CoverSilver Surfer Annual #6
Published by Marvel Comics, 1993

"Legacy"

Writer: Ron Marz
Penciler: Joe Phillips
Inker: Tom Christopher with Bob Almond, Sam De La Rosa, Ariane Lenshoek, Mike Deming, and Pat Redding
Letterer: Ken Bruzenak
Colorist: Ericka Moran
Assistant Editor: Lynaire Brust
Editor: Craig Anderson
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Cover by Ron Lim

Original price: $2.95, polybagged with card of Legacy

History Behind Issue: Part of Marvel’s 1993 Annual theme of introducing new characters.  Of all the new characters introduced, Legacy, the son of Captain Marvel, was the only one to go on to star in two of his own titles.  Note: the original Captain Marvel died in THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL graphic novel.

Plot: The story opens with a Kree battleship disengaging from hyperdrive speed, searching for a pair of wristlets that have been modeled after Captain Mar-Vell’s nega-bands. The battleship is helmed by a mysterious figure we later discover to be Ronan the Accuser, and he intends to use the wristlets’ power to aid in rebuilding the shattered Kree Empire.

The scene quickly shifts to a seemingly deserted planet called Paraxis, and man with a bag by his side anxiously waiting outside the door of a small hut. Elysius, former lover of the late Captain Mar-Vell, answers the door and the man walks in, revealing the contents of his bag to be the wristlets the Kree were looking for. In exchange for them, Elysius gives the man a rare jewel that Mar-Vell himself had forged from solidified hydrogen at the heard of a red giant, "the most fabulous jewel ever created."

Shifting scenes again, we are introduced to a young man named Genis, who is Elysius’ son and is, at the moment, playing cards with a tough, though not terribly intelligent, reptilian soldier on a planet called Calculex, known as the armpit of the universe. Having won the game, Genis reaches for the stash of coins in the center of the table, accidentally revealing the holo-projector on his wrist that allowed for such an easy victory. The soldier and his two friends chase Genis out of the bar and down a dark alley, and proceed to make a pommel him for his treachery.

Unfortunately for them, the Silver Surfer appears from above and is in no mood for discussing the matter. Dispensing with the goons quickly, the Surfer reveals to the Genis that it was no coincidence he appeared when he did. The Surfer had been sent by Elysius to retrieve Genis and bring him home to Paraxis immediately, though he could not reveal the reason.

On their way back to Paraxis, Genis tells the Surfer about his life, about how his mother is always lonely and sad and his father, Eros of Titan, is never around. Genis doesn’t hold his father’s absence against him, because it "is his nature" to wander, and he always provided for Elysius and Genis financially.

Arriving at the hut, Genis confronts his mother and asks why she dragged him back home. With a tear in her eye, she reveals that Eros isn’t really Genis’ father, while the Surfer excuses himself to go outside. Elysius explains to Genis that his real father was the legendary Captain Mar-Vell. When he died of cancer, she felt a void in her being. In an attempt to fill that void, she replicated Mar-Vell’s DNA and conceived a child. Though he was born naturally, Genis was artificially aged to adolescence and moved to the deserted planet Paraxis to protect him from Mar-Vell’s enemies. Eros, who Mar-Vell had told to watch after Elysius after he died, agreed to pose as the child’s father and provide for him. After explaining these things, she gives Genis the wristlets so he can choose for himself whether or not to follow his father’s legacy.

Meanwhile, the Kree have discovered the wristlets’ energy signature and teleported onto the planet. They confront the Silver Surfer and are swiftly overtaken, but they aren’t alone. Thinking he had defeated all of them, the Surfer turns his back and falls easy prey to a blow from Ronan the Accuser.

Genis declines to accept the wristlets because he isn’t ready for the immense responsibility that comes with them, just as Ronan the Accuser smashes through the side of the hut. Distracting Ronan with his holo-projector, Genis tells Elysius to run and dons the wristlets, saying, "Looks like my destiny won’t take no for an answer. Captain Marvel’s gone for good… but his LEGACY lives on!"

Despite the dramatic effect, the newly-dubbed Legacy is granted a resounding defeat by the more-powerful Ronan. Gloating over the sprawling body of Genis, Ronan is this time easy prey for a blast from behind from the Silver Surfer. Rallying together, the Surfer and Legacy force Ronan’s escape, the villain promising revenge as he teleports away.

Hours after the battle, Legacy says goodbye to his mother and the Surfer and goes to visit his father’s grave. He realizes that no one could be who his father was, and he won’t try. Still, he promises, "…I will do the best I can to keep your memory alive, carry on the tradition… and be a worthy successor to the legacy of Captain Marvel!"

Comments:

 

I felt that suspension of disbelief (where the readers need to accept certain facts in order for a story to work) was taken too far. Genis certainly made a quick turnaround from not wanting the responsibility of the wristlets to promising to preserve his father’s memory (it took 9 pages), and the Silver Surfer’s involvement in the story is believable, but unnecessary. Couldn’t Elysius have contacted her son through less extravagant means? Ron Marz’s dialogue remains shallow and uninteresting, much like most of his work on the Surfer’s regular title.

That having been said, I enjoyed the story very much. Despite these minor flaws, it came together as a cohesive tale of adventure and personal discovery. Legacy is a likable character, once his conscience is awakened, and no detail of background is left in question; we know exactly who Elysius, Captain Mar-Vell, and Eros are through believable flashback narratives, meaning new readers will find the story very accessible. Phillips’ art, while a little sloppy at parts, is still expressive and shows a fair amount of talent. And while the Surfer’s involvement isn’t really necessary, it’s acceptable because, well… it is HIS annual, after all. All in all, I feel that the book’s pros far outweigh its cons, and is worth a purchase. For those of you who are enjoying Genis in his latest series, this would be a great way to see where the character got his start and how far he has come in the years sin.

Written by Stuart "Stratus" Brewster

 

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