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Heroes Reborn #4: Review

May 2021
Jason Aaron, James Stokoe

Story Name:

The Most Hated Man in the Heavens

Review & Comments

4 stars

Heroes Reborn #4 Review by (May 26, 2021)

Review: I don’t know much about Doctor Spectrum in the real MU but I will assume he’s not the crackpot jingoist we see portrayed here. This guy is so pro-American he is exterminating entire alien races in the name of American exceptionalism, like U.S. Agent would do if he had godlike powers. Except even U.S. Agent has toned things down a bit these days. So Dr. Spectrum as dangerously powerful lunatic is a neat twist on the character and the series and the art is exceptional, thanks to the colorist (same guy as the artist) for making the skies a kaleidoscope of pastels, instead of the old boring dark expanse with little white dots for stars. And we get our first hint of what is behind the alternate reality as we discover that Mephisto is worshipped here. The second story just expands on the Starbrand brought up in the first tale, portraying her as a cute little girl who is going to kick butt. It also confirms the existence of Wakanda, likewise briefly mentioned in the first tale. I’m a bit disappointed that Cap and Blade didn’t make it into the issue but one can’t have everything.

Comments on tie-ins by RobFJ:-

There were 3 tie-ins published alongside this issue but I've commented on 2 of them in HR#3 where they fit better.

Young Squadron:-

Teens Kamala Khan and Sam Alexander gain powers related to Power Princess and Dr Spectrum and are accepted as their sidekicks Girl Power and Kid Spectrum. Teen science whiz Miles Morales creates a suit to enable him to take the place of Nighthawk's dead sidekick Falcon but is rejected by him. They band together as Young Squadron. But when they realise how unnecessarily violent their heroes (and Deadpool) are they swear to do better as the Champions.

I left this issue here because it has no particular connection with #3, and Sam Alexander is a protégé of Dr Spectrum. (And we haven't had the issues centred on Nighthawk and Power Princess yet.)


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Heroes Reborn #4 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

On the Blue Area of the moon, a varied group of disgruntled aliens led by the blind Watcher hire bounty hunters Rocket Raccoon and his gun Groot to track down and kill their common enemy, Doctor Spectrum….

Doctor Spectrum is in space, continuing his crusade to eliminate any aliens who could be a threat to American astronauts when they travel into space, which seems to be all of them. With fanatic zeal he blows off Thanos’ hand, scattering his Infinity Rings, and locks him in a floating prison made from the head of a Celestial. Then Rocket arrives on a flying weapons ship and he fires on Spectrum, who dodges all of the missiles. Rocket then fires the Groot gun, launching several smaller versions of Groot at the hero who deflects them with the aid of his Power Prism but the Prism gets away from him. Groot tries to seize it, firing a maggot gun at Spectrum but the Prism protects its wielder and all seems lost for Rocket—and then he manifests the power of the Starbrand. (At this point, Dr. Spectrum recalls how he fought Ego the Living Planet, forcing Ego to reveal the origin of a fleet of ships which he claims came from Wakanda; Spectrum believes Wakanda isn’t real and dunks Ego into a black hole.) Rocket assembles a gun that shoots stars but Spectrum slices the star in half and releases the Necro-System imprisoned in the Prism and Rocket is infected with cancer. Spectrum dunks the dying Rocket’s head in a supernova to force him to reveal who hired him. Report of Rocket’s death is transmitted back to his starship where a little girl bearing the Starbrand cries….

Dr. Spectrum, as his alter ego Joe Ledger, meets with President Phil Coulson in church to report on the outcome. Ledger also mentions that Blur had told him something wasn’t right with the universe. Ledger dismisses that as nonsense and they go back to worshipping Mephisto….

“Born in the Stars”
Writer: Jason Aaron. Pencils: Ed McGuiness. Inks: Mark Morales. Colors: Matthew Wilson. Letters: Cory Petit.
Synopsis: Some time ago, Rocket Racoon and Groot discovered a baby floating in space and, against Rocket’s wishes, Groot brought it onboard; then they noticed the Starbrand on its hand. And now, with Rocket dead, the somewhat older but still a kid Starbrand tells Groot to take her to Earth for revenge against Doctor Spectrum. But then a ship from Wakanda, captained by Okoye, on a mission to find the Starbrand, comes upon her and takes her aboard….

James Stokoe
James Stokoe
James Stokoe
Leinil Francis Yu (Cover Penciler)
Leinil Francis Yu (Cover Inker)
Sunny Gho (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Phil Coulson
Phil Coulson



Plus: Doctor Spectrum (of SSOA), Okoye.

> Heroes Reborn: Book info and issue index

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