A month ago, Marvel sent its comics fans into a flurry of speculation when it dropped a teaser dubbed Generations, hinting that original legacy characters like Tony Stark, Jean Grey and Captain Mar-Vell could be coming back alongside the heroes that have taken on their mantles. Well, now they have just confirmed that indeed that's exactly what's happening.
Image: Marvel. Art by Alex Ross
New details were revealed through America's ABC this morning, and it sounds like it represents some huge changes for the Marvel universe going forward. For example, see all those classic versions of heroes in that art up top — even the dead ones, like Jean Grey, Logan and Bruce Banner? They're all back. And it isn't an alternate universe, or time-travel. They're really back.
Generations will be a 10-part series running between July and September that pairs a current hero with their legacy incarnation. Some of these will be easy to do — like Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, or Peter Parker and Miles Morales. Some, like Carol Danvers and Mar-Vell, or Young Carol and Kamala Khan, will require some comic book tomfoolery. But according to Marvel these are absolutely "canonical" tales in so far as a comic book universe's canon can go. Here's the list of pairings and writers for each story in Generation's 10-issue run:
- 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
According to Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, these stories will have big impacts going forward on the younger generation of characters. For some, it means asking some introspective questions about what they do next after being paired with their predecessors — especially when some of these icons return from the dead:
[But] the answer might be different for each character. There's potential for friction, there's potential for team-ups. Minimally, it's something that's going to require food for thought and introspection on the part of every character. That's part of the goal when we were sculpting it.
It sounds like this is going to involve some pretty major shake-ups for the Marvel Universe either way. Seeing these legendary incarnations of heroes return is definitely something that's going to draw a lot of attention — and let's be honest, there was no way Marvel wasn't going to bring major characters like the original Hulk and Wolverine back to life eventually.
However, hopefully their return does not ultimately end in diminishing the diverse variety of heroes Marvel has created with characters like Sam Wilson, Kamala Khan and Laura Kinney with these mantles. We'll have to wait and see what the future holds: Will all the returning heroes stick around after the event? Will there be simultaneous Hulk and Wolverine comics being published, much like there have been multiple Captain America and Spider-Man titles? What about the rest?
At the moment, there's no reason to suspect the worst, because all we know for certain is that Generations is bringing back some of Marvel's biggest legends. However, I'd be lying if I weren't a little apprehensive.