Marvel Legacy #1 is the book that seems to be primed to fix a few things going on in the Marvel universe; but is it really enough to win back lapsed readers?
Before I go into the review, let me give you a tiny bit of set-up. Like some Marvel fans, I got exhausted with years and years of ‘great events’ that were supposed to change the way we saw the Marvel universe. But it seemed like the more it changed, the more unwieldy it became. Within the last few years, many of us clamored for smaller, intimate events, but instead we got Secret Wars, which I enjoyed, Civil War II, which I partially questioned why this story needed to be told because part of me felt like this could have been contained within the Avengers titles, and then I totally checked out on Secret Empire.
During the Marvel panel at this year’s Baltimore Comic Con, Tom Breevort, gave this “Kevin”, an exclusive chance to see if Marvel Legacy is the goodwill leaf needed to put Marvel back on the path for telling great stories about a great universe full of great heroes and villains.
**WARNING: MILD SPOILERS AHEAD**
As told by Jason Aaron, the story starts off in a prehistoric age where some very familiar characters are gathering to discuss the fate of the world, and its future. Let’s face it, it’s a very insightful opening when you, the reader, are contemplating whether or not you are jumping back on board Marvel books or avoid. as the story progresses, we then come to realize that this may be a dream or a vision being had by Robbie Reyes. Reyes somehow finds himself in South Africa after realizing that there is a very real possibility that he may have literally driven across the ocean to his current unknown location. As he is trying to get his bearings, he is attacked by Damien Hellstrom and similar to the recently released Spirits of Vengeance #1, the motivations of the attack are unclear.
Beyond this point, Aaron begins the world building that he has deftly done in so many books and truth be told, I will need another reading to absorb it all in. One of the things I love about Aaron’s work is his ability to juggle multiple characters in a story and keep the plot moving. As Robbie Reyes fights Helstrom, we see Loki plotting to raid a facility for something very precious to him, in yet another scene we a familiar ne’er do well being chased by police, we get hints of what the Fantastic Four is up to (yes! True Believers, Marvel is moving forward to bring them back!), we also see Odinson trying to work thru his issues, and we also get into the mind of Sam Wilson and he starts to make room for the missing Captain America’s return. Love it or hate it, there is a lot to keep up here so depending on how far out of the loop you are, Aaron’s juggling act is a lot to keep up with. I stil feel like I need a score card to keep track of things.
The holy s**t moment of the book was when we learn of the fate of one of Marvel’s most famous countries; and in my opinion, if we have paid attention to just how technologically advanced they are, it’s really no surprise that this is where they end up. I chuckled with glee as I thought back to a certain rap album’s title from the early 90s.
The book is accompanied by the solid work of Esad Ribic who has always done excellent work and if you missed it, you should see the pages of the aforementioned Secret Wars. His work here is fluid and kinetic as he fleshes out Aaron’s words. In nearly every scene, you can sense the action, the urgency and the quiet of many moments. You get a visual feel by the usage of color that he provides for different scenes and it comes together naturally. Ribic’s work makes this yet another reason why I want to read this book again to go back and absorb the details of some of the scenes.
I really enjoyed this book and I am hoping that Marvel sticks to the line of telling tighter stories. If you are a lapsed reader as I am, this book may do well to convince you to come back. Aaron and Ribic’s work here is a solid effort to win back a lot of the audience who may have been lost in the last few years, and to be brutally honest, I will slowly and carefully with my dollars, dipping back into the Marvel pool. As long as we don’t get derailed with ‘yet another Marvel book wide event promising to shake up the universe as we know it’, I will stick around. As far as this book is concerned, it’s a very good start forward, let’s hope that it continues.
4 Mjolnirs out of 5