Heroes Reborn ned as it started, with very little to blast about. A simple concept – Mephisto recreates a world without the Avengers – strung out over seven uneventful issues. Minus any satisfying conclusion. I really wished I hadn’t bothered.
And so the end is nigh. Both for this series and possibly this brave new but vile world Mephisto has created. And while we have yet to be informed why and how Mephisto has achieved this goal, and for what nefarious purpose other than universal domination, what I do know now is that the whole seven-issue series has been nothing more than a very stretched out prologue to the main event: Heroes Return. And I still maintain this monotone tale could have been told in far fewer issues. A double-sized one-shot at best. I really don’t see this being a much loved series fans nostalgically reminisce about in years to come. Best filed away with the likes of Empyre and Secret Empire. Marvel’s recent batting average when it comes to event comics has been pretty poor.
Writer Jason Aaron brings the separate members of the Squadron Supreme of America together, with the odd flashback in time to give the suggestion of a shared history. One that continues to rip-off the DCU with the Green Goblin cast as both this reality’s Joker and Lex Luthor. He is both a madman incarcerated in Ravenscroft Asylum and later running for President. A storyline artist Ed McGuinness – who once more contributed to the more revelatory back-up strip here – has a part in over two decades ago now over at the Distinguished Competition.
Aaron has proven himself to be an excellent writer at both Marvel and on his own creator-owned series, so I still believe that this has been heavily editorialised in an attempt to maximise sales of a weak-ass concept. An alternative Justice League is a concept done to death too many times now. For example, zooming in on the various relationships of the Squadron we get a love-triangle between Nighthawk, Power Princess and Hyperion, One already explored DC’s The Crime Syndicate already. And for more interestingly.
My real fear is that even after Heroes Return, we will be left with unanswered questions and more from Mephisto to come. Meaning for many fans further investment in future comic books. But not this fan. Fool me once, shame on me… and all that.
Meanwhile, Aaron Kuder continues to evolve as an artist and still seems to be finding his inimitable style. Already a great, and immediately recognisable artist, he seems to be veering in a direction of more exaggerated and detailed hatching art style suited by the likes of James Stokoe, who has previously contributed to this mini-series. Again, it’s the art that saves the day in a drab comic book with a predictable ending.
Heroes Reborn #7 is out now from Marvel Comics and you can read up on all my reviews and more here.