What happens when a superhero wants to retire, becomes injured, or (god forbid) dies? Sometimes the hero's mantle
is hung up for good, but in most cases there seems to be the blasé
attitude of: why let a good thing go? Why not just get someone else to
fill in? If done right, the result of this can be a long line of successors who are much
loved both in-universe, and by readers.
The second Ant-Man
was beloved enough to be the version of the character used when he was brought
into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Similarly, the second Flash, Barry Allen, became equally adored by fans, and lasted far longer
than his predecessor.
However, for every loved version of an older hero who has successfully passed on their mantle,
there have been countless short-lived or failed replacement heroes.
Sometimes this is because a villain has tried to secretly take the place of
a hero. Sometimes, it's because the replacement is untrained, or prone to
But often it's because (try as they might) it's hard to live
up to the values and legacy of an established hero.