Last week, Bleeding Cool ran a series of teasers that seemed to be recreating Marvel superheroes in new fashions, and died into teasers for the 25th anniversary of Heroes Reborn, which saw the Avengers and Fantastic four recreated in separate continuities by Rob Liefeld and Jim Lee. Bleeding Cool told you that it was something to do with the Avengers and also the threat in that comic of Mephisto.
Today, we get the news that Avengers creators Jason Aaron and Ed McGuiness are creating Heroes Reborn, a new series that answers the question of what the Marvel Universe would look like if the Avengers never assembled. What new super team would step up to fill the void, what deadly threats would emerge unchecked, and what would become of your favourite characters if they never became heroes…
Bleeding Cool noted that in recent issues of Avengers, we learned that Mephisto rather than Loki was behind the forming of the Avengers, both in the sixties' version and in the One Million BC version. Might this be part of what's happening in Heroes Reborn?
Welcome to a world where Tony Stark never built an Iron Man armor. Where Thor is a hard-drinking atheist who despises hammers. Where Wakanda is dismissed as a myth. And where Captain America was never found in the ice, because there were no Avengers to find him. Instead this world has always been protected by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the Squadron Supreme of America. And now the Squadron face an attack from some of their fiercest enemies, like Dr. Juggernaut, the Black Skull, the Silver Witch and Thanos with his Infinity Rings. Blade is the one man alive who seems to remember that the entire world has somehow been… reborn. And so begins his search for the cause behind this ominous shift in reality.
And there's some Heroes Reborn PR-approved quotes as well.
"Maybe the wildest story I've ever put on paper. I got to cut loose on this and release my inner comic-reared child in a really profound way, and together with a cadre of immensely imaginative artists, we built a world that I'm pretty confident in saying is quite unlike any version of the Marvel Universe you've seen before," Aaron said of his latest Marvel saga. "It grew out of the pages of my AVENGERS run, but kept getting bigger and bigger as it went, and the more pieces I put in place for this Reborn world, the more gleeful and excited I became. This project really stoked the fires of my love for comics in all the right ways."
"It's only natural that after the Phoenix burns the world to ash, there should come a rebirth, and so REBORN is the next big step in the massive super-story that Jason and Ed have been crafting in Avengers," Executive Editor Tom Brevoort said. "Prepare to enter a very different yet hauntingly familiar Marvel Universe!"
"I've been having an absolute blast designing and drawing some new spins on old favorites Jason Aaron has brought to the table," McGuinness said. "They are all with a purpose story wise which makes them really cool to get into from the art side of things. He may be the maddest scientist of all!"
Here's the trailer. Heroes Reborn #1 is out in May.
HEROES REBORN #1
Written by JASON AARON
Art by ED MCGUINNESS
Triptych Artwork by IBAN COELLO & ESPEN GRUNDETJERN
The first "Heroes Reborn" was published by Marvel in 1996–97, and this would mark its twenty-fifth anniversary. Following the apparent deaths of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and Dr Doom battling Onslaught in Onslaught: Marvel Universe, they were "reborn", and certain aspects of their earlier stories were expanded with the intent of telling their adventures anew for modern generations. This was explained, in-story, as they were transported into a pocket universe by Franklin Richards, the near-omnipotent, psychic son of Mr Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, to save where they lived in the so-called "Franklin-verse", oblivious to what had happened to them. The characters' origins and histories were revised and updated circa the mid-1990s for modern audiences. For instance, Ben Grimm fought as a pilot in the Gulf War instead of World War II, and Susan and Johnny Storm were explained to have been financial backers for Reed Richards' rocket, hence their presence on the mission.
For this reworking, Marvel farmed out the properties to some of their former employees who had left the company to form Image Comics. Jim Lee's WildStorm Productions studios handled Fantastic Four and Iron Man, and Rob Liefeld's Extreme Studios took the reins of The Avengers and Captain America. However, after six issues, Marvel ended Liefeld's contract early, citing low sales on his two titles. Liefeld's titles were reassigned to Lee. Walt Simonson took over Avengers when it moved to WildStorm. Although the four titles in "Heroes Reborn" were slated for a 12-issue run, James Robinson wrote a thirteenth and final issue for each book. The storyline, entitled "World War III", was a crossover between the Marvel and WildStorm characters.
The changes to the characters were controversial, provoking debates amongst fans. The change in the creative team on Captain America was also controversial since Mark Waid and Ron Garney's pre-Heroes Reborn team had already been bringing increased sales and critical acclaim to the series. However, all of the titles experienced a large upsurge in sales. According to Lee, Marvel proposed continuing the Heroes Reborn lineup indefinitely, but under the condition that Lee would draw at least one of them; Lee refused.
At the end of the storyline, the Fantastic Four and Avengers were returned to the mainstream Marvel Universe, again through the intervention of Franklin Richards, in the miniseries Heroes Reborn: The Return. The ensuing storyline, dubbed "Heroes Return" was once again created in-house at Marvel Comics.
And now we have Heroes Reborn returning one more time…