Change Is Inevitable. Marvel Legacy #1 Comic Review

So here we are, the big issue that really kicks things off for Marvel’s new Legacy line of comics.  We’ve had a few Generations issue come out before this, one of which I really didn’t like, but that was one side comic – this is the centre of everything, and the tone and content of this comic is critical in setting the scene for the rest of Legacy.

Now, that being said, it isn’t the end all, be all, for Legacy.  When compared to Rebirth, and the comic that kicked things off, yeah, that comic was the first great issue in what would be some of DC’s finest work to date.  If Legacy #1 doesn’t achieve that, well, it doesn’t mean that everything else that follows is automatically going to be bad or good.  But it is important.  What this comic says is very relevant, so we need to really take a good look at this particular issue.

Things start off pretty strong with a look at the 10,000 BC content coming out as part of the Legacy line.  This is Jason Aaron’s baby, and, as the main writer of this issue, it makes sense we would pay some special attention to this thing.  So far, so good, and as always, Aaron’s writing just feels so comfortable with Esad Ribic’s art.  He is the one who did Secret Wars and I really like how epic this guy makes everything feel.  The whole comic is a big showcase of Marvel’s current artist lineup, and their work is, as always, on point.  There are some great panels of this comic that really felt like it could easily outplay some of the stuff we saw even in Rebirth #1.

[Related: Click Here To Find Marvel Legacy #1 Online]

All that stuff is great, and I don’t want to underestimate that.  We really see some phenomenal art throughout this comic.  But then we transition to the modern age, and are treated to a cool fight between Starbrand and the Reyes Ghost Rider.  That’s cool… and there’s some fun content with the Avengers, a hint of Tony Stark’s return – lot’s of little previews of the Legacy comics.  And suddenly I’m left feeling…

We’re getting little snapshots of other comics, and there’s nothing here to draw me in, to show a change in the status quo, or to feature something big and bold going on.  Nothing new under the sun!

There was a cool moment with Johnny Storm and the Thing, where they light a beacon and remember their missing family.  I liked that.  Then some stuff with Black Panther I kind of found boring, but it is cool that with this and Starbrand, they are starting to follow up on some of the content from Secret Wars, and that was pretty much it.  I was starting to get really annoyed and disappointed in Legacy.  This wasn’t anything new or different, just more of the same – the same talent behind the scenes, the same characters, the same standard villains and threats.  I was just about to write the entire comic off as promising, but nothing special.

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Then an invader from Jotunheim has a roadside encounter on Midgard, and suddenly, everything changed.

Well, damn.  We had heard the rumours for a long time that this was coming, we knew it was coming the day ‘he’ supposedly died, and I still just loved this moment.  It was fun, but, again, not anything that surprising.  After all, resurrecting a character, especially after Marvel has killed so many off, isn’t very shocking, and there’s going to be a great deal more of this, soon.  Then, however, things start to get really interesting, and we find Logan holding… an infinity stone.

Sure enough, we then see Gamora confirm the Infinity Stones are returning, and now I’m really starting to get interested.  I’m pretty sure those powerful gems haven’t been seen since they were destroyed during the events of Time Runs Out, so their return kind of feels like a big deal, and again, we have this connective tissue to some of the crazier ideas of Secret Wars.  It’s almost as if the reset and the world of Marvel during and before Secret Wars are starting the bleed back into the current Marvel world.

I don’t know if that’s true, but the final scenes pick up an unseen narrator’s thoughts on all this, who is revealed to be none other than Valeria Richards.  While her brother Franklin mentions the Fantastic Four family are exploring universes, Valeria imagines her way home.  It would have been very easy to end this comic on a symbol of Marvel, or of Legacy.  I wouldn’t have blamed the company in the slightest, no more than DC’s successful use of the Rebirth logo as a brand.  But they don’t.  This comic ends on a four.

[Related: Click Here To Find Marvel Legacy #1 Online]

Marvel didn’t have to do that.  They never had to bring up the Fantastic Four again.  But man, am I so impressed and glad that they did.  When they first revealed they were getting rid of the Fantastic Four, I understood the decision.  The comics weren’t selling well and Marvel has always had the same trouble as Fox at setting the right tone for this team in the modern age.  I don’t think I missed the Fantastic Four having their own comic series, but I really did miss having them as part of this world.  I missed the Baxter Building and the ability for the team to show up in other stories.  I miss the characters and the fun they represented.  The unambiguous love of science, exploration, and knowledge.  And the family dynamic, which behaved and felt like a real family, including all the ups and downs associated with it.

Like I said at the beginning of this review, the tone being set here really matters – the content of Legacy #1 less so.  And if Marvel really is going to follow through on some of the ideas being presented here – if they draw up on the themes here, if we really are getting a return of Marvel’s own, actual legacy – and all the characters associated with that legacy – then I am, for the first time in a long, long time, actually optimistic about Marvel’s immediate future in the comic book industry.

I like that they are actually following up on things from Secret Wars, the last time I genuinely liked reading this company’s comics.  I love that they are going back to the proper numbering for their comics, fully embracing the legacy this line is named after.  Combine that with the return of Wolverine, plenty of other characters from the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four, and Marvel is really signalling an attempt to at least meet some of the more disgruntled fans halfway.  I can work with this.

I also like that they aren’t abandoning everything from the last couple of years, either.  That would have made everything even more pointless than it already is, but luckily we still get our new characters in action and doing stuff.  Riri does have potential.  She’s still annoying here, but just needs the right writer to sort of polish this character a bit more.  Everyone else is fun and easily works as part of the larger team, now that we aren’t simultaneously abandoning all the other that made us fall in love with Marvel to begin with.

We should not feel bad for basically having forced Marvel to do this as a general fan community.  They were getting out of control, and it is important to remember how bad the New 52 got before DC got its act together and that they were basically forced to improve themselves as well.  That’s the whole point of a free market and the power of consumers to begin with.  But in turn I think it’s important to reward good behaviour, and to recognize a positive change when one comes across to us.

To me, from what I gathered out of this comic, that’s what this represents.  Yes, there’s a lot of boring stuff in this comic.  Yes, it is, as always with Marvel, shrouded in certain corporate nonsense.  And yes, I don’t want to reward Marvel too much for fixing things that never should have been broken to begin with.  But, in spite of all that, well, I don’t know.  This four means something to me.  This scene was really awesome.  There’s some great art here, and I just want to go back to a world where I can enjoy the average Marvel comic and not have to worry about their own nonsense anymore.

I think this is the first step away from this stuff.  I really hope it is.  A lot of people worked hard on this comic and the staff at Marvel clearly wants to put out the best content they can make.  The question comes down to whether or not the company’s management allows it to happen.  This is where Rebirth has impressed me the most.  DC has generally worked with as opposed to against their creators and it really shows.  My hope is that, in a year from now, we can say the same thing about legacy, but until that time, well, if this is anything to go by, we are actually going to get this.  We’ll see, but it really says something that I’m a lot more optimistic about Legacy than I was last week.  I didn’t expect that, but I am happy about it all.

So that’s my review.  I don’t know if I recommend the comic itself.  It’s… fine.  It did impress me though, and suddenly, I’m a lot more interested in what Marvel has to offer going forward.

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