While Marvel is currently in the midst of their Secret Empire event, they have already announced their subsequent Legacy initiative, which will be a relaunch of their comic book franchises with the stated goal of bringing “a greater focus to Marvel’s core superheroes,” as opposed to recent relaunches like Marvel NOW! which gave prominence to the newer and younger crop of heroes.
The ads and previews released thus far have also hinted at the possible return of Bruce Banner as Hulk, Tony Stark as Iron Man, Thor Odinson reclaiming his hammer Mjolnir, as well as appearences by characters in their classic costumes.
Marvel Legacy #1 is set to kick off with a 50-page one-shot, the opening story of which will be written by Jason Aaron (Thanos Rising, Wolverine: Weapon X) and written by Esad Ribic (X-Men: Battle of the Atom, Uncanny X-Force). Further details reveal that it will introduce the very first iteration of the Avengers that assembled in the year 1,000,000 B.C., consisting of Thor’s father Odin and Agamotto (Earth’s first Sorcerer Supreme) alongside ancient versions of Iron Fist, Black Panther, Ghost Rider, the Phoenix Force, and Star Brand.
It’s unknown if these ancient precursors will be established characters or original, as several of them could already potentially exist. Ancient Wakandan warrior Bashenga (who was the first Black Panther) existed in the time of Conan the Barbarian, and the Phoenix Force is one of the oldest known cosmic entities so it has avatars stretching back eons. Star Brand exists on as many multiverse worlds there are, and the Spirits of Vengeance have protected mankind since ancient times. In the case of the Iron Fist, the first person to hold the title was Quan Yaozu, but has not been established what era this occured in so maybe this one shot will shed some light on that.
Interestingly, there was one earlier attempt at a Proto-Avengers team unveiled in the 2011 five issue comic book miniseries Avengers 1959, written and drawn by Howard Chaykin; which features Nick Fury leading an early incarnation of the Avengers consisting of future S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Dum Dum Dugan, gentleman spy Dominic Fortune, Atlantean mutant Namora, future supervillains Sabretooth and Kraven the Hunter, monster hunter Ulysses Bloodstone, merenary Silver Sable and masked crimefighter the Blonde Phantom to hunt down Nazi war criminals who escaped justice after World War II.
Marvel Legacy #1 goes on sale in September