Markley’s Fevered Brain: Legacy (No, Not Mine)

Wayne Markley

Wayne Markley


by Wayne Markley

After many years, multiple big event crossovers that are overly long and drawn out epics that almost always were late, Marvel has decided to go back to basics and try and regain their original fan base. They are doing this in a number of ways, from returning to the glory days of Marvel in the 1970s with Mighty Marvel Value Stamps; a new issue of F.O.O.M.; a return to the original numbering of their books (which is not all of them but most of them. Captain America went from #25 to #695 which is the number you get if you add up all of the various Captain America restarts over the years going back to Tales of Suspense. Alas, there are issues with this numbering as they seem to have skipped some series with a few titles, but it really makes no difference). And finally, they are trying to return to the type of storylines than made Marvel great to begin with. Since this has affected almost their entire line, I am not going to review ALL of the books, but I have picked out a few that I thought were outstanding. There are more than what I have written about here that as well, but there is only so much room. Also, if I did not mention a title that does not mean that is was bad, even though there have been a couple of clunkers in this change of direction for the company. Here are the books that really stand out to me.

Captain America #695

Captain America #695


Captain America has had a rough time the last few years. Between the Rick Remender run where he was trapped in another dimension and had a son and growing old and having to give up being Captain America to Nick Spencer’s run where he became the head of Hydra and started a war in the Marvel Universe, starting in the excellent Avengers Stand Off and continuing into the epic crossover Secret Empire. Throughout all of this, Steve became young again, joined the Falcon, who had become Captain America, so you had two Caps for a while, and a whole bunch of stuff in between, including a return of Capwolf! With the return to Legacy numbers, Captain America returns with the new creative team of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee (coming off their runs on Daredevil and Black Widow) and they are the perfect pair for this book. The Legacy numbers begins with number #695 with a storyline called Home of the Brave. Waid and Samnee have taken Cap back to his roots with this tale of Captain America just wandering around America helping the common man, at least in this first issue. This issue is a complete story in one issue, but it also sets up an obviously longer story they are planning. It was warm and entertaining and everything a Captain America story should be. It is by far the best Captain America I have read in many years. If you are going to buy one Marvel Legacy book, this really should be your first choice. As close to a perfect book (as far as a superhero comic at least) as you are going to find.

Deadpool #287

Deadpool #287


Deadpool restarted his Legacy numbering with issue #287 with a new story called Deadpool Kills Cable. I have enjoyed Gerry Duggan’s writing on Deadpool for some time now. I am not a big Deadpool fan per se, but I really enjoy Duggan’s sense of humor. The humor is in full effect in this story where Deadpool has been hired to kill Cable and, of course, nothing goes right. This is filled with action and violence as Deadpool and Cable go at it full force with various limbs being lopped off (and growing back) at different times as the story races along. This is a fun mix of adventure and violence that has all of the best aspects of a Deadpool comic along with the rich (and convoluted) history of Cable being thrown in. There is really a coherent storyline behind everything that is going on here, and they do play on the long history between this two characters. A fun read for older readers due to all of the bloodshed.

Guardians of the Galaxy #146

Guardians of the Galaxy #146


Guardians of the Galaxy recently was relaunched with number #146 with writer Gerry Duggan (again) and a variety of artists, with Marcus To being the most recent. I have really enjoyed all of Gerry Duggan’s run on this book, but with the Legacy relaunch I am enjoying the book even more. It is almost like the creative team in inspired. The current storyline involves the Nova Corps, including Richard Rider, and what happened to the Corps and how they are coming back. With this current group of Guardians, Ben Grimm has left the team but Ant-Man has joined. Basically, Ant-Man is here for comic relief, but it works. The team is still spread out with the various members doing their own thing, but all of these side stories are building towards a larger story going on around the Marvel Universe with the gathering of the Infinity Gems and the return of Adam Warlock (in a series available for pre-order now). These stories are the best of Marvel’s space faring stories, action, adventure and a dash of humor with nice art. It is great to see the Nova Corps back in force, and Marvel making an attempt to explain what has happened to the Corp over the last twenty years. As with almost of Duggan’s writing, this is a great read that is headed to some major events in the Marvel Universe. (Editor’s note: Unfortunately, Guardians has been cancelled with issue #150.)

Invincible Iron Man #593

Invincible Iron Man #593


Invincible Iron Man Legacy started with issue #593. With the recent announcement that Brain Bendis is leaving Marvel for DC this is going to be his farewell to Marvel, and what a better way to do it than the Search for Tony Stark. What I really like about this book is Bendis has taken his previous two Iron Man books, and the artists of both books, Stefano Caselli and Alex Maleev, and combined the stories. So you have both Riri Williams as Iron Heart and Dr. Doom as Iron Man, both on different paths leading to the return of Tony Stark. The story opens with Tony’s body disappearing and Riri dealing with corporate intrigue with Aunt May and others and Doom confronting a huge gang of villains. This book is almost like the old Tales to Suspense as you get two stories in one book, but both stories here are tied together. So far, this looks like this might be a great way for Bendis to say goodbye.

Moon Knight #188

Moon Knight #188


Moon Knight is once again back but this time with the Legacy numbering, meaning it is #188, plus there is a new creative team. First off is the writer, Max Bemis, who wrote one of my favorite X-Men stories (The Worst X-Men Ever), and he is joined by artist Jacen Burrows, fresh from many years of working at Avatar on such titles as Crossed and Providence. This first issue is mostly set up of things to come, but I really liked it. As with any good book this issue made me want to read the next issue right away, even though I have to wait a month for it. This first issue has little to do with what has gone before except for references to Marc Specter (Moon Knight) in passing. What Bemis does in this first issue is lay the groundwork for a new villain and starts to explore who and what Moon Knight is. Burrows’ art is some of the best I have seen him do. It looks like he is inspired here, it is sharp and perfect for Bemis’ story. This is not the Moon Knight that Warren Ellis did, or Jeff Lemire, or even Brian Wood, but it is a very intriguing new look at the character, and I suspect it will tie into these previous versions down the line. There is lots of violence, earning it a T + rating, but Burrows’ art fits it perfectly. Great starting point.

Thanos #13

Thanos #13


To be honest, I did not enjoy the first 12 issues of Thanos. It was done well enough but the story never really moved me. It was all about Thanos and his son and it never seemed to go anywhere. With issue #13, the first issues of the Legacy relaunch of Thanos, a new creative team comes onboard, writer Donny Cates and artist Geoff Shaw. With this one issue I was more interested in reading more than I was the previous twelve. The story goes in a completely new direction that is both original and pays homage to the best of Thanos in the past. I was thrown for a loop when a space faring Ghost Rider shows up and from there it is action and intrigue. I also must say the art by Shaw is beautiful. The space scenes are truly galactic looking and Thanos looks menacing as he ushers in destruction everywhere he looks. A great start to this book. I hope the future issues are this good.

Daredevil #595

Daredevil #595


As I mentioned in the opening, these are just a few of the new Legacy relaunches. There are a number of really good titles, such as Daredevil (where Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin, becomes the mayor of New York City, in a story that mirrors modern day American politics) and Black Panther moves into traditional superhero action with the return of Klaw. Time will tell how well this change in direction will do for Marvel. I know I have really enjoyed it and I think given time they might be able to bring back the readers that have drifted away over the years. If you are a lapsed Marvel fan, these titles might be just what you are looking for, and were missing. As always I welcome your feedback on these books. Have you read any of them? Did you enjoy them? Why not? Which ones did you enjoy? I can be reached at MFBWAY@AOL.COM or on Facebook at Wayne Markley. I know not everyone agrees with me on these opinions, and that would include the owners and my fellow employees here at Westfield Comics, thus why all of these words and thoughts are mine and mine alone. Until next time…

Thank you.

 

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