Marvel Comics have never have been as diverse as they are now. Riri Williams, Amadeus Cho, Miles Morales, Kamala Khan, Sam Wilson, Laura Kinney, and Jane Foster have all taken on the mantle of established, typically white male heroes, and they’re out fighting crime. But, fans of the characters are concerned that they’ll be pushed aside so that the original heroes will retake their identities. An upcoming series from the publisher, Generations, looks to be trying to put some of these concerns to rest.
Calling Generations “a pivotal moment for the Marvel Universe,” Axel Alonso, editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, introduced the 10-part series in a teaser trailer on Thursday.
The official synopsis for the series is:
In a flash, the Marvel heroes are offered a gift: to stand shoulder to shoulder with those who came before them! These heroic journeys all launch from the same point: the Vanishing Point! This epic 10-issue series brings together iconic and present-day heroes such as Laura Kinney and Logan, Amadeus Cho and Bruce Banner, Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, and many more of your favorite characters. The stories of GENERATIONS begin at the Vanishing Point where time has no meaning, and these epic tales offer fans a direct bridge and prelude into the senses-shattering Marvel Legacy, as the challenges and revelations of GENERATIONS will alter the destinies of our heroes moving forward in a dramatic fashion!
“If you’re a Marvel fan and this is something that’s been nagging at you for the past couple of years, this is the place where you’re going to get your first strong clues, a metanarrative about who Marvel is and where we’re going,” Alonso said, referencing the publisher’s use (or lack thereof) of its younger, more diverse characters. After all, some of the publisher’s recent actions have fans worried the new wave of diversity might just be a passing fad.
Marvel sparked a large discussion about what to expect of a comic book publisher whose most popular characters had transitioned from being white men to young women and people of color. Perhaps the most worrisome comment was the suggestion that Marvel might back off from new, diverse heroes because of low sales numbers.
“What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity,” David Gabriel, Marvel’s senior vice president of print, sales, and marketing, told ICv2 in March.
“We saw the sales of any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up against,” Gabriel said. “That was difficult for us because we had a lot of fresh, new, exciting ideas that we were trying to get out and nothing new really worked.”
Generations would seem to suggest they’re sticking around — though you can’t help but notice it’s also highlighting the original, mostly homogenous heroes in a big way at the same time. Tom Brevoort, senior vice president of Publishing, Marvel Comics, said Generations is filled with “stories that were designed to matter, to carry weight… We’re not going to be sidelining or eliminating any of the younger, newer characters that we’ve introduced over the last couple of years and, in fact, they’ll all be prominent players.”
Marvel’s Generations will be available digitally and comic stores in August.