News I Missed Last Week, Episode 2: How To Jump Onboard ‘Marvel Legacy’

We’ve talked a lot about Marvel’s upcoming event in the past week, including on this week’s podcast. The big question that keeps us cynical is — how is renumbering and/or relaunching books supposed to make them anymore accessible for new readers? What I’d missed was an announcement from Marvel touting “Marvel Primer Pages,” 3-page stories at the front of the books that will try to get readers up to speed. It might not be the perfect answer, but it’s an attempt. Again, it’s not worth it if the stories following can’t hold readers’ attention, but kudos to Marvel to taking some sort of steps.

Looking at them, I flash back to the original Batman origin story by Bill Finger and (I think) Bob Kane — “Who He Is and How He Came to Be.” All it took was two pages, and we had everything we needed to know about Batman. Every seminal Batman story that deals with his origin riff off of two pages. So Marvel should accomplish a lot with three.

From Marvel:

Marvel Legacy is changing the way you read comics – and the future of the Marvel Universe. This fall, Marvel is proud to present MARVEL PRIMER PAGES!, three all-new pages of comic content written by Robbie Thompson (Silk, Doctor Strange and the Sorcerer Supreme) with a majority of art from acclaimed superstar Mark Bagley (The Amazing Spider-Man, All New X-Men, Ultimate Spider-Man). These stories will draw all readers into the Marvel Universe like never before. And at no extra cost to the reader, what better way to change the way readers jump into a series!

Featured in select Marvel Legacy issues, each story provides easy access into the world of each title character, as well as easy access into the Legacy stories. Designed to give brand new readers a hook into the series, MARVEL PRIMER PAGES will offer all fans a simple jumping on point for almost all of Marvel’s heroic and iconic characters.

“When I first approached Robbie and Mark to do these Primer stories, I gave them only one edict: to remind all readers both who these characters are and what they’re about in three all new pages,” said Marvel editor Darren Shan. “What we got back has been some of the most fun art I’ve ever seen from Mark! And we couldn’t be luckier to have someone like Robbie to cherry pick the most classic moments in Marvel history. Then the two of them tie this all up into one perfect package. I think everyone will love these!”

“It’s been an absolute blast working on this project — it gives me a great excuse to re-read so many of my favorite comics!” said writer Robbie Thompson. “I’ve been a fan of Mark’s for years, so to get to work with him is a dream come true. Mark takes the scripts and distills them down to their essence, finding brilliant ways to tell these stories with truly iconic images. I can’t wait for people to see what he’s done with these!”

“This Legacy gig has been a lot of fun to work on and a bit of an education…even for someone who has been drawing comics for as long as I have! I think readers will really enjoy the stories we’re revisiting,” added artist Mark Bagley.

Marvel Primer Pages give every fan the opportunity to truly “MAKE MINE MARVEL” by providing most accessible way to enjoy Marvel Comics – ensuring that long-time fans will fall in love with their favorite stories all over again, and that new fans will be drawn into Marvel’s magical universe of adventure and heroics. Coming this fall, don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of your favorite story – with Marvel Primer Pages!

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About Derek McCaw

In addition to running Fanboy Planet, Derek has written for ActionAce, Daily Radar, Once Upon A Dime, and The Wave. He has contributed stories to Arcana Comics (The Greatest American Hero) and Monsterverse Comics (Bela Lugosi’s Tales from the Grave). He performs with ComedySportz San Jose and ShakesBEERience, in addition to occasional screenwriting and acting jobs. If you ever played Eric’s Ultimate Solitaire on the Macintosh, it was Derek’s voice as The Weasel that urged you to play longer. Email him at editor@fanboyplanet.com.