Marvel Legacy #1 is out, and with it many twists, turns, reveals – and yes, more than one big return. Writer Jason Aaron and a veritable army of artists give readers a lot to talk about in just these 60 pages.
While Marvel Legacy #1 raises some major questions, it also delivers some answers on what readers can expect in the next era of the Marvel Universe.
Spoilers ahead for Marvel Legacy #1.
Kicking off the one-shot, an unidentified narrator (wait for it) discusses the concept of 'Legacy' while we see the debuting 1,000,000 B.C. Avengers gathering to take on a Celestial, whom they apparently beat and imprison in the Earth.
Jumping to the future, Ghost Rider Robbie Reyes wakes up in his car, inexplicably transported to Africa. Robbie quickly encounters Starbrand, who tells him he must protect the Earth from every threat – even the Ghost Rider – and that he’ll keep Robbie away from what he calls “the Final Host” no matter who he has to kill.
In previous Marvel books, the Celestials have called their visits to Earth as "hosts." More on that a little later.
Traveling now to Jotunheim, Loki rallies a group of Frost Giants to travel to Earth and retrieve something from a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility. Whatever they’re retrieving, Loki secretly plans to use it to “save the world.” The Frost Giants invade the facility, killing many S.H.I.E.L.D. agents before Sam Wilson, Thor, and Ironheart show up to take them on.
In the course of the battle, Sam tells Thor that he plans to give up his Captain America identity now that the “real Steve” is back, and Thor makes many allusions to their romantic relationship. Sam also finds what he believes to be a prototype Captain America shield in one of the boxes housed in the facility.
In a series of rapid-fire check-ins on Sam, Thor, and Ironheart’s predecessors, we see:
- Steve Rogers sitting in a diner, watching a news report about his own disappearance from the public eye in the wake of Secret Empire.
- A trip to Asgard where Odinson tries to drink himself to oblivion – and one of Odin’s seers plunges off the Rainbow Bridge while foretelling the return of the classic monstrous Thor villain Mangog.
- Then, we jump to Mary Jane Watson entering the Stark Industries lab where Tony Stark’s comatose body was being held only to discover Tony is missing without a trace.
Back in Africa, Starbrand and Ghost Rider are still fighting, while S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents and unidentified men dig for whatever it is Starbrand is trying to keep Ghost Rider away from.
Simultaneously, in an unnamed location, Deadpool sits in a bathroom stall, praying forgiveness for killing Agent Coulson during Secret Emprie. S.H.I.E.L.D. agents close in on the stall and open fire, riddling Deadpool with bullets as he continues praying.
In New York, Doctor Strange and Iron Fist investigate a disturbance at the Sanctum Sanctorum, which is revealed to be Norman Osborn - who is turned away by the Sanctum’s defenses, but vows to find a different source of power.
Across town at Avengers Mansion, Jarvis tells Nadia Pym that although everything about the mansion seems normal, something he can’t put his finger on is out of place. As he looks out the window at the statue of the founding Avengers, we see the mysterious Voyager among them, just as depicted in promo art for “Avengers: No Surrender.”
While Sam, Thor, and Ironheart fight the Frost Giants, two of them sneak away and steal the crate with the still-unidentified object in it. One of them stays behind to fight while the other leaves with the crate.
At the Baxter Building, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm discuss the legacy of the Fantastic Four, with Johnny saying he’s not sure people will remember them, and Ben saying it doesn’t matter - they’re needed, even if it’s just the two of them. Johnny sends up his classic 4-shaped flare.
With little context, we see a glimpse of a far-off planet identified as Bast, the Throneworld of the Intergalactic Wakandan Empire, where a statue of T’Challa stands over Wakandans and aliens living together in peace.
Back on Earth, a satellite monitoring facility in New Mexico receives a seemingly unheard distress signal, calling for the Green Scar - a.k.a. the Hulk - to return to Sakaar.
In Africa, the battle between Ghost Rider and Starbrand comes to a head as Reyes uses his Penance Stare on Starbrand - seemingly obliterating him. With the battle over, Robbie leaves. But underground, the unidentified archaeologists uncover what Starbrand was guarding - the Celestial that was defeated by the 1,000,000 B.C. Avengers, which begins to awaken. As it rises, it calls for the Final Host, and says it will “cleanse them all.”
Jumping back to the S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, Sam, Thor, and Ironheart don’t notice the final Frost Giant escape with the crate. As it flees with the object Loki demanded, it is his by an 18-wheeler semi-truck. The driver gets out - and it’s the original Wolverine, Logan (not as an Old Man). He dispatches the Frost Giant and opens the case to discover one of the Infinity Stones – the Mind Gem.
In the Canadian wilderness, young Jean Grey visits Logan’s cabin, only to discover that the adamantium shell that once trapped Wolverine is now cracked open with Logan missing. The still-unidentified narrator says that sometimes, “the dead can rise from the ashes,” and implies that Jean and the resurrected Wolverine have a shared destiny - a possible allusion to the impending arrival of the Phoenix Force and the original Jean Grey in "Legacy"'s Phoenix Resurrection.
Aaron and co. then cut to Gamora, who cruises through space searching for the Infinity Stones. She receives some kind of alert that another has been found. At the same time on Earth, Loki travels to the fallen Celestial, where he vows to find the so-called Final Host.
In the issue’s final scene, Franklin and Valeria Richards explore their pocket dimension - last seen in the final issue of Secret Wars in January 2016.
Franklin urges Valeria to hurry along so they can continue visiting and documenting worlds. Valeria is revealed as Marvel Legacy #1’s narrator, saying there’s only one universe she wants to visit.
The one-shot closes with Valeria saying she is “imagining her way home,” possibly implying she has developed some of the same reality-altering abilities as her brother, Franklin.