It wasn't too long ago that Marvel Comics revealed plans for an event series called Generations, something we knew would likely bring back the classic versions of iconic characters while having them team up with their current, younger namesakes. We originally speculated that alternate dimensions or time travel might be involved, but according to Marvel's official announcement today, they are bringing back all of the original characters seen in the Alex Ross teaser image back to the Marvel Universe — including dead ones, like Wolverine, the Hulk, and even Phoenix/Jean Grey. Wolverine and Hulk haven't been gone very long, but the adult version of Jean Grey has been dead for 13 years now.
Generations will be a 10-part series running between July and September that teams up a current legacy hero with the hero who inspired them (or for whom they are named after). A lot of these won't be tough to pull off, like Hawkeyes Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, or Spider-Men Peter Parker and Miles Morales, who all co-exist and have teamed up before.
Others, like current Captain Marvels Carol Danvers and original (and long dead) Captain Marvel, a.k.a. Mar-Vell, now that is going to be interesting to see how they pull it off without time travel shenanigans. But according to Marvel's EIC Axel Alonso, these are legit returns for some of these long gone characters. Here’s the list of pairings and writers for each story in Generation’s 10-issue run (no artists have been revealed yet):
- 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
Announced via an appearance on ABC News, Marvel's Axel Alonso said this "very much indicates where we are going in the future with all of these characters and what we’ve been planning for some time for the universe."
"There's that old cliche,'absence makes the heart grow fonder.' 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 added "How did we do this is part of the fun. Right now, (Captain America) Steve Rogers isn’t much of a good guy. Why would Sam want to team up with him? Banner’s dead! Logan’s dead! These are questions that demand to be seen. What I will tell you is we have an ingenious device [to bring them back]. These stories do happen, they really count. They really matter. This isn’t some alternate reality story or some time-travel story."
Marvel has made great strides in creating new, multicultural heroes in the past few years like Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan, Miles Morales/Spider-Man, and Amadeus Cho/The Hulk, as well as creating new female heroes using familiar names. By bringing back the originals—almost all of whom are white men—does this diminish the legacy heroes, even if the newer versions stick around? Can you have your cake and eat it too? Or will one version always be the "official" version, while the newer ones are the perceived as the wannabes? Marvel faces quite a pickle in how to proceed while giving both versions of these heroes room to shine. It remains to be seen if they can pull it off.
Generations begins this July.
What do you think of the return of some of these long gone Marvel heroes? Should some of them have stayed gone? Let us know what you think down below in the comments.
Images: Marvel Comics