As we enter a new era of Marvel Comics, I’ll be providing a weekly report on all Legacy titles. Your one-stop guide to what’s going on in the 616 universe from MFR’s resident Marvel fan. Above you’ll see Marvel’s report card for the week, then below we’ll dive into each book. Let’s get right to it!
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
All-New Wolverine #25
“Orphans Of X” Part One
As the cover indicates, this arc will pair our hero Laura up with her Wolverine sibling, Daken. Right out of the gate we get an action movie intro starring Daken and some explosive anti-mutant hate.
“The Orphans Of X” are a mysterious hate group with some sort of vendetta against Logan’s family tree. A mutant hating death cult is always a promising sign of a great X-Gene related story.
Laura and Gabby’s chemistry makes them one of the most under appreciated duos in comic books. Their relationship has developed so much over two years, it’s hard to imagine one without the other now. The subtle background things, like the portrait of the two hanging in their apartment, add an extra layer of love onto these fierce sisters of fury.
This issue does a fabulous job at firmly establishing who Laura is going forward for those jumping on. All-New Wolverine has been a sleeper hit for Marvel and it shows no signs of slowing down. Tom Taylor has done wonders for the character and her supporting cast, he deserves a lot of praise.
The sequence of Wolverine reaching the facility she was born in, with broken glass windows telling her history as she walks through the halls, was a spectacular and clever device. It was also very much a Wolverine sequence, this book manages to feel like a Logan book but with so much more heart.
After all this time on her own, with her own supporting cast, Laura is one of the most complete characters in recent memory. It’s been a blast to watch her grow up, her future is one of the most exciting things in X-Men comics right now. The twist at the end of this first chapter is some classic comic book drama.
“Kingpins Of New York” Part One
This new arc for the protectors of NYC streets is continuing the story of Diamondback and Black Cat’s war to claim Kingpin’s now vacant thrown. Defenders was already a favorite among Marvel fans, this arc promises to kick it up a notch.
These four heroes work so well together in both action and quieter scenes. These issues are what the Netflix series should use as a blueprint.
Every bit of dialogue shared between them is quick and catchy, every fight is beautifully crafted. David Marquez is delivering top notch super hero action through glorious and creatively violent layouts. He’s also got a perfect handle on the books pace that keeps Bendis short and sweet, which is when Bendis shines brightest.
Ponsor’s color seals the deal, making this one of the best looking superhero books across the board. Artist renderings of a court proceeding, courtesy of the Daily Bugle, was a nice touch warranting a round of applause.
The only issue I find with this story is that recently in Charlie Soule’s Daredevil, Matt Murdock made it so vigilantes could testify in court. That would drastically change the case against Diamondback and this arc. What’s most infuriating is that Murdock himself is prosecuting. Could be lack of continuity communication, or just a hiccup that they hope nobody noticed. Regardless, it all makes for an otherwise excellent story.
Top-to-bottom, Defenders is not only the best superhero team book at Marvel, but in all of comic books right now. Throw in Deadpool and another surprise player at the end and this tale gets taken to the next level.
Uncanny Avengers #28
“Stars And Garters” Part One
Another severely underrated Marvel title, Uncanny Avengers makes its Legacy debut through more words than actions. Members are sorting out their present before starting their future.
Johnny Storm inherits all of the Richards family assets and patents, Rogue questions her own leadership, and two classic Avengers share a drink.
Beast and Wonder Man’s catch-up conversation was delightful. Catching new readers up and providing a joyful interaction for longtime fans of two characters in desperate need of a course change. Having both of these two heroes back in the forefront is a strong showing for Marvel.
For being one of the quieter starts of the new era, there wasn’t a single moment of boredom. All of these characters are classic Marvel heroes we grew up loving. To spend some intimate time with them, before an inevitable storm of punches, is a well earned swelling of the heart delivered with a smile.
The primer pages in the back are fantastic, a sincere reminder of the Avengers’ beginning, and how different all the many incarnations of the team have been.
X-Men: Blue #13
“Mojo Worldwide” Part Two
The second chapter to the X-Men: Blue/Gold crossover sees Mojo broadcast three teams of mutants in his own Running Man-style gameshow.
Cullen Bunn is having fun with Mojo in all of his ridiculous glory. The commercial break voiceovers, street team, and “the wheel of angsty mutant pain and suffering” all add up to a good old-fashioned, over the top super villain.
Longshot makes a fabulous entrance, with a fitting modern twist on his role in Mojoworld. We quickly lost Bloodstorm (thank you Cullen) and gained Longshot, that’s a major cast upgrade.
This issue hits hardest through the art, Molina and Milla unveil these vastly different battlegrounds over beautiful two-page spreads. Matt Milla has made significant progress this year in becoming a premiere color artist in the medium. No matter the artist he’s paired with, he makes panels explode off the page.
A crossover like this, with no grave stake against all of mutant kind, is what has been missing from X-Men comics for so long. This is a light, action-packed adventure with a huge cast of our favorite mutant heroes. ResurreXion was a huge first step in the right direction for X-Books, Legacy should see the X-Men firmly planted as a prominent corner of Marvel Comics again.
The Unbelievable Gwenpool #21
“Doom Sees You” Part One
Gwen wants to be an Avenger, she thinks her best bet to do so is taking down Dr. Doom. She’s also taking her third wall breaking to the next level to become the greatest hero in the Marvel universe.
Admittedly, this is a series that has never clicked with me. That being said, I had a good time with this issue. Gwenpool isn’t for everyone, she’s a slapstick Harley Quinn trying to find her place in the comic book universe she’s aware she’s a character in.
The major strength of this book is the brilliant cartooning. This zany, murderous Freakazoid-esque Gwen is a self-aware cartoon character. Creatively, being fully aware of what this comic is and should be translates into a fun read.
Any comic with Paste-Pot Pete in it, is alright in my book. Gwenpool allows the creators to poke fun at Marvel and all of comics, the more they take advantage of this, the more effective they can be.
Christopher Hastings takes Gwenpool to the next level, wielding her third wall breaking as a powerful narrative tool. If you’ve been puzzled as to what this series is, or how it’s made it to 21 issues, now’s the time to jump on.
“Take Flight” Part One
Sam Wilson is one of the most interesting characters going into Legacy. The MVP of Secret Empire turned in the Stars and Stripes and took to the sky as Falcon once again.
This time around, Sam’s got himself a sidekick, The Patriot. Sam is in a dark place, carrying a lot of unwarranted blame and trying to mentor a young hero. Not only does Falcon & Patriot sound cool, these two look iconic together, and already share a great chemistry through this issue alone.
The first couple of times I saw the new Falcon costume design, I really despised the wings. Seeing them drawn by Joshua Cassara put me at ease. They might not make much sense but they look great in action.
If this first issue is any indication, this series is going to be as dark as Sam’s new color scheme. By the end of chapter one, there’s a super dark twist and revelation that readers won’t expect from a Falcon comic.
Sam’s tenure as Captain America and betrayal by Steve Rogers has him in uncharted territory. The fallout has him in a weird head space. Fortunate for readers that’s going to make for great super hero stories as he tries to confront Chicago gang violence.
Despicable Deadpool #287 “Deadpool Kills Cable” Part One
If you’re like me, you’ve been burnt out on Deadpool comics for a while. Legacy provides us with a clean slate for the mouthy mercenary, I’m willing to open myself back up to Deadpool.
A fresh start for Wade Wilson sees him ditching his Avenger dreams and shifting back to the disgusting lunatic we all fell in love with years ago. This arc is exactly as advertised, Deadpool was hired by Stryfe to kill Cable. The two former partners share a bloody fight that’ll continue across time.
This entire issue was a sigh of relief for both reader and writer Gerry Duggan. Having Deadpool be the worst he can possibly be again is a joy for fans as well as it must be for Gerry’s script ideas. The more despicable the better, Duggan is well-equipped to take this title to task.
Despicable Deadpool #287 was the most fun I’ve had with a Deadpool issue in years. He’s a character that lives and dies with the writer. His quest to become an Avenger didn’t produce many memorable moments, he was mostly an anchor on every team book he was on.
All the action and ass kicking leads to the grand finale. Deadpool removing his own arm to replace it with Cable’s in order to chase him through time, with his own little arm avatar taking over for Belle is exactly the kind of bloody lunacy I want.
The Amazing Spider-Man #789 “Fall Of Parker” Part One
After Peter Parker’s stint as a billionaire CEO, everything has come crumbling down, leaving him worse off than he was before. Whether you loved or hated the Parker Industries era, simplifying things definitely makes Amazing Spider-Man more accessible for everybody.
Pete is unemployed and crashing on his current love interest’s couch. Mockingbird and Spidey have been slowly developing a superhero romance for a while now. It’s the first relationship he’s been in that I’m actively rooting for in a long time. Bobbi is the kind of strong woman, taking no shit, that all distracted men need.
ASM #789 shows just how much the public has turned on both Parker and his alter-ego. Dan Slott’s long tenure as Spider-Man writer continues, he should see Legacy as an opportunity to win back those who call for his resignation. Stripping Pete back down to almost nothing plays in Slott’s favor, his voice for Parker in this issue is a fitting balance of exaggerated hopelessness and dumb luck.
Stuart Immonen delivers another beautiful Spidey book, he’s been a constant dynamo during this era of Spidey comics. There isn’t much action in this particular issue but when it hits, Immonen dazzles once again. Putting Pete in Mockingbird’s infamous feminist shirt was a nice touch.
The fall from grace for our beloved wall-crawler promises to take him into familiar territory with a new outlook and shuffled supporting cast. For those who hated Parker Industries, there’s nowhere to go but up. For those who enjoyed the prior thirty-two issues, a change of pace can be refreshing.
Check back next week for our coverage of all things Marvel Legacy and let us know what you’ve read in the comments below!