This weekend, Marvel announced Marvel Legacy, a relaunch and rebranding of its comic book line that will bring it back to basics and restore fan-favorite versions of characters such as Captain America, Iron Man and Thor to prominence after years of alternate incarnations. The line will begin with Marvel Legacy No. 1, a special issue intended to set up the new world … and, in the process, blow fans minds, apparently.
In an interview with Disney sibling ABC News, Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso says that the Marvel Legacy issue "functions as a preview of what's to come," adding, "It's chocked full of twists, surprises, Easter eggs, and let's just say, a last-page reveal that's probably gonna break the internet. It's a big moment, something we continually get asked about. We are going to answer that question."
The phrase "break the internet" is one with some history for Marvel, having been used in 2006 by writer Brian Michael Bendis to refer to the end of the third issue of his House of M series - which returned Hawkeye from the dead - and, years later, used by Alonso himself in reference to the impact of Doctor Octopus taking over Peter Parker's body in 2012's Amazing Spider-Man No. 698.
In terms of just what could have that kind of impact in the current comic book Marvel Universe, there are many options - including the return of Tony Stark, in a coma since Civil War II, or the restoration of the original Thor to full superheroic godhood, after his not fulfilling that role since 2014's Original Sin - but the most obvious contender is the return of the Fantastic Four to comics; the team has been absent since the close of the 2015 Secret Wars series, which ended with half of the team outside reality, helping to rebuild it after the events of the storyline.
There's also a more outlandish option that might fit the "breaking the internet in half" model that readers have been asking about for years: bringing Marvelman into the Marvel Universe. The classic character, better known as "Miracleman" due to the revisionist work done by Watchmen writer Alan Moore in the 1980s, has been owned by Marvel since 2009, but outside of reprints, has yet to appear in a Marvel comic as yet. Could Legacy be the comic to bring the character into the Marvel Universe?
Marvel Legacy No. 1 will be released this fall.