The Marvel Comics Universe is currently without its original Hulk, Bruce Banner, its original Wolverine, Logan, and its original Iron Man, Tony Stark... but not for long. After teasing some major upheavals in a new Generations series, new details confirm that Hulk, Wolverine, Stark, and others thought lost to the grave (or villainy) will be returning to the spotlight. Marvel's upcoming "Secret War" has yet to arrive, revealing Captain America's Hydra-influenced endgame, but fans are now likely to look beyond it to the combination of heroes old and new - and more importantly, how the publisher intends to make it happen.
Fans will be thrilled to hear more evidence of Wolverine returning from the dead, as he's been out of circulation since 2014. Bruce Banner, on the other hand, was killed far more recently when Hulk's Civil War death kicked off the real conflict. That dust has just begun to settle, but fans will now be left wondering how Marvel intends to balance his return alongside Amadeus Cho... let alone Jennifer Walters, currently starring in Marvel's Hulk series. They're just a sample of the heroes joining forces in Generations, entrusted to some of the industry's best talents.
The new details come courtesy of ABC News, with Marvel's Editor-in-Chief assuring fans that the event isn't meant to replace, or undo the young heroes who have risen to claim the title and role of their same-name superhero predecessors. It's not a foreign idea, since the new Iron Man Riri Williams is currently being coached by an A.I. Stark. But make no mistake: according to Alonso, Generations is setting the Marvel Universe on a new, not a temporary, path:
"We are looking to honor the legacy of the entire universe, so we are taking the iconic legacy heroes and pairing them with the new class... It 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."
In the case of Wolverine in particular, encased in a block of adamantium since 2014's Death of Wolverine series, it's a case of returning a hero that Marvel fans never wanted to see go... but using it to improve, not sideline the emergence of Laura Kinney a.k.a. X-23 and Marvel's 'All-New Wolverine.' It's Tom Taylor who will be writing the Wolverine duo for Generations, and seems to think it will be a story building off both of the characters' journeys to this point:
"Being alongside Logan will only strengthen Laura’s resolve to be the best there is at what she does... Logan battled his demons, literally, until his dying breath. Laura has overcome most of her own demons in ‘All-New Wolverine.’ She’s ready to show what else her claws can do. She’s ready to step away from her violent past and use her claws for good. You know, good stabbing.”
When it came to actually explaining how these deceased characters will return to the land of the living... and how each of the versions of the same superhero will coexist, Alonso wasn't so forthcoming with details. That may cause a bit of impatience among fans who are concerned not only with Logan returning, but whether it will make sense - and not be an editorial move first and foremost. But Alonso claims that the "ingenious device" by which Generations will begin is "part of the fun."
And at the end of the day, believes that heroes returning from the dead isn't a 'cop out,' but part of the fun of comic books:
"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."
Take a look at the other writers handling the Generations pairings:
- 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
Those Marvel fans eager to see how Logan's return will change Laura's story, how Ms. Marvel will deal with the stances she took opposite her former hero, Captain Marvel, and how Sam Wilson will join Steve Rogers when the latter has been deceiving the entirety of Marvel's world can mark their calendars now. Generations begins in July 2017, so expect to see more hints of the coming team-ups soon.
Which of the pairings or writers are you most eager to see? Will you be judging the return of Logan or Bruce Banner based on this "device" making it possible, or is that just a detail?
Marvel's Generations begins in July 2017.
Source: ABC News