In celebration of Black History Month, we get an overview of Marvel’s greatest and newest black heroes! Marvel Voices: Legacy #1 is full of action, satisfying moments, and inspirational messages!
Much like the Women of Marvel story, Marvel Voices: Legacy #1 brings together an extended team of writers and artists. We first start off with an introduction by Karama Horne (aka TheBlerdGurl). The culture journalist explains her history and love for comics. She expands on it by mentioning some of the heroes in the issue and how black and brown creators are important for these stories. The passion behind her words is just a prelude to what to expect in this bold issue. Let’s see what the edition of Voices is all about.
In the first, T’Challa aka Black Panther reflects on those that came before him. The story is one-page but carries so much weight. Even referencing that death is never the end. He hopes that his work as a hero will be his best. Also, he dreams that it will influence the next Black Panther after him. Right off the bat, this is a beautiful one-shot!
I love the life brought into the Black Panther’s afterlife area. All the past Black Panthers from Bashenga, Azzuri, T’Chaka, and more. This paying homage to the Kings before him is awesome! Also, I feel that they are paying tribute to Chadwick Boseman. Considering that Black Panther (2018) celebrates four years of its film’s release. The story is called “legend” and is fitting of its title.
Next, we have Sam Wilson aka Captain America in “date night”. He sees himself on the cover of the paper in Harlem. Quickly, I loved how his narration briefly referenced LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out”. He gets a text from his girlfriend, Misty Knight, reminding him about their date. He dashes as the civilians say hello to their hero.
However, he is stopped by an old man. The elderly man is lecturing Sam about how Harlem should be his only priority. Suddenly, he sees a shadow and makes his way to the assassin. Sam changes into his suit and takes flight towards Taskmaster.
The pair fight on a rooftop. Sam is doing this with no shield, while Taskmaster is armed with one and a sword. Despite this, Sam lays a few strikes on the assassin. He even has Taskmaster falling. Sam flies himself and the murderer into a restaurant. Taskmaster is about to strike but is knocked out by Misty Knight. Taskmaster was in Harlem, tracking Misty, and was planning to break into Beyond Corp by taking her key card. This story ends as the two smile at one another.
Then, we see Misty again in action, but with Luke Cage. The pair have to deal with Hypno-Hustler but are more fascinated by other things. First, Misty picks on Luke for wearing only a yellow t-shirt and jeans. Stating that Luke belongs to 1972. This is a reference to Luke Cage’s first comic book appearance in June that year. Also, a random gun is in their possession. The pair make quick work of the funk criminal. They then take the gun to the Avengers.
For our fourth story, we are back in Wakanda. The nation is celebrating its version of the “night of the dead”, otherwise known as Ubusuku Bokufa. This story is titled, “wanna play?”. Shuri is ready for the party, dressed as Cleopatra. General Okoye sees Shuri and T’Challa talking about how the former is sad about the latter. T’Challa won’t attend the party because of superhero duties, disappointing the Princess of Wakanda. T’Challa even mentions that a mystery Avenger will attend the celebration.
Leaving the lab, Shuri grabs Okoye to have fun. Yet, Okoye is more focused on protecting her charge. The duo is greeted by children dressed as M’Baku and Captain America, scaring the Dora Milaje leader. Shuri assures her that everything is fine. Also, bring up that the mystery Avenger might be in disguise too. As they continue throughout the party, a mystical dragon appears. The legend of a Ninki Nanka is a creature that is rooted in West African folklore. The monster is known for taking from disrespectful children.
Okoye deals with the creature and Shuri saves a pair of kids near it. Out of nowhere, Captain Marvel shows up and assists the heroes. As the Ninki Nanka is about to attack again, the legendary Oluku Sanu saves the day. He too is rooted in African folklore. He tames the creature and makes his way towards the kids. Funny enough, these kids were dressed as Doctor Strange and Brother Voodoo.
They believed they brought the beast to life. Offering one of the kids training in a magic program, the hero reveals their identity. It was King T’Challa that was the mystery Avenger. T’Challa then thanks Carol for helping out. Shuri then talks to her brother about why he lied. She is not mad and is happy to see him. The story ends with the four heroes having a great time. The siblings go head-to-head in a card game.
Fifth, we have another one-page story called “legacy”. Monica Rambeau aka Spectrum discussing her role as a hero. She is happy to help and inspire those she saves. Especially people that look like her. She even stops to take a picture with a fan. Personally, her talk on legacy was also great! Seeing her worship her heroic role was nice! Additionally, the art is perfect! An actual spectrum appearing as she flies adds more to her story.
Now, we are in the eyes of Dr. Cecilia Reyes. She is tending to a child in Krakoa that got hurt. She too goes on about how she enjoys her heroic duties. While this narration continues, she heals the young mutant with her powers. The third one-page story ends with our fellow X-Men seeing growth within Krakoa. Pun intended as the story was called “growth”.
In our seventh story, we have a “cross-borough caper”. This story features one of Marvel’s new and greatest minds, Moon Girl. In a small part of the Bronx, our young hero talks about her adventures. We then see a random horse being attacked. Then, Moon Girl or Lunelle Lafayette is riding her dinosaur, Devil, throughout Van Cortlandt Park. This is where the horse was attacked.
She then sets up a satellite for the pair to investigate the ambush. They travel near the area and are then greeted by another dinosaur-looking creature. It bits Devil and Lunella jumps in the air, parachuting down. Lunella then speaks with the creature, finding out that it speaks over 11,000 languages. Assuming its race, the creature reveals that its name is Mel.
Devil is still mad about Mel’s actions, but Mel is remorseful. It was also revealed that they attacked the horse, also feeling bad for the animal. Mel is on Earth because her parents told her to explore. Both the creature and Moon Girl relate to one another. Even becoming friends. Mel says that she is from Savage Land and cannot get home. This is due to her traveling device being destroyed. Moon Girl offers to and fixes the device. Back home, Lunella is having dinner with her parents. She expressed her love for “horseback riding” and her new friend. After Lunella leaves, her mom wants her to do more with her life. Yet, her dad feels that she has done enough.
In one of our last stories, Rūna the Valkyrie is on Earth. Both her and her horse look at a statue and compare it to Thor. A man from the sewers asks for help. This comes after he accidentally offended the horse by referring to him as a pony. The man Leif, an archeologist at Stockholm University. He is trying to find his missing colleague Kat.
Valkyrie decides to help the sewer troll, in the words of the horse. He explains why they were down there, showing her an old door with Asgardian wording on it. It is a riddle that has to be answered, in which Valkyrie is successful in opening the door. They enter seeing a skeleton surrounded by gold and riches.
Suddenly, they are in the presence of a dragon with Kat’s jacket. Valkyrie fights off the beast as the man is slowly turning into what looks like a gremlin. She realizes that the box the dead king is holding is the key to stopping the beast. She destroys the box, slaying the dragon once and for all. Valkyrie is then woken up by Leif and Kat. She notices the gold is gone, likely due to Loki’s illusions. She takes the box back to Asgard. Before leaving she is thanked by the mortal for her help.
Finally, we end with Blue Marvel’s one-page story, “perspective”. He lists his abilities, his nicknames, and what his greatest power is. That obviously being perspective. Like Spectrum, it was great seeing him have a similar reflection arc. Also, great to see him getting the recognition he deserves. He is a very underrated character!
Now, I did say we were done. Yet, there is another one-page story, featuring Miles Morales aka Spider-Man, and his partner Starling. It is fitting as the story is titled, “responsibility”. The young couple race each other to the Baxter Building in a bet. The loser pays for dinner and MetroCards. Despite Miles’s disapproval, the two race and already express their hunger. Now it’s done.
Everyone that worked on these stories deserves a round of applause! Cody Ziglar, Jahnoy Lindsay, J. Holtham, Julian Shaw, Paris Alleyne, Larry Houston, Dijjo Lima, Natacha Bustos, Eder Missias, Victor LaValle, Karen S. Darboe, Maria Fröhlich, Stéphane Paitreau, Sean Damien Hill, Oren Junior, Crisscross, and Erick Arciniega. All of these men and women contributed so much to this month alone with this issue. Also props to Angélique Roché for her work on Voices. There was an exclusive interview, description of Spectrum’s upbringing, and issues tied to this story. It is nice seeing all of these artists and writers collaborate!
I loved the different art styles within the story. Aside from the writing, some of the illustrations told their own story. From Black Panther to Blue Marvel, the fight scenes, the celebration in Wakanda, and a better look into Moon Girl. It was all great! Once more, I believe the first story was the best. The message along with the placement of color was insane! Sam’s story was also awesome with the details. Another detail I noticed was that he was not fighting with his shield. I think this was to show that Captain America regardless of his trademark weapon. Cap is more than just a shield.
The detail in Blue Marvel’s and Spectrum’s stories was beautiful as well! Seeing two people with similar abilities flying talking about legacy and perspective was deep. It almost feels as if they were speaking for the other heroes in the story. Also, that cover is fire! Featuring the likes of Bishop, Spider-Man, Storm, and others was a good move! Displaying popular heroes and heroes a lot haven’t heard about making the story fresh as well. It showed that Luke Cage and Black Panther are not the only black heroes. I loved the placement here!
However, I did have a few problems here. Even though Storm, Bishop, and Night Thrasher were on the cover they weren’t seen or referenced. I get the promotion surrounding the story, but they should have been featured too. Maybe they’ll show up in the next one, hopefully. Also, I feel that Spectrum should have been the one to help Shuri, Okoye, and T’Challa.
She is basically a black Captain Marvel. Sure, she gets her own story. Yet, Spectrum needs more attention than Carol. Captain Marvel is already everywhere. Despite that, I still enjoyed this story! As a black person, I am proud to have read and reviewed this. Justice was done here! It all gets me excited for what to expect with the heroes. Especially the newer or lesser-known ones. Great edition to this month!
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