I went into this issue with decidedly mixed emotions. On the one hand, I was excited to see what Marvel have in store for their characters down the line, particularly those I’ve followed for the past 2 years. On the other, melancholy. I’ve come to realise that my comic collecting days are numbered, at least at the extent I currently enjoy. With some major life events just around the corner, I’m going to have to say a temporary farewell to a universe I’ve come to know and love. I appreciate this might sound a little extreme, my eventual return to it all being somewhat inevitable, but I have become incredibly invested in a universe that has been a source of support and on more than occasion and saying goodbye is going to be a greater challenge than I care to admit. Was it any good? Let’s find out…
The main thread of this story begins in the year 1000000 BC where the Avengers of the time do battle with a Celestial, defeating it and burying it many miles underground. Fast forward to the present day, Starbrand is concerned that the mighty being may be resurrected by a fellow mantle bearer which winds up with a heated duel between him and Ghost Rider. It ends with a fatality and a being far more mischievous discovering the Celestial…
Alongside this, we are treated to a number of snap shots focusing on characters across the Marvel Universe. Heroes reborn, lost and reunited, worlds under threat and power hungry villains are just some of the things the Marvel Universe has got lined up. One things for sure, it’s going to be one heck of a show…
If I’m perfectly honest, I was a little disappointed with this one-shot. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy bits of it but that effectively captures the essence of what this feels like, bits and pieces that feel somewhat slapped on to a fairly average story in my opinion. I’m going to address the negatives first because I don’t really want to finish this on too negative a word.
The modern day aspect of the main story didn’t sit right with me. Though my familiarity with Starbrand is admittedly limited, his portrayal in this issue didn’t really feel like the Starbrand I was introduced to in Secret Empire. His violent approach to stopping a confused Robbie Reyes unnecessarily aggravated the situation and I failed to engage with it. I appreciate the stuff he had to deal with in Secret Empire is pretty challenging but the entire thing just feels a touch alien. That being said, Reyes was written well, the difficulties he faces controlling the Spirit of Vengeance showing through really well when faced with a nigh unstoppable force.
The Loki aspect of the issue was somewhat more enjoyable, though I’m still not sure how I really feel about Loki as a character. It was great to see Thor, Captain America (Sam Wilson) and Iron Heart clash with some Frost giants, leaving me hopeful that the possible negative implications Marvel Legacy may have on legacy characters are something readers shouldn’t worry about. I’m not a huge fan of the Sam Wilson-Jane Foster relationship but Iron Heart’s sour faced reaction was rather amusing.
The Avengers of 1000000 BC were by far the most enjoyable aspect of the main plot. The entire concept strikes me as really fun and Aaron does fantastic job bringing the team alive. We get an unfortunately brief amount of time with these prehistoric warriors but the time spent is brilliant, the likes of Ghost Rider and Agamotto standing out as characters of particular interest. I’m curious to see this concept unfold down the line.
As mentioned, this issue contains a number of teases for the future of the Marvel Universe which, though feeling a little tacked on, suggests that the next few years are going to usher in some serious changes. Marvel Legacy #1 offers up a variety of teasers, some of which appeal more than others but that is more down to personal interest as not all the series teased are ones that I am currently following. That being said, a couple of the unfamiliar ones have piqued my interest. I’m going to try and keep this bit as spoiler free as possible as, although this was released back September, some of the stuff teased is huge.
Of the first 3, the Captain America one was by far my favourite. Not only am I feeling a weirdly strong connection to his character at the moment but Mark Waid and Chris Samnee are guiding him through the next few issues. They were the first creative duo I experienced (They were working on Daredevil at the time) and they made for a fantastic team. The more I think about it the more difficult it is to resist… The teaser itself isn’t huge but it conveys some surprisingly strong emotion.
The next batch contains two of personal interest. The first sees a possible team up for two characters that could be rather awesome as well as a villains desire for more power reaching desperate heights. Definitely going to be an interesting one to watch. I’m a little torn on the Avengers tease. Part of me is curious to see what Avengers: No Surrender will entail but I’m not overly sure about it all yet. It doesn’t start till January and I intend to test the waters with a couple of other series before then.
The penultimate trio are all of interest, reuniting beloved characters and teasing huge changes for existing ones. I don’t think I’ll be following their stories in comic form but I may pick up a trade later on.
The final teasers are where the biggest bombshells are contained. Honestly, I wasn’t overly fussed with perhaps the major teaser but that’s mostly because I joined the Marvel Universe after that big arc took place. That being said, it does tease some pretty exciting stuff for a whole bunch of characters including the Guardians of the Galaxy, another tease that could be a huge game changer later on. The issue ends with perhaps the biggest tease, the return of characters who lie at the very foundations of the Marvel Universe.
One thing that I can’t fault is the art included in this book. Naming them all would just be impractical but Marvel pulled out all the stops bringing the best artists on to illustrate this door into their latest relaunch. Though this is more of a personal connection, it was wonderful to see Ribic take on the lion share of the art as he was the artist in charge of my first big event. It’s a bit sentimental but it feels kind of appropriate that he marks the beginning of the lead up to my (hopefully) temporary hiatus (Again, I appreciate it sounds a bit ridiculous but again, this is a universe that has provided solace in some of my more lonely moments).
One artist I can comment on separately is Mark Brooks, cover artist for the variant I picked up. As you may know, I’ve become a massive fan of Brooks‘ work this past year as a result of the absolutely gorgeous cover art he produced for Secret Empire over the summer. This wraparound cover is of equal standing, the poster-perfect cover gleaming wonderfully. That being said, the overall colour scheme is a little darker than I was expecting. I feel like a brighter one would have suited this fresh start, unless of course the darker tone is foreshadowing a dark storm cloud on the horizon…
Overall, an arguably mixed bag in terms of content. Some of the stuff, like Avengers 1000000 BC and the teasers were awesome, indicating some exciting changes to the Marvel Universe. On the other hand, some of the story didn’t sit well with me, certain characters coming across very differently than first seen. Despite this, I do think it is worth a read. There is definitely something within the pages of this book that will appeal to readers new and old, generating a bit of excitement if nothing else.
- Story – 6/10
- Art – 9/10
- Overall – 7.5/10
Have any thoughts or questions on the issue? Feel free to drop me a line in the comments!