Marvel has confirmed for ABC News that their upcoming "Generations" crossover will reteam ten sets of characters who have, over the years, shared a name and heroic legacy -- and in so doing, will bring back a number of characters currently dead or off the board.
The original teaser for "Generations" came quite a while ago, but it was this morning that Axel Alonso spoke with ABC about the story.
"These stories do happen, they really count. They really matter. This isn't some alternate reality story or some time-travel story," Alonso explained. "I wish I could tell you the mechanism [to bring these characters back], but that's also a bit of a spoiler."
There will be ten stories all crossing over in a larger "Generations" story, pairing up heroes with alternate takes on their own idea and with big-name writers, most of whom have a lot of history with the hero in question.
Here's the complete list of character pairings and writers:
- Iron Man (Tony Stark and Riri Williams) – written by Brian Michael Bendis
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker and Miles Morales) – Brian Michael Bendis
- Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers and Kamala Khan) – G. Willow Wilson
- Thor (Odinson and Jane Foster) – Jason Aaron
- Hawkeye (Clint Barton and Kate Bishop) – Kelly Thompson
- Hulk (Bruce Banner and Amadeus Cho) – Greg Pak
- Jean Grey (young and older) – Dennis Hopeless
- Wolverine (Logan and X23) – Tom Taylor
- Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell and Carol Danvers) – Margie Stohl
- Captain America (Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson) – Nick Spencer
Fans have long been expecting to see Wolverine and The Hulk back -- and other characters, like Captain America and Thor, had status quo changes that also seemed pretty temporary. But after years of reading along with a younger Jean Grey, the decision to bring back her older, oft-dead-and-resurrected counterpart is a surprise.
An even bigger surprise is the move to bring Mar-Vell, the original (to this publisher, anyway) Captain Marvel, back to life. While the publisher had teased that idea several times over the years, his "returns" were always short-lived. Mar-Vell died of cancer in Marvel Graphic Novel Vol. 1, better known as The Death of Captain Marvel, and comics writers and fans have been known to say that having a powerful character in this larger-than-life universe fall to something as tragic but ordinary as cancer lent his cancer poignancy that would be somewhat robbed if he came back for good.
Still, Alonso didn't seem to indicate that some or all of the resurrections would be temporary.
"There's that old cliche, 'absences makes the heart grow fonder,'" he added. "You don't take these characters off the board with the intention to keep them off the board forever. One of the tropes of our medium is characters get a second wind. They die and come back. That's part of the beauty of what we do," he said.
Some sense of what's going on or how we'll get there might come with Secret Empire, Marvel's next big event, which will take place before Generations and launches next month.