Marvel Comics will revive the name and concept of its '90s Heroes Reborn imprint for a May limited series celebrating the 25th anniversary of the original Heroes Reborn. Through the power of the Phoenix Force, the Marvel Universe will be reborn into a place where the Avengers never formed, resulting in a vastly different landscape for the publisher's most well-known heroes and villains.
Now, Marvel has released descriptions of Heroes Reborn #1-4 from writer Jason Aaron and artists Ed McGuiness, Dale Keown, Federico Vicente, and James Stokoe, painting a picture of a world where many familiar concepts exist in vastly different contexts – with only Blade having any memory of the world that was.
"Reborn #1 will welcome readers to a world where Tony Stark never built the 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 official description of Heroes Reborn #1.
"Hard-drinking atheist" might remind some readers of Avengers: Endgame "bro Thor" who was hard-drinking and might not have been an atheist but certainly lost his faith in himself.
"Instead, this world has always been protected by Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: the Squadron Supreme of America," Marvel's description continues. "And now, the Squadron faces an attack from some of their fiercest enemies, including Dr. Juggernaut, the Black Skull, the Silver Witch, and Thanos with his Infinity Rings. But why is the Daywalker Blade the only man alive who seems to remember that the entire world has somehow been…reborn?"
The action doesn't stop there – Marvel's further issue descriptions bring in even more twisted versions of characters readers know.
"In Reborn #2, make way for the adventures of Marvel's Mightiest Megastar, the all-powerful Hyperion!" reads the second issue description. "When America's solar-powered, super-sentinel of liberty looks to return his archenemy Victor Von Doom to the Negative Zone, mighty Hyperion must deal with a breakout of his most powerful enemies, such as Ultron, General Annihilus, and the Immortal Hulk. Plus: a special backup tale starring Blade, Earth's last living vampire."
Marvel's mystery deepens with the description of Heroes Reborn #3, bringing the Phoenix itself into the story (perhaps a key to its resolution, alongside Blade's awareness of the old world).
"In Reborn #3, brace yourself for chaos magic at Mach 5! Blur, the swiftest mortal alive, must win a race through the mind-bending Dread Dimension in order to save his soul from the hypersonic hexes of the Speedster Supreme, the Silver Witch," reads Marvel's description. "Plus: a back-up tale takes us inside the dark secrets of the Ravencroft Asylum and its newest inmate, the Phoenix."
Finally, in Reborn #4, the Guardians of the Galaxy seem to get in on the action, with Rocket Raccoon and Star-Lord making the scene.
"In Reborn #4, Doctor Spectrum, equipped with the cosmic might of his Power Prism, has become the most feared lawman in the heavens," Marvel's description reads. "But now the dark forces of deep space have sent the galaxy's most notorious bounty hunter to end Spectrum once and for all. That’s right, here comes Rocket Raccoon! Plus: in a backup tale, the all-new Starbrand finds herself alone in a strange new universe."
It's unclear if the 2021 saga of Heroes Reborn stops there, or if the tale and concept will continue outside the four initial issues, although the publisher does refer to Heroes Reborn #1-4 as the "first four issues." Either way, Heroes Reborn #1-4 are due out in May. Look for Marvel's full May 2021 solicitations later this month on Newsarama.
The new Heroes Reborn is Marvel’s latest foray into what Stan Lee called the "illusion of change." Newsarama looks at the concept's history.