator, was another rich comic book moment that made my heart full. The Fantastic Four’s absence from Marvel is something that has been plaguing them more than they’ll admit. To finally see some semblance of them, and a tease for the possible future, is joyous for every Marvel fan.
I appreciate that all the cards Marvel have weren’t played immediately. The eventual return of the “First Family” is something to look forward to in the future. It’s similar to how DC Rebirth has been toying with readers over introducing the Watchmen into their universe. Letting things breathe and build is a smart strategy, having our Wolverine back is monumental in itself, we can wait some more for the FF.
Marvel Legacy on the whole, was a well crafted and epic experience. It established what was necessary without giving the future map away really at all. Jason Aaron crafted each moment precisely the way it needed to be done. We didn’t linger too long on anyone, the right pieces are in place for big roles, and Robbie Reyes is finally cool. Aaron was clearly the right choice to handle such a tremendous task, I wouldn’t mind him becoming the Geoff Johns of Marvel Comics.
I’m proud of both Jason Aaron and Marvel for not giving in to the people who opposed the diversity in our heroes throughout the 616. This wasn’t an apology or hostage negotiation, it was a realignment. They were ambitious, they saw what worked and what didn’t, and are now ready to move forward with the best of both the old and new casts of characters.
Esad Ribic and Steve McNiven deliver an epic on the grandest scale possible. The art alone warrants multiple reads of Marvel Legacy #1. The transition from artist to artist were smooth, which is no easy task in a comics world littered with too many artists on single books. The key player is Matthew Wilson having colored the entire issue, keeping a steady flow and consistency despite there being so many different visionaries on one issue.
Marvel Legacy is officially upon us. We now enter a new era for Marvel Comics, it’s shaping up to be an exciting and quite healthy one if this issue is any indication.