The comic book world has been busy in the lead up to San Diego Comic Con. Even before the biggest cultural event begins Marvel is busy announcing all of the comics that will be under their “Marvel Legacy” banner. The announcement for how the Marvel Universe is going to look after Secret Empire has not been fully revealed. Even though the picture isn’t 100% clear the current crop of “Marvel Legacy” announcements has given us plenty to think about.
When “Marvel Legacy” was just a concept floating around for fans to talk about it was an exciting thing. There was a lot of potential for what it was rumored to be. Now that we are getting a clear picture of what “Marvel Legacy” and the future of the company will be post-Secret Empire some of that excitement has been tempered.
Now there are definitely some things, of what has been announced, that are intriguing. Two “Marvel Legacy” announcement that stand out are Greg Pak returning to Planet Hulk and Brian Bendis building towards the return of the real Tony Stark. Both storylines could turn out to be big individual stories that could increase interest in both franchises. Though I haven’t been reading either Pak’s Incredible Hulk or Bendis Iron Man comics at the moment these stories do capture my attention. Especially with Bendis writing the return of Tony Stark, it’ll be very interesting to see if it leads to Marvel’s next big event or if Marvel editorial will resist the urge to make an event out of everything.
On top of that we are there are other things that did catch my eye as positive things. These positives as of now are Spider-Gwen going through her black costume phase, Jean Grey vs. Emma Frost, Daken and Laura Kinney team-up and Deadpool getting back together with Cable. Each of these stories seem to be their own contained things that continue to build on what the creative teams were doing with their respective series before Secret Empire took over the Marvel Universe.
Another thing of note are the rumors that Nick Spencer will be taking over Amazing Spider-Man after Dan Slott completes his run with issue #800. This has not been confirmed but is an interesting prospect to think about. Though Spencer’s Captain America run and current writing in Secret Empire has been controversial this isn’t an announcement, if it happens, that is a turn-off. Spencer is no stranger to Spider-Man, as he previously wrote the excellent Superior Foes Of Spider-Man series.
The one thing that may make readers hesitant is that since writing that series Spencer has been more prone to lean towards “controversial” storytelling. That is definitely something to watch out for since that would mean we wouldn’t get a run that is all that different from Slott. And after everything Slott has done the next writer of Amazing Spider-Man will need to go towards more classic Spider-Man storytelling, especially after Homecoming dominated the box office.
Now while these things are all intriguing in their own right not everything about “Marvel Legacy” has been hitting it out of the park. Right away something that stands out is the fact that we are going to transition from Secret Empire to two big crossovers. Because as “Marvel Legacy” begins both the Avengers/Champions and X-Men comics will be having their own separate crossover events.
Coming off Secret Empire, Marvel should know that their readership needs to get used to comfortable with the new “Marvel Legacy” direction they are taking. Having crossovers in two of their biggest franchises is not the way to get readership invested in what “Marvel Legacy” is about. Instead Marvel is giving their readers an instant reason why they don’t need to pick up Avengers, Champions, X-Men: Blue or Gold if they were only interested in one of the team books.
It also points to how “Marvel Legacy” is not Marvel taking risks but rather still being the same old company that has turned off many loyal fans in the last few years. If “Marvel Legacy” is to be something that is a new direction for the company, kicking things off with old, sales spike reliant strategies like crossovers is not the way to deliver that message. The sooner Marvel allows their creators to establish what each series is about on their the better these crossovers will be as they will be a special occurrence rather than the norm.
Another questionable move looks to be Marvel continuing to ignore the importance of the Fantastic Four. Though Doctor Doom is still present he has been more or less moved to being part of Iron Man’s world. Meanwhile it looks like Reed Richards and Sue Storm will continue to be stuck in the limbo they have lived in since Secret Wars ended. And while the Human Torch/Thing series may be Marvel’s way of showing that they still remember the Fantastic Four just seems odd.
There is absolutely no reason why we can’t have the Fantastic Four together in at least one comic. With how many niche comics they are publishing the Fantastic Four can be a consistent seller if they are given one comic to have fans focus on buying. All of this just reeks of Marvel continuing to feud with Fox over the movie rights being the main reason of the Fantastic Four limbo status.
It doesn’t help things that Marvel has continued to fail in their attempt to make the Inhumans a bigger part of their universe. Though they have definitely tried to make the Inhumans a thing that would replace the X-Men and Fantastic Four it has not worked so far. If “Marvel Legacy” looks to accomplish one thing it should be to figure out what makes the Inhumans special and not just try to make them the X-Men or Fantastic Four like they have looked so far.
Now we are far from done getting announcements about “Marvel Legacy.” What we have learned so far has been a big mixed bag of excitement and disappointment. We are still a few months away from “Marvel Legacy” beginning. With San Diego Comic Con right around the corner we are sure to get even more announcements sooner rather than later.