Marvel Comics has provided ComicBook.com with a mysterious new teaser for Marvel Legacy.
Marvel provided no further details about whatever “Marvel Legacy” may be, but there’s plenty to speculate about.
Following the Civil War II, Marvel Comics released a teaser for its then upcoming Marvel NOW! Launch. The tease had the words “Divided We Fall” is loosely separated the Marvel heroes into two groups established heroes and more recent and legacy characters.
That split has been realized in the divide between the Avengers and the Champions, the latter team being founded by young legacy characters who wanted to redefine what it means to be a superhero rather than simply following in their elders’ footsteps.
The divide between the old guard and the new seems to be something that Marvel Comics is digging into deeply. Marvel Comics released a teaser for Marvel Generations. The teaser’s Alex Ross art showed Marvel’s classic heroes with their own legacy followers. The synopsis for Marvel Generations, which appeared on Amazon shortly after, reads:
Once upon a time, a skinny kid from New York City picked up a shield and charged into battle... a prodigal son lifted a sacred hammer and proved himself worthy... and an arrogant genius forged an armor that would harness his true potential. And together, they became Earth's Mightiest Heroes," reads the description. "Today, that heroic legacy lives on in the next generation of heroes - and it will be put to the test as the Marvel Universe's greatest champions unite and charge headlong into tomorrow!
It seems that Marvel Legacy may be something of a follow-up to Marvel Generations, perhaps based on rebuilding the Marvel Universe following the Captain America’s turn to evil and the events of Secret Empire.
However, it may also be referencing something interesting about the way Marvel publishes its comics…
Veteran comic books fans will well know that the industry has changed over the years. Where comic books used to run indefinitely with the same numbering, reaching 500 issues and beyond, the industry has since taken to a “seasons” model more in line with how television works. A series will run for a couple of years, maybe 25 issues, and then be canceled and relaunched with a new #1.
The reasons for doing this have to do largely with sales. A fresh number one issue sells significantly better than the 20th issue of almost any given series. It also make for a clean break when a new creative team onto a title, so there’s never a question of which issue it was exactly that your favorite writer started telling stories about your favorite character.
However, there have been some signs of this model slowing down. For instance, Old Man Logan, Doctor Strange, and Uncanny Avengers are each over 20 issues long and are receiving new creative teams this summer, yet they will simply be continuing where their predecessors left off rather than launching a new series for those characters.
No matter how many times Marvel Comics relaunches its titles with new numbering, someone in the Marvel offices is keeping track of how many issues overall each volume of those series makes up, and occasionally that legacy numbering will return, usually for a milestone story. For example, the “Death of Deadpool” took place in Deadpool #200, and a major Venom story involving the return of Eddie Brock will take place in Venom #150.
Marvel almost always makes a major publishing push in the fall, but no plans for that push have been announced so far.. Could Marvel Legacy be the follow-up to last fall’s Marvel NOW!? Does it signify the return of legacy numbering to Marvel Comics? Nothing is for certain at this point, but these are questions we’ll be asking as we await more information.