Marvel recently teased its fans with an Alex Ross painting of Jean Grey, Wolverine, Thor, Nova, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Ms Marvel, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Hulk – alongside the current successors of these heroes. The image was given a single-word caption – Generations – which leads us to believe that there might be a series revolving around the relationships between the older and current versions of these characters.
Based on that image, we decided to update ourselves on the current status quo of these characters, and see how their successors are doing so far.
This is a tricky one, because the current incarnation of Jean Grey is actually the original one, brought into the future along with her fellow original X-Men by future Beast, who was hoping they could help undo the damage caused by future Cyclops. Confused yet?
The current version of Jean Grey certainly seems a lot more capable than the older version, though. Initially scared and naive after being time-displaced, she has grown into a confident member of the X-Men, and in the upcoming new title X-Men: Blue, she appears to be leading the time-displaced Cyclops, Iceman, Beast and Angel in a new team, mentored by none other than Magneto, the “enemy” they fought so hard against back in their own timeline!
Ross’ image appears to show Jean in her Phoenix costume on the poster, though, not the Marvel Girl one she is currently sporting. Could this mean that she is set to inherit the Phoenix Force at some point in the future? Could we have another Dark Phoenix Saga on our hands?
Has it been three years already since the original Wolverine was killed off after being sealed in adamantium? All the recent speculation that he would be resurrected in time for the Logan movie (out in Malaysia this week!) appears to have been way off the mark. There IS, however, an Old Man Logan running around in the current continuity, so at least that’s consistent with the upcoming film’s theme.
Speaking of the movie, the little girl you see in the trailers is actually Laura Kinney, known as X-23 in the comics. A clone created from Wolverine’s DNA, she sees Logan as a father figure and, after his death, decided to take up his mantle as the All-New Wolverine. Since she first put on that iconic yellow and blue costume in 2015, she has definitely grown into her new role, through her solo title and together with the younger teenage X-Men.
In the 2015 Original Sin event, Nick Fury whispered a secret (still unrevealed to this day) to Thor that rendered him unworthy of wielding Mjolnir, and thus, unable to even pick up the enchanted hammer. He has since carried on his superhero duties as the Odinson, wielding his axe Jarnbjorn.
“There must always be a Thor,” was the sentence whispered by a then-mysterious female who then picked up Mjolnir, and was transformed into the mighty Thor, Goddess Of Thunder! She was eventually revealed to be the cancer-stricken Jane Foster, and has since proven to be more than worthy of wielding Mjolnir. In fact, with the Odinson currently in pursuit of another hammer (one that used to belong to Ultimate Thor) in his solo title The Unworthy Thor, it looks like Jane will be keeping the hammer indefinitely.
Steve Rogers was robbed of the Super Soldier Serum by Iron Nail and became an old man. Unable to continue as Captain America, he passed the name and shield to his good friend and long-time ally Falcon, a.k.a. Sam Wilson.
During the Pleasant Hill event, Kobik, a sentient Cosmic Cube with the mind and body of a child, gave Steve his youth and powers back, but also altered his reality drastically by turning him into a secret Hydra agent! This year’s major Marvel event, Secret Empire, will see him revealing his allegiance to Hydra to the world, and how the other superheroes react to it.
As for Sam, he has spent much of his tenure in his predecessor’s shadow, trying to prove himself while showing the world that he is his own Captain America. Oh, and he got turned into a werewolf once. Oops!
Anyway, he has slowly been growing into the role – what he lacks in Super Soldier Serum-endowed powers, he makes up for with his flying skills and ability to communicate with birds. He has also shown great leadership capabilities while leading the Avengers, and is not likely to be giving up the shield anytime soon.
Richard Rider, the original Nova, was presumably killed when he trapped himself and Thanos (and Star-Lord!) in the Cancerverse, though he was recently brought back to “life” in the ongoing solo Nova title, which features Sam Alexander, the current Nova.
Sam is a 15-year-old kid who inherited his Nova helmet from his father, Jesse Alexander, who was a member of the Nova Corps’ Black Ops. He has since learnt to master the helmet’s powers, and has been an integral part of the Marvel Universe, He was on Sam Wilson’s Avengers team, but left during the Civil War II event to form the Champions.
The original Marvel-published Captain Marvel was Mar-Vell, a Kree operative who came to Earth as a spy, but eventually became attached to the planet and even helped save the planet as a member of the Avengers.
The current Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers, got her powers when she was caught in the explosion of a Kree device, which caused her genetic structure to combine with Mar-Vell’s. This turned her into a human-Kree hybrid with similar powers as Mar-Vell, and so she began her superhero career as Ms Marvel.
Carol only adopted the Captain Marvel name in 2012, but since then, she’s established herself as one of Marvel’s premier superheroes, which saw her joining the Guardians of the Galaxy for a while, and then taking on Iron Man in last year’s Civil War II event. She is currently part of the Ultimates and commander of Alpha Flight, which protects Earth from cosmic threats.
Ms Marvel and Captain Marvel are pretty much intertwined, since Carol used the name Ms Marvel when Mar-Vell was still around, and Kamala Khan adopted the name because she was such a fan of Carol. While Carol has gone on to become one of Marvel’s leading lights, Ms Marvel isn’t too far off – an Inhuman with strechy, shape-shifting powers. Her solo title is one of the best series in the Marvel stable right now. She’s even leading her own team of teenage heroes – The Champions, together with fellow teen heroes Nova, Hulk (the Amadeus Cho one), Viv Vision (Vision’s daughter), Cyclops (the time-displaced teenaged one) and Spider-Man (the Miles Morales one).
After shooting and killing his friend Bruce Banner, a guilt-ridden Clint Barton is currently roaming America, helping the common American with ground-level problems (Occupy Avengers). That left former Young Avenger Kate Bishop to take up the mantle of Hawkeye (though she would tell you she was already a better Hawkeye and didn’t have to take the name from him). She is currently based in Los Angeles, where she is working as a private investigator in her solo title, Hawkeye.
Tony Stark is left in a coma after the final fight with Captain Marvel in Civil War II, which kind of makes it hard for him to be Iron Man. Enter Riri Williams, a teenage engineering prodigy who built her own suit of armour and eventually takes over from Tony as Marvel’s No. 1 armoured superhero, only she’s called Ironheart, not Iron Man.
Stark’s not gone yet though – he currently lives on in Riri’s interface as probably the most snarky artificial intelligence ever. Fun fact: There’s ANOTHER Iron Man running around currently too – the INFAMOUS Iron Man, who is none other than… Victor Von Doom!
When Peter Parker was bitten by that radioactive spider, he was just an ordinary high-school student. Now, Peter’s all grown up and running his own global tech company. Yes, he’s still Spider-Man, but he’s got great responsibilities now, and not just the ones that come with great powers.
On the other hand, Miles Morales is still a kid. Originally created for the now-defunct Ultimate Comics line, Miles is one of the few characters from that universe who survived the culling of the multiverse during the Secret Wars event in 2015. He HAS fitted into Earth-616 perfectly, though – filling Peter’s shoes as a younger Spider-Man while holding his own at the same time. He even played a pivotal role in Civil War II, when one of Ulysses’ visions showed him standing over the dead body of Steve Rogers!
Bruce Banner is dead, shot in the head with an arrow by his friend Hawkeye. But before he was killed, Bruce had not been Hulk for a very long time, thanks to teenage genius Amadeus Cho, who “cured” him by using nanites to remove the Hulk from Bruce’s body and placing it into his own. As the self-styled “Totally Awesome Hulk”, Cho has been quite the revelation. While it was a little strange at first to see a Korean-American Hulk, the combination of Cho’s brash teenage attitude, supreme self-confidence, and Hulk’s power has been quite, well, awesome to behold.