ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Heroes Reborn,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Heroes Reborn #1Heroes Reborn #1 is written by Jason Aaron, penciled by Ed McGuinness, inked by Mark Morales, colored by Matt Wilson, and lettered by VC’s Cory Petit. It is published by Marvel Comics. The world has been rewritten so that the Avengers never formed, and the Squadron Supreme are Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. As the Squadron does battle with their archenemies, the Masters of Doom, Blade-the only person who remembers the world as it’s supposed to be-seeks out his fellow Avengers to learn who changed the world.

The fun of alternate universes is taking what you know about established characters and twisting it ever so slightly. Marvel is no stranger to crafting alternate universes, as shown in miniseries such as Bullet Points and Spider-Man: Spider’s ShadowHeroes Reborn decides to explore what happens in a world without Avengers: Thor, the last of the Asgardians, drowns his sorrows in mead. Captain America’s frozen body was never found. Robbie Reyes never became the Ghost Rider. The sight of Tony Stark without his Iron Man armor or hearing that Jennifer Walters never became the She-Hulk adds an unsettling vibe to the proceedings and sets the foundation for an ongoing mystery as to who altered the world.

Aaron also lets his imagination run wild within the space of 39 pages, putting new twists on villains for the Squadron Supreme to face. Scarlet Witch absorbed the powers of her brother Quicksilver, transforming into the Silver Witch. The Red Skull has bonded with the Venom symbiote, becoming the Black Skull. And Dr. Doom has the Crimson Gem of Cytorak, granting him the Juggernaut’s immense strength. In the same way that Donny Cates built up to King in Black with his work on Venom and Absolute Carnage, Aaron’s work on Heroes Reborn spins out of the events of his Avengers run; the fact that it focuses on Blade is a welcome plus. Ever since he joined the Avengers, Blade’s profile has risen significantly; the Daywalker being the protagonist of this series another step to breaking him out of his “vampire hunter” box, and as a massive Blade fan, I welcome that.

McGuinness and Morales, who previously contributed artwork to issues of Avengers, join Aaron on artistic duties for the book. McGuiness is best known for his work on Superman/Batman, with the opening arc launching the World’s Finest into blockbuster action. Thus it only seems fitting that he illustrates the Squadron in this book, who are essentially Marvel’s counterparts to the Justice League. Many of the action sequences are spread over the course of two-page spreads or more, and there is action galore in this book. One sequence features Hyperion engaging in battle with Dr. Doom, his solar-powered atomic vision hitting the madman in the face. Another features the super-fast Blur dashing through Washington, D.C. with the Silver Witch flinging spells at him.

Rounding out the artistic team is Wilson on colors and Petit on letters. Wilson’s colors are rich and vibrant, befitting the Squadron’s position as heroes; Nighthawk’s costume is dark blue and black, while Doctor Spectrum’s multi-colored costume matches his Power Prism. In contrast, Blade wears more muted clothing, including a grey hoodie and long tan trenchcoat. Petit has fun stylizing heroes and villains’ names in their trademark logo; Hyperion, for example, has an atom symbol in the middle of his name, and his logo is styled to look like a certain Man of Steel.

Heroes Reborn #1 puts a new twist on the Marvel Universe, featuring a world without the Avengers and the blockbuster action you’d expect from a huge superhero event. With more issues and one-shots set to explore this strange new world, there’s no telling what could have happened to fan-favorite Marvel characters, but it’ll be fun to find out.

Heroes Reborn #1 will be available wherever comics are sold on May 5, 2021.

Heroes Reborn #1
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TL;DR

Heroes Reborn #1 puts a new twist on the Marvel Universe, featuring a world without the Avengers and the blockbuster action you’d expect from a huge superhero event. With more issues and one-shots set to explore this strange new world, there’s no telling what could have happened to fan-favorite Marvel characters, but it’ll be fun to find out.