‘Heroes Reborn’ #2 is a poor man’s Superman comic. ‘Nuff said. C’mon, Marvel, you can do better than this. Can’t you?
After the set-up of the first issue out of the way, Heroes Reborn #2 gives us far more story as well as one of the more dramatic rewrites of Marvel history as an opener: the death of Galactus at the hands of Hyperion captured over one splash and a double pager to really capture the sheer epic scale of this iconic Marvel Silver Age scene. Its one of the most impressive opening- both the art and the story – I’ve seen in a while. But, it goes downhill pretty quickly from there on in.
But, the premise that without the Avengers, there would be no Fantastic Four just doesn’t work. After all, Fantastic Four #1 was published two years prior. There certainly seems to be some creative reorganising of the Marvel Age timeline.
I joked in my last review that we already have the answer to a world without the Avengers. It’s called the DCU and this second issue seems to embraces this whoel-heartedly by placing Super… sorry, Hyperion, front and centre. Judging by this issue, Jason Aaron really, really wants to write Superman. Hey, let’s face it, he’s been at Marvel a long time now, so who knows Maybe this whole Heroes Reborn series is an audition for DC Comics disguised as a feel-good but low-on-plot event series?
And so we get Peter Parker recast as Jimmy Olsen, pal to Hyperion and minus his Spidey powers. There’s a Mister Mxyzptlk clone and a Titano the Super Ape too. Sort of. You get the idea.
And yes, there are plenty of references to this all-new hybrid universe too, but this really is Hyperion’s issue. Probably not what people were expecting when there’s a whole new universe of amalgamated characters to explore. But then, much like Empyre, this core title seems to only exist to spawn more moolah for Marvel through tie-ins and specials. It’s all rather humdrum. And that includes the artwork by the once-spectacular Dale Keown. I almost didn’t recognise it as his style and had to do a double take. Other than the first three pages, it’s rather pedestrian given his skills. And in comparison to last issue’s spectacular art by Ed McGuinness. Who makes an appearance nearer the end of this issue in the back-up strip. But, by then, I had almost given up on this issue. If I wanted a Superman comic, I’d buy a Superman comic. And not one drawn by THREE different artists.
And once again, it’s only in the aforementioned back-up strip that the central story of Captain America’s whereabouts and a newly empowered God of Thunder comes back into play. That’s a lot of wasted comic book real estate just for a last page reveal. It just seems like a waste of a comic and possibly another wasted Marvel event.
What is it with recent big events that bring out the mediocre in top tier writers? No wonder more and more are turning to self-publishing and creator-owned series. Corporate comics are seemingly becoming evermore middle of the road with just the slightest of illusion we are getting a wise range of diverse titles when we seem to just get more Batman, more X-Men and more safe bets from the Big Two. Yawn!
Heroes Reborn #2 is available now from Marvel.