We're in the midst of Monsters Unleashed and Inhumans vs X-Men, and Secret Empire is on the horizon, but if you haven't had your fill of marquee Marvel stories, then do we have good news for you. Earlier today, the publisher tweeted a teaser image featuring the classic and modern versions of a number of icon heroes including Captain America, Thor and Iron Man, but what does it mean for the future of the Marvel Universe?

So, this is entirely speculation, but there area number of ways to read into the Generations teaser. The elephant in the room is DC Rebirth, which has been a big success for the publisher by taking its characters back to basics and investing in what made them great in the first place. There have been rumors flying around online that Marvel has been gearing up to bring back the traditional crop of heroes with which it made its bread-and-butter, but can it do so without alienating fans of Marvel's recent push for a diverse roster of heroes?

It's telling that the top row of characters are entirely white and predominantly male, while the lower row features no white men at all. This is no small thing, and Marvel's success with new incarnations of characters like Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man and Thor have visibly pushed the entire industry towards a more inclusive place and actively encouraged new readers to try comics. However, Marvel is a business, and it's entirely possible it thinks it's a safer bet to play towards a more traditional comics-reading audience. It would be the wrong move in the long run, but ultimately Marvel is an unfeeling corporate juggernaut.

The art for the teaser is by Alex Ross, a creator with a reputation for favoring a certain era of comics. While Ross has done some of the best work of his career in recent years by expanding his scope to include newer characters, his style does still have a certain connotation to it.

It's also entirely possible that this teaser has nothing to do with the future of Marvel continuity, and it could be a prestige miniseries that examines the relationship between the two eras, or it could be a time travel story within the pages of an ongoing series.

At this point Generations could be literally anything, and until Marvel makes a more official announcement, speculation is all we have. It is telling that, after some of Marvel's recent decisions regarding its legacy characters, and with no more information than the teaser, the general reaction does seem to be, "Oh, what now?" but maybe the publisher will surprise us.


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