The Marvel Universe is headed for yet another reality warp in this week’s Heroes Reborn #1.
Heroes Reborn is a spiritual successor to the infamous 1996-97 storyline of the same name that rebooted some of Marvel’s most popular characters into a separate continuity running alongside the rest of their publishing line (think Age of Apocalypse, but for the Avengers and Fantastic Four rather than the X-Men). This approach was ambitious but ultimately unpopular, causing Marvel to revert back to the status quo within a year. So when Marvel announced earlier this year that they would be reviving the title as their big summer event for 2021, readers were perplexed, wondering how or why they were bringing it back.
After some vague teasers hinting at a reboot like the original, it was later revealed that Heroes Reborn would be a spinoff of Jason Aaron’s Avengers run, following up on plot threads started in earlier issues. In this new status quo, Blade is the only person who remembers his world as it used to be, while the Squadron Supreme are apparently filling the role as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes meant for the Avengers. Other characters still exist, but in different forms. Wanda Maximoff has combined with her brother Pietro to become the Silver Witch, a magic speedster; Tony Stark never became Iron Man and still deals weapons; Captain America was never recovered from the ice. You get the idea. Things are different, but not drastically so. Based on Issue #1, we can presume the story involves Blade trying to restore the Marvel Universe as it should be.
With this altered reality plot, Heroes Reborn actually sort of resembles House of M more than its namesake. I’m also interested in Aaron using Blade as the de facto protagonist, as he’s hardly the first character you think would be in the driver’s seat. While I’m personally a sucker for this sort of story, YMMV on whether or not you have the patience for yet another one of them. Especially since this event comes so closely after the Infinity Wars spinoff Infinity Warps, which involved a similar setup but with lots more weirdness (catch me looking longingly outside my window, waiting for the return of the Wolverine/Emma Frost hybrid Diamond Patch…).
Ultimately, you could use Aaron’s Avengers as a barometer for whether or not this is something you should check out. If you’re not so hot with his run, you should probably skip out on this event, but with all the planned tie-ins for it (because of course there are), that might be difficult to do. On the art side of things, returning Avengers artist Ed McGuinness is probably the ideal choice for this storyline; his style is very reminiscent of the kind you would have seen in the ’90s, specifically on the original itself. Big visuals, exaggerated proportions, and classic superhero poses are all on display here, which —again— may appeal to some more than others. It works for me more than it doesn’t. If you’re in the mood for capital-letter SUPERHEROING, then Heroes Reborn might be a worthy investment.
Heroes Reborn #1
- Writer: Jason Aaron
- Artists: Ed McGuinness (penciler), Mark Morales (inker)
- Color Artist: Matthew Wilson
- Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
- Cover Artists: Leinil Francis Yu, Sunny Gho
- Editor: Tom Brevoort
- Publisher: Marvel Entertainment