REVIEW: ‘Heroes Reborn,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Heroes Reborn #4Heroes Reborn #4 is published by  Marvel Comics. This issue turns the focus on the Squadron Supreme’s cosmic guardian Doctor Spectrum, with two tales that connect to each other and reveal a pair of shocking truths about this new universe. “The Most Hated Man In The Heavens” is written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by James Stokoe (Superman: Red and Blue) and focuses on Spectrum’s battle with the bounty hunter Rocket Raccoon. “Born In The Stars” is written by Aaron, penciled by Ed McGuinness, inked by Mark Morales, and colored by Matt Wilson. The entire issue is lettered by VC’s Cory Petit.

This issue once again continues to draw parallels between the Squadron Supreme and the Justice League, with Doctor Spectrum standing in for Green Lantern. Unlike the Lanterns, however, Spectrum is more murderous and obsessed with American exceptionalism. He is willing to kill and torture to achieve his goals, and while the Green Lanterns usually are treated with respect, everyone wants to kill Spectrum. Aaron lets his imagination run wild in this story: the Celestial haven known as Knowhere has now become Spectrum’s black-site prison, Rocket Raccoon’s longtime partner and fellow Guardian of the Galaxy Groot is now a massive machine gun and Uatu the Watcher suffered a rather ironic fate while trying to stop Spectrum.

Matching the insanity of Aaron’s storytelling is Stokoe, whose art and colors are eye-popping in every sense of the word. His backgrounds match the multiple colors running through Doctor Spectrum’s Power Prism (and in a neat touch, so do Petit’s caption boxes.) Rocket himself looks radically different; one of his arms is entirely mechanical, resembling the Terminator’s in design, and he wears a metal eyepatch. Groot, as mentioned before, takes the shape of a massive machine gun; and as expected he shoots bullets. However, his bullets happen to be tinier, meaner versions of Groot-I can’t decide whether that’s extremely cute or extremely scary.

While the majority of “The Most Hated Man In The Heavens” centers on Spectrum and Rocket’s battle, the end of the story is a massive gut-punch as it reveals exactly who is responsible for the altering of the universe. Aaron had previously seeded this twist through issues of Avengers, and it’s nice to see that pay off. All I can say is that the Avengers are in for a hell of a fight if they want to bring their world back to normal.

The backup story “Born In The Stars” picks up in the aftermath of “The Most Hated Man In The Heavens,” and features yet another Avenger—this time, the young Starbrand, who Rocket and Groot adopted when she was a baby, Adrift in the universe, Starbrand encounters another Avenger, who is believed to be a myth in this universe. Not only was this another huge revelation, but it also pays homage to Black Panther’s current status in “The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda” story arc—and I will never say no to Afrofuturism in my comic books.

Heroes Reborn #4 provides a massive revelation concerning the origin of the new Marvel Universe while putting Marvel’s cosmic heroes front and center. Now that the main threat behind the universe stands revealed, and the Avengers are slowly but surely reassembling, I can’t wait to see what the rest of the series brings now that we’ve hit the halfway point.

Heroes Reborn #4 is available wherever comics are sold.

Heroes Reborn #4
4.5

TL;DR

Heroes Reborn #4 provides a massive revelation concerning the origin of the new Marvel Universe while putting Marvel’s cosmic heroes front and center. Now that the main threat behind the universe stands revealed, and the Avengers are slowly but surely reassembling, I can’t wait to see what the rest of the series brings now that we’ve hit the halfway point.