If you are a fan of these kinds of stories, then I am sure you will enjoy seeing this dark reflection of The Marvel Universe, but to be honest, I would have enjoyed this as a one and done instead of a series as the premise is so thin, you will be able to see right through it before you get to the last issue.
This review of Heroes Reborn #1 contains some minor spoilers.
There’s another Marvel event kicking off but at least it has a twist: The Avengers don’t exist, Blade is the only one who has noticed, and Squadron Supreme is in charge.
We kick off Heroes Reborn #1 in one of those strange worlds where we know right away that things are all a bit off-kilter, like The Twilight Zone, and we have to start to try and put the clues together and figure out what is happening.
We start with Blade telling Robbie Reyes that he is looking for Ghost Rider, but Robbie has no idea what he is talking about. Blade is also strangely concerned that he hasn’t encountered any vampires for weeks and seems to know that the world without the Avengers may be a better option.
Meanwhile, Dr. Doom, or Dr. Juggernaut as he is known here, has attacked Washington. He is intercepted by Hyperion, who is really just Superman. In fact, the Squadron Supreme are pretty much just The Justice League: Nighthawk is Batman, going up against The Black Skull, Dr. Spectrum is Green Lantern, Blur is Flash… you get the idea.
With The Squadron Supreme in place, there is no need for the Avengers, and President Coulson seems aware that things are not as they should be but is quite happy with the current status quo anyway.
There’s a last-page reveal that I won’t spoil, but needless to say, Blade is on the case and appears to be the lynchpin for this series, acting as the reader in trying to figure out what is actually going on.
Jason Aaron is writing Heroes Reborn and Ed McGuinness is on art, supplying some nice two-page spreads here, and there’s a pile of variant covers to pick through.
I grabbed the Wonder Woman, I mean Power Princess cover, and I challenge anyone to convince me that this Artgerm cover isn’t really just Diana.
Story-wise, it cracks along at a nice pace, but for me, this feels a little well-worn. We have for decades been reading about alternate timelines and What-If scenarios, and basically, this is just Aaron having a go at that genre.
What if the Avengers had never existed might as well be the tag line for this series, and sadly I feel that if this was an issue of What If, it would have been done and dusted in one issue. Here we are going to get a whole series devoted to the premise, and there will be a slew of variants and probably a few crossovers too.
Collecting comics is just getting more and more expensive too, and Marvel has slapped a $5.99 price tag on this issue, so Marvel fans who want an “imaginary story” based on a Silver Age DC group of supervillains, transplanted to Marvel by Roy Thomas in Avengers #85 as The Squadron Sinister, to be retconned as heroes, then this is the series for you. For me, despite a solid first issue, I just can’t help but think that I have seen this all before in one way or another, and by the end of the run, I am sure that Blade will save the day, finding the “real” Avengers, deposing President Coulson and returning our heroes to their Avengers status.
If you are a fan of these kinds of stories, then I am sure you will enjoy seeing this dark reflection of The Marvel Universe, but to be honest, I would have enjoyed this as a one and done instead of a series as the premise is so thin, you will be able to see right through it before you get to the last issue. Mind you, if you are picking this up grab that Wonder Woman cover, it’s so good.