Marvel Comics Going Retro for 'Legacy' Relaunch

Marvel Legacy Cover - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Joe Quesada/Marvel Entertainment
The old-school makeover begins with an oversized special issue.

This fall, Marvel Entertainment is going back to its comic book roots.

The company on Saturday announced Marvel Legacy, a relaunch of its superhero comic book line that will refocus on its long history and most iconic characters, during the Marvel: Next Big Thing panel at the C2E2 comic convention in Chicago

The fall relaunch will follow the conclusion of the current Secret Empire storyline — in which Hydra, as led by a corrupted Captain America, has taken over the United States — and see a renewed focus on "hope, wonder, enjoyment and fun," according to the publisher. It also will see a number of changes for the comics themselves, including a restoration of "legacy numbering" on long-running series — which is to say, an issue number that will reflect the overall cumulative number of issues published, as opposed to the number in that particular volume. For example, Captain America: Steve Rogers would jump from somewhere in the early 20s to an issue number closer to 690. There also will be a new consistent cover design across the line reminiscent of Marvel's 1980s and 1990s output.

Some of the retro moves Marvel is planning go back even further, with the return of both the Marvel Value Stamp — a collectable clip-and-save program from the mid-1970s — and F.O.O.M., a self-published Marvel fanzine from the same era (the title is an acronym for "Friends Of Ol' Marvel"), reportedly underway.

"The Marvel Legacy initiative is a celebration of everything that makes Marvel the best in fiction and it’s a signifier of a new era for Marvel Comics," Marvel chief content officer Joe Quesada said in a statement. "It’s a loving look at the heart of Marvel as we embrace our roots and move enthusiastically forward with all the Marvel characters you know and love starring in the biggest, boldest, best Marvel stories. All of which kicks off with the giant Marvel Legacy special."

The Marvel Legacy special will be a 50-page comic book by The Mighty Thor and Doctor Strange writer Jason Aaron and Secret Wars artist Esad Ribic that will set up the new status quo for the comic book universe and return a fan-favorite character into active service — although, of course, Marvel isn't revealing just who right now. The issue is scheduled for a fall release, although no official date was revealed just yet; the cover for the issue will come from Quesada himself.

More information about Marvel Legacy — including the complete lineup of titles and attached creators — will be released in the coming months.