Heroes Reborn


Heroes Reborn

"Heroes Reborn" was a 1996-1997 crossover story arc among comic-book series published by the American company Marvel Comics. During this one-year, multi-title story arc, Marvel temporarily outsourced the production of several of its most famous comic books to the studios of its popular former employees Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld.

Publication history

Following the apparent "deaths" of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four during the Onslaught storyline, 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 their having been transported into a pocket universe by Franklin Richards, the near-omnipotent, psychic son of Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman, to save them, 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 mid-nineties for modern audiences. For instance, Ben Grimm fought as a pilot in the Gulf War instead of World War Two, and Susan and Johnny Storm were explained to have been financial backers for Reed Richards' rocket, hence their presence on the mission. In addition, while Richards' goal of becoming the first man to get to Mars remained, it was revealed that he secretly aimed to explore the instellar anomalies of that area.

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 attempted to renegotiate Liefeld and Lee's contracts, offering them less money for the projects.Fact|date=September 2007 Liefeld rejected the revised contract, while Lee accepted the new terms and took over Liefeld's titles.Fact|date=September 2007 While "Avengers" had performed poorly with fans for Liefeld's issues, Walt Simonson took over the book when it moved to WildStorm and produced a well-regarded conclusion. [cite web | title = An interview with Walt Simonson | url=http://www.ffplaza.com/commcenter/interview/simonson.shtml | accessdate = 2007-10-18 ] Although the four titles in "Heroes Reborn" were slated for a 12-issue run, James Robinson wrote a 13th 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. However, all of the titles experienced a large upsurge in sales. [cite web | title = Capital Sale Tops Turbulent Year: The Top 10 Comics News Stories of 1996 | url=http://www.cbgxtra.com/Default.aspx?tabid=1672 | accessdate = 2007-12-20 ]

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. The ensuing storyline, dubbed "Heroes Return" was once again created in-house at Marvel Comics.

"Heroes Reborn" revisited

In July 2000, Marvel collected issues "Fantastic Four" vol. 2 ,#1-6 in the trade paperback "Fantastic Four: Heroes Reborn", but no other "Heroes Reborn" reprints followed for some time.

With 2006 marking the 10th anniversary of the "Heroes Reborn" crossover, Marvel marked the occasion by having the reality-traversing Exiles team visit the "Heroes Reborn" Earth, in "Exiles" #81-82. The company also announced it was reprinting original "Heroes Reborn" series and produced trade paperbacks collecting issues 1-12 (excluding the series finale cross-over "World War III") of the four titles. Also, Marvel announced that Jeph Loeb and Rob Liefeld would reunite in November 2006 for "Onslaught Reborn", a five-part weekly limited series that would feature both Onslaught and a world similar to that the "Heroes Reborn" universe. This was planned to tie in with the memorial scholarship fund established in honor of Loeb's son Sam. [cite web | title= Ten Years Later: Onslaught Reborn | url=http://www.newsarama.com/marvelnew/Onslaught/OnslaugthReborn.htm | accessdate = 2007-12-20] [cite web | title=Onslaught Reborn #1 Preview with Loeb & Liefeld Video Interviews | url=http://popcultureshock.com/?p=40183 | accessdate = 2007-12-20]

Bibliography

*"Fantastic Four" vol. 2 #1-13
*"Avengers" Vol. 2 #1-13
*"Iron Man" vol. 2 #1-13
*"Captain America" vol. 2 #1-13
*"Heroes Reborn: The Return" #1-4 (December 1997)
*Heroes Reborn fifth week event, (January 2000):#"Heroes Reborn: Doomsday":#"Heroes Reborn: Rebel":#"Heroes Reborn: Masters of Evil":#"Heroes Reborn: Ashema":#"Heroes Reborn: Remnants":#"Heroes Reborn: Young Allies":#"Heroes Reborn: Doom"
*"Thunderbolts" #51-52, 60-64, 66, 68, 70, 72, 74
*"Exiles" #81-82
*" Onslaught Reborn" #1-5

Collected editions

*"Fantastic Four: Heroes Reborn" TPB - collects "Fantastic Four" vol. 2 #1-6 (2000, ISBN 0-7851-0744-4)
*"Heroes Reborn: Avengers" TPB - collects "Avengers" vol. 2 #1-12 (2006, ISBN 0-7851-2337-7)
*"Heroes Reborn: Captain America" TPB - collects "Captain America" vol. 2 #1-12 (2006, ISBN 0-7851-2339-3)
*"Heroes Reborn: Fantastic Four" TPB - collects "Fantastic Four" vol. 2 #1-12 (2006, ISBN 0-7851-2336-9)
*"Heroes Reborn: Iron Man" TPB - collects "Iron Man" vol. 2 #1-12 (2006, ISBN 0-7851-2338-5)
*"Exiles: World Tour, Book Two" TPB - collects "Exiles" #75-83 (2006, ISBN 0-7851-1855-1)
*"Onslaught Reborn" TPB - collects " Onslaught Reborn" #1-5 (2008, ISBN 0-7851-2191-9)

References


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