Editor’s Note: If you started reading this comic and playfully decided to take a shot anytime you read the word “Legacy” or any variation thereof, you should immediately seek medical attention.
Or you’re already dead of liver annihilation.
This is what feels like Marvel’s 17th Event in the last five years, and it’s supposed to restore this nostalgia-soaked notion of “legacy” that the publisher has been trying to suppress with all the spotlight-grabbing storylines of those aforementioned five years. It’s a flagrant attempt to copy DC’s “Rebirth” relaunch, only this is so ham-handed it’s embarrassing.
It starts with this 1,000,000 BC Avengers flashback, and from a personal standpoint, this story has already lost me: The concept of ancient Avengers seems tired and unoriginal, especially in the light of Elseworlds, Batman’s romps in the past, and visions of Iron Fist past. However, Marvel has said it will all make sense eventually, why these heroes look so evolved, how the ancient Avengers ties into the overall development of Earth at that stage, etc. Fine, I’ll give it a shot when it comes out. However, to open a story like this with something like that? Strike one.
Strike two is the hackneyed “Heroes Fighting When a Simple Explanation Would Solve Everything”-trope that is run into the ground by Starbrand attacking Ghost Rider. It’s two super-powered dudes going at it, barfing out macho-flavored one-liners as they trade gnarly zappy-punches. It accomplishes nothing; it’s mindless violence disguised as narrative progression.
Seeing Sam Wilson and Jane Foster and Riri Williams couple up to fight a horde of tiny frost giants from stealing a precious, untraced SHIELD crate was a “meh” moment that was almost immediately downgraded to “bleh” when Riri “hysterically” couldn’t remember the fucking Avengers rallying cry. Strike three, my dude. It’s moderately intriguing how these three basically concede this adventure will be their last hurrah carrying their respective borrowed monikers, but Riri’s banter is so groan-worthy it’s distracting and removes any emotional attachment.
Honestly, the parts with Odinson, Dr. Strange & Iron Fist, and Steve Rogers were barely memorable, even though they were effectively cameos in the larger scope of the story. Quippy Stephen Strange hasn’t done anything for me, emo Thor has gotten REALLY old, and I know I should feel something for an emotionally untethered original super nice guy Steve Rogers (‘member him? Not a racist!), but I just don’t. Also, Mary Jane Bendising around Tony Stark’s chamber and finding out he’s missing was so anticlimactic my face imploded.
But this giant-sized overpriced issue wasn’t without a few redeeming factors.
The scene with Deadpool in a restroom was far more emotionally resonant than it should have been. We see Wade trying to come to grips with just what he has done, and we see him accepting a punishment without any effort to avoid; he sits perched atop a disgusting toilet welcoming a rain of gunfire as part of his penance.
The snippets with Fantastic Four-related characters were inspiring and invigorating. I didn’t realize how much I longed for the First Family of Marvel to return until I saw Johnny and Ben get emotional overlooking the city, or seeing Val and Franklin trade barbs as they race to a new dimension. Having the FF back in the greater Marvel universe in any form or fashion will be like a breath of fresh air for readers, and props to Jim Cheung on his rendition of Human Torch and the Thing – they looked great and heroic while maintaining an almost tangible pensive feeling.
Even though it was spoiled for me by the announcement from Marvel (and subsequent thoughtless posting on virtually every comic-related website and on social media and on message boards, etc…), the return of the goddamn original Wolverine still made me squeal. You can really tell just how much Logan means to writer Jason Aaron, and how he has such a firm grasp of how the character conducts itself even in his few pages of screen time.
Really, this was an extremely disappointing start to a tired Event that didn’t have any time to breathe – Marvel keeps shoving what it thinks readers’ want down fans’ throats, and it’s so played out; I can’t even consider myself a fan of the publisher anymore due to just how disjointed and rushed and poorly thought out everything is. I’m exhausted.
Marvel Legacy #1 will probably thrill the remaining fans of the former House of Ideas, as it’s another story that crams in as many characters as they possibly can. Things are returning to a status quo that may appease longtime Marvel Boys (and Girls), and just maybe this is the beginning of things getting straightened out. However, I found it grating and a slog to get through, stellar artwork or not. I thankfully didn’t have to buy this, and I won’t recommend it to the average fan.
4.5 out of 10 Sniktety Snikts