Yesterday, Bleeding Cool reported on Marvel Comics teasing Heroes Reborn. We were also able to tell you that it was not a reboot or relaunch, it was tied into the 25th anniversary of the original Heroes Reborn, when Marvel Comics hired Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld to recreate their Avengers and Fantastic Four characters anew. And that it would also include aspects for the anniversary of Age of Apocalypse.
Bleeding Cool did speculate that it might have something to do with Mephisto as it was definitely to do with the Avengers. Could we even have an Age of Mephisto? And we guessed Heroes Reborn might stealth-begin in Avengers #45.
Now it appears that Marvel Comics are taking to social media to talk it up, with a series of images by Carlos Pacheco, tweeting out every hour. The Hulk social media account tweeted out a more adventures Doc Savage/John Carter of a Hulk.
And Executive Vice President and Creative Director Joe Quesada tweeted out Thanos with the Infinity Stones as rings – Mandarin Rings? And missing some – or one? But otherwise looking like Thanos.
Previously in our second glimpse, Marvel executive Tom Brevoort tweeted the following image, seemingly with Reed Richards and Ben Grimm being Agents of SHIELD rather than the Fantastic Four. Could this be an extended What If alternate timeline? Maybe a world without Mephisto's influence? Is that the Negative Zone Prison 42 where they are posing?
And the Spider-Man Twitter account giving us… an alternative to Spider-Man. Peter Parker as just a photographer for the Daily Bugle, taking photos of a different superhero?
And in our first glimpse, Marvel Entertainment's own Twitter posted this mashup of Juggernaut and Doctor Doom.
And Marvel Comics Editor-In-Chief CB Cebulski posted the following mashup of the Scarlet Witch and her brother Quicksilver… or is it Enchantress and Jean Grey?
Expect a new two every hour, somewhere, going into the night…
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…