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 dig in!
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
“Sinister Six Reborn” Part One
Miles Morales was one character in desperate need of a course correction. Marvel Legacy provides Brian Michael Bendis the opportunity to get Spider-Man back to being a compelling book again, like Ultimate Spider-Man was.
Ever since Miles joined the 616 universe, post-Secret Wars, he’s been trapped in a string of lackluster coming-of-age stories. None of the weight he had in the Ultimate universe carried over.
Throwing together a Sinister Six for Miles to fight is a cheap but effective way to draw people back to Spider-Man. Revealing Miles’ uncle Aaron as the Iron Spider who’s assembling this Sinister Six? Now that’s a step in the right direction sure to keep readers coming back for the next issue.
Aaron Davis was one of the most crucial components of what made Miles’ Spidey origin so tragic and compelling. Even if he’s the 616 counterpart, he clearly has a vendetta against Spider-Man in some capacity. Bendis is finally addressing the corners of Miles’ life worth exploring.
Oscar Bazaldua brings an art style that is both cartoonish and reminiscent of the original Ultimate Spider-Man series. There isn’t much web-slinging in this issue, but each member of the Sinister Six looks dynamite together. The regular cover art does this dastardly gang no favors, Bazaldua does all the heavy lifting inside.
The only problem with the art is how impossible it is to tell Ganke and Goldballs apart in any full shots from a distance. This has been an annoyance since day one of Goldballs becoming Miles and Ganke’s roommate.
If you’re someone who loves Miles but hasn’t enjoyed his time in the 616, this is the time to jump back in. The Legacy course correction could succeed where Spider-Men II has failed in recapturing the essence that drew us all to Miles in the first place.
Power Pack #63
“Rarely Pure And Never Simple” Part One of One
A Marvel one-shot bringing us back to a classic team we haven’t seen in a very long time. The Power Pack are a bit older and spread across the multiverse. Writer Devin Grayson uses Katie to tell us an old Power Pack tale of super-heroism.
This was a well crafted, perfectly executed single issue story. Artist Marika Cresta steers most of the storytelling. Showing us both Katie and her teacher’s perspective of the adventure Katie has turned in. The side-by-side layouts make this an exceptionally fun read.
I think this was exactly what it needed to be. I don’t need any more and didn’t get any less than I expected. It doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, it’s short and sweet.
Power Pack #63 is a fun trip down memory lane that stands on its own. The Marvel Legacy one-shots are off to a wonderful start.
Iron Fist #74
“Sabretooth: Round Two” Part Two
Somebody is parading around as the Constrictor and Sabretooth isn’t happy about it. The unlikely duo of Victor Creed and Danny Rand finds themselves beating down z-list villains in search of this new scumbag and the Iron Fist book he stole.
Ed Brisson brings the best out of both characters, mining a chemistry nobody thought to explore much before (even though this is a “round two”). There are a lot of effective comedy bits to break up the bouts of badass.
Brisson has been able to successfully toe the line between Danny’s funny side and his more serious kung-fu stature. So far, his writing has been a god send for Marvel. They need to keep letting him loose on as many titles as he’ll take on.
Mike Perkins and Andy Troy have also delivered phenomenal work. The art lends a big hand in keeping this book gritty and fierce without making the lighter moments feel out of place.
The Serpent Society, mysterious enemies of K’un L’un, an army of mystical warriors, Iron Fist & Sabretooth all pursuing the same magical book. Those are the ingredients to a classic Iron Fist comic book.
“Champions Reunited” Part Two
Iceman stumbled a bit out of the gate, the book has its heart in the right place but can’t find its footing. Bobby’s original Champions reunion continues as they face a handful of prop sentinels.
Bobby’s parents find a new thing to be upset over, but it’s finally one worth exploring. Mrs. Drake discovers there are two of their son, which will surely complicate their already damaged relationship.
For a book trying to accumulate a gay mutant into a diverse superhero setting, Sina Grace doesn’t seem very confident or comfortable with the transition. Bobby coming out doesn’t seem to carry any weight to anyone but his parents. Which is totally fine that no X-Men make a big deal out of their friend being gay. The problem is that his coming out is the center of this title but doesn’t seem to matter.
The shoehorned dialogue, trying to sound “hip”, drags this book down. At one point somebody complains they “couldn’t even get a decent Vine” of the big battle. Referencing an out of commission app still isn’t as bad forcing a “Yas Kween” into the bottom of a nice action sequence.
The action sequences of the former Champions destroying fake sentinels are exciting. Robert Gill’s layouts are explosive and we get to see Iceman use his abilities a number of different ways.
This issue was better than the last but it still hasn’t found its groove completely. When every character sounds like a parent trying to appeal to their kid’s friends, it’s hard not to seem synthetic.
Iceman isn’t much of an X-Men book and it doesn’t do anything for Bobby Drake as a character. LGBTQ representation in comic books is important. Readers looking for a compelling gay hero can look elsewhere as the industry is full of better options.
Guardians Of The Galaxy #146
“Infinity Quest” Part One
Gerry Duggan’s All-New GOTG series has been one of the strongest comics at Marvel. Proudly leading the charge of cosmic Marvel’s return to prominence, it’s the best we’ve seen the Guardians be since Abnett/Lanning.
Their first Legacy arc sees our favorite space scoundrels lending the Nova Corps a hand before beginning their search for the infinity stones. They just recently welcomed Ant-Man to the team, this is our first issue with Scott Lang in space. Duggan wastes no time fitting him into story, he and Gamora encounter Ultron while investigating a distress call.
Scott seems to be a nice fit immediately, both visually and with the team dynamic. If Ant-Man, and his antennae helmet, is the closest we’re going to get to Bug coming back, I’ll take what I can get for now.
The rest of the team splits up into pairs, an area where this series has tended to shine extraordinarily bright. No matter the configuration, we’re getting the best out of every member of the squad. We also get a juicy taste of things to come as Star-Lord discovers that Richard Rider is alive. Reuniting the best space bros in history, for the first time since Thanos Imperitive, promises to be a heartfelt moment.
Whatever process they’re going through to choose which artists do which stories, every comic with a rotating art team needs to utilize it. Duggan has been working with so many great artists, Marcus To steps in this time with Ian Herring on colors. They continue the trend of bringing beautifully vast and deeply colorful life back to the 616 cosmic galaxy.
This Guardians Of The Galaxy series has it all. Whether you’re an old school cosmic Marvel fan or coming straight from the movies, this book will meet your criteria. Duggan and his rotation of brilliant artists make this a must-read series. Cosmic Marvel is coming back in a big way and this is the epicenter.
Captain America #695
“Home Of The Brave” Part One
Good ol’ Cap is back, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee are here to return Steve Rogers to his former glory. This one-issue story takes a long look at what Captain America actually stands for before we get back to his ongoing adventures.
The inspiration we all find in Steve is celebrated by a small town he saved ten years ago. Waid and Samnee deliver a sincerely heartfelt love letter to the character, a pallet cleanser for those who couldn’t wait for Secret Empire to end.
Rogers finds himself in unfamiliar territory with the public distrusting him. This little pit stop gives him a second to collect himself, he’ll have this to hold onto as he approaches what is surely to be a rough patch.
Chris Samnee’s art, with beautiful Matthew Wilson colors, brings us back to the Silver Age in spectacular fashion. There’s no winks or nudges, just a good and wholesome American comic book.
This is what the comic community has been asking for, Waid and Samnee deliver exactly what they needed to. Whether you enjoyed Secret Empire or not, Cap returning to form inspires a lot of hope in a time where we could really use some
“Worlds Collide” Part Three
The Avengers/Champions crossover continues to roll without delay. Chapter three digs into what’s actually going on, the threat our heroes face is planetary.
Earth and Counter-Earth are going to collide, every twenty minutes we’re one step closer to annihilation. This somewhat ridiculous, high-concept science fiction threat is laid out in an easily digestible explanation before we move on to more punching.
Marvel comics operate best the deeper entrenched in sci-fi exploration they are. This may not be as deep conceptually as Hickman’s work, but it’s a tastefully watered-down approach appropriate for the start of a new era for Marvel.
We finally get some High Evolutionary face time and it’s glorious. Waid’s voice for the character is pitch perfect. His villainous plot is grand and large scale, worthy of classic comic book standards.
This crossover has been nothing but fun, worthy of collaboration between the two teams. Waid has crafted a swell starting point for readers looking to give both Avengers and Champions a go at this fresh jumping on point.
What were your favorites from this week of Marvel Legacy? Be sure to check back next week for another healthy installment of Marvel Legacy Report!