Marvel's all-new, mostly-different Heroes Reborn event begins with someone who never appeared in the 1996 original: Blade.
"My name is Blade," he says in the upcoming Heroes Reborn #1. "And I'm either the last Avenger on Earth, or a bloodsucking nutjob."
The daywalker is right on the first count, The surprise absence of the Avengers, followed by the new heroes that rise to fill the gap, is the core conceit of Marvel's tentpole 2021 event 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," reads Marvel's synopsis for Heroes Reborn #1.
"Instead this world has always been protected by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the Squadron Supreme of America. And now the Squadron faces an attack from some of their fiercest enemies, like Dr. Juggernaut, the Black Skull, the Silver Witch, and Thanos with his Infinity Rings. But why is the Daywalker Blade the one man alive who seems to remember that the entire world has somehow been...reborn?"
Check out this preview of next week's Heroes Reborn #1:
In the wake of the recent 'Enter the Phoenix' arc of the Avengers comic book series, the Phoenix Force (and its new host, Echo) has upturned the status quo of the Marvel U and, in the words of Marvel's executive editor Tom Brevoort, "burnt the world to ash."
"Prepare to enter a very different yet hauntingly familiar Marvel Universe!," says Brevoort.
So this new Heroes Reborn is both an exploration of a Twilight Zone-esque version of the Marvel U that's a few degrees off from what we know, and also the broader story of Blade searching to figure out why exactly it happened and how he can hopefully get things back to normal.
(Uhh… spoilers. Marvel has already announced the Avengers will return in an aptly titled Heroes Reborn coda called Heroes Return).
For this tentpole event, Marvel has rolled out copious amounts of Heroes Reborn #1 variant covers in addition to Leinil Yu's primary cover.
Heroes Reborn #1 (of 7) goes on sale on May 5. The remaining issues are scheduled to be released weekly through June 16.