REVIEW: ‘Heroes Reborn,’ Issue #5

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Heroes Reborn #5

Heroes Reborn #5, published by Marvel Comics, turns its focus on the Squadron Supreme’s Batman analogue Nighthawk. As usual, the issue is comprised of two stories: “The Pagent of the Masters of Nocturnal Artistry” is written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by R. M. Guéra, and colored by Giulia Brusco. Aaron also writes “The Quest of the Ronin,” which features pencils by Ed McGuinness, inks by Mark Morales and colors by Matt Wilson. The entire issue is lettered by VC’s Cory Petit. “The Pagent of the Masters of Nocturnal Artistry” pits Nighthawk against his archenemy the Green Goblin, in addition to the villains locked in Ravencroft Asylum. “The Quest of the Ronin” reveals what Black Panther has been up to in this new universe.

Nighthawk has always been my favorite member of the Squadron Supreme-he’s more than just “The Black Batman” or a Batman expy, he’s the most human of the Squadron. Unlike Hyperion or Doctor Spectrum, who are fueled by unchecked patriotism, or the Blur who races through life at supersonic speed, Nighthawk has all the human foibles you’d expect from a norman man who happens to fight crime in a hawk suit. He suffers guilt over the death of his partner Falcon (which was explored in the Marvel Double Action one-shot.) He only feels at peace while fighting the madmen that stalk the night. And he feels that he can beat the crazy out of his enemies. Aaron’s script paints the picture of a man who is struggling to find meaning in his heroic career, which instantly sets him apart from a certain Dark Knight.

Guéra and Brusco previously worked with Aaron on the Vertigo Comics series Scalped, and they bring that same sense of gritty sensibility to “The Pagent of the Masters of Nocturnal Artistry.” As Nighthawk has essentially taken Spider-Man’s place in this world,  Guéra has the chance to illustrate his own take on the web-slinger’s foes. The Black Skull from Heroes Reborn #1 returns, alongside a Doctor Octopus who actually controls cephalopods and Kraven — who is dressed his own Nighhawk suit in a nod to the Batman story Knightfall and Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt. Brusco makes Ravencroft feel like the horror show it is, painting the interiors in dark blue with plenty of shadows. The few splashes of color comes from Nighthawk’s royal blue suit, along with the Goblin’s garishly green skin and the pink scrubs that Gwen Stacy wears.

“The Quest of the Ronin” is a lengthy action sequence that sees the Panther-in the garb of the ninja hero Ronin-battling Nighthawk at the Washington Monument. True to McGuinness and Morales’ artistic style, the story features bombastic action as Panther and Nighthawk trade blows in midair. Panther has the ability to teleport and his weapons are made of trademark vibranium, allowing him to go toe-to-toe with the Squadron Supreme’s dark warrior. Aaron also reveals what happened to Panther in this alternate universe and ties both stories together by having Nighthawk be the one Squadron member to pick up on the reassembling of the Avengers.

Heroes Reborn #5 is a character study on the Squadron Supreme’s most interesting member, featuring the reunion of the Scalped creative team. With only two issues left, the stage is set for the Squadron and Avengers to have an epic battle and to the winner goes the world.

Heroes Reborn #5 is available wherever comics are sold.

 

Heroes Reborn #5
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TL;DR

Heroes Reborn #5 is a character study on the Squadron Supreme’s most interesting member, featuring the reunion of the Scalped creative team. With only two issues left, the stage is set for the Squadron and Avengers to have an epic battle and to the winner goes the world.