The first of Marvel's Generations one-shots that promise to show us where the Marvel Universe is heading with Marvel Legacy was released this week with Generations: The Strongest #1 starring the Totally Awesome Hulk and Bruce Banner Hulk. Spoilers ahead, folks!
Which does present us with an interesting point to consider now that we have our first example: is this what we can expect of the overall goal for Marvel with Generations? Does that work?
What we knew or at the very least could infer from Marvel's discussion of it was the idea was to try and appeal to both the current and new readers who enjoy the new takes on their characters like Ms. Marvel and Amadeus Cho as the Hulk, but also to old readers of the original characters that started Marvel's legacy all those years ago.
Well, The Strongest seems to suggest that the idea to do this is to impose the older characters traits and arcs on the newer characters. The Strongest ends with Amadeus Cho deciding that being the Hulk is in fact a curse, and something he now wants to find a way to get rid of.
But does this really provide the solution Marvel were looking for?
By adding Bruce Banner's traditional character arc to Amadeus Cho, does that really bring back what it was older readers felt was missing? Does it add to what newer readers loved about the Cho iteration of the character?
Personally speaking, I'm not so sure. I would argue what people love about new iterations of the character is that at least character-wise they are different, allowing for new stories that don't have to revolve or be connected to the previous versions arcs. It presented something fresh and interesting and original, even if the superhero identity is one known before. Does shackling these characters with old ideas add anything?
And for those who aren't so fond of these new takes in older identities, I really don't think adding the originals arcs to the new characters is the solution. What these readers are missing are the characters they knew…does adding the traits of characters they knew to their replacements really solve that?
Also, there's the idea that new fans coming from the movies can't recognise the characters in the comics as they're not the ones currently in the films – this doesn't really solve that either.
Hopefully, this is not the sign of the whole Generations idea. After all, some characters it really wouldn't work with. Learning something from their past counterparts is one thing, but becoming their past counterparts is entirely another.