I Just Finished – Marvel Legacy

“My shrubbery is not to be trifled with, Daniel Rand.”

Funniest line in the book. Unfortunately, it’s about 25 pages in, and not a lot happens before it that grabbed me. Actually, the whole sequence in which that line falls, which has Dr. Strange and Iron Fist visiting Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum, after Norman Osborne has just tried to break into it, is funny, and the most entertaining part of the book.

Marvel Legacy has been heralded (by Marvel) as the return of many classic characters and teams. The artwork, and Axel Alonso’s notes at the end of this issue, suggest that the whole point of the effort is to bring back the glory of Bronze Age Marvel. And I’m all about that idea. I started reading comics in 1974, and the best time for comic books, in any given reader’s opinion, is usually the year or three around the time he started reading.

But the storylines that Mr. Alonso promises are coming—like Loki becoming Sorceror Supreme, or Klaw conquering Wakanda, just make me shrug. And the story which introduces this new effort does the same. If this is what Marvel Legacy is going to look like, then I’m going to go in with low expectations.

I’m sorry to sound ungrateful. I’m pretty certain I’m the exact sort of reader they’re reaching out to—one who hasn’t been overwhelmed by a lot of their printed efforts for years, who loves the Marvel movies, and who just wants good stories about the classic Marvel characters. But Marvel Legacy’s first issue starts out, a la 2001, with a flashback to the dawn of humanity, and appearances by Odin, an early Iron Fist, an early Phoenix, an early Ghost Rider… you get the idea.

I’m thinking, “Where are all the classic characters that emblazon the cover?” After a slow start, most of the issue is devoted to plain-clothes SHIELD agents, Thor, Sam Wilson Cap and Iron Heart, and, of course, Deadpool. ‘Cause nothing says classic Marvel like pages and pages of Deadpool. Oh, and there’s a running battle between Starbrand, who was a teenager in his last book but suddenly looks my age, and Ghost Rider. I don’t know much about the current Ghost Rider, but the Starbrand shown here bears little resemblance to the one in the most recent series, even discounting the physical changes as just being a different art style.

An artifact is being fought over, frost giants die, and a dead character comes back to life, which is de rigeur for this sort of tale. But the character who comes back has three other versions of himself running around, and his death was probably one of the ones that just could have stayed in place.

If looks like the Fantastic Four is coming back to us, which is nice. But… Well… I’m not sure, based on this, that the creative teams who want to bring back the Bronze Age actually know what made it great. I really, really don’t want to discourage them, though. I do hope this effort is a success.

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