Heroes Return #1: Review

Jun 2021
Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness

Story Name:

The Man Who Rebooted the World

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Heroes Return #1 Review by (June 23, 2021)

Review: Wait, what? The well-written, well-drawn event wraps up where we all thought it would in issue #7 of HEROES REBORN with a big battle and everything is set right as we turn a page and the point of the story remains unclear. The bulk of the main series was a variation on the Amalgam series where much of the fun was seeing what this alternate version of the familiar comics was like. Herein, we got that too but not much else, other than to give Nighthawk a new mission in life and revealing that there are a lot more Mephistos than anyone could want. The strangest aspect was the use of Phil Coulson as the Big Bad; this seemed quite out of character for the dogged and affable agent, acting out of envy and spite but he’s changed since being murdered by Deadpool and resurrected by Mephisto. In fact, Coulson is acting quite a bit like long-time Avengers hater Henry Peter Gyrich, who is currently causing trouble in THE IMMORTAL HULK. An odd direction to take, especially as Marvel has subtly been changing the comics to match the MCU (starting with a Black Nick Fury in 616) rather than stressing the differences. Another odd note for a series full of odd notes.   

Comments: One-shot wrap up to the HEROES REBORN event of 2021. The opening page shows that Coulson has murdered Reed Richards, Ben Grimm (maybe, I’m not sure of his identity), and Peter Parker. Avengers appearing in the closing who are not present in the rest of the series include Iron Man, Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), and Ghost Rider. And among the multiple Mephistos at the end is one from the world of Spider-Ham.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Heroes Return #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Power-mad Phil Coulson has used the Pandemonium Cube to create a world where he is President of the United States and the heroes he admires, the Squadron Supreme, have supplanted the ones he didn’t like, the overrated Avengers. Now he takes off in his flying car with two fighter jets accompanying him to Wakanda where the two teams are fighting to the finish….

Hyperion takes on Thor, Power Princess battles Echo/Phoenix, Doctor Spectrum versus the new Starbrand, Blur against Black Panther, Nighthawk versus Blade, and Captain America goes after Coulson, ripping a hole in his flying car as fighter pilot Carol Danvers is reluctant to shoot a guy wearing the American flag. Thor and Hyperion slug it out, Panther slashes Blur’s legs so he can’t run but Blur retaliates with whirlwind, Starbrand destroys the Power Prism leaving Spectrum in a fetal position, Starbrand’s and Phoenix’s respective forces merge to wreck Power Princess, but Coulson blasts Cap with the Cube (though Danvers clips the President with a wing), Nighthawk electrocutes Blade, and Hyperion punches Thor out of sight. Black Panther then takes on Hyperion and Nighthawk together. Coulson’s car crashes to the ground, Cap decks Hyperion, Starbrand/Phoenix seize the Pandemonium Cube and put everything right….

Things are back to normal with most of the Avengers not having noticed the retooled world. Spider-Man encounters a confused Hyperion. Blur, Spectrum, and Power Princess are in custody, their identities unconfirmed. Nighthawk is on the loose, vowing to restore the alternate world. And Mephisto has Coulson trapped inside the Pandemonium Cube, having failed in his mission, which was to bring all 616 Mephistos together as the Council of Red for maximum mayhem….

Ed McGuinness
Mark Morales
Matthew Wilson
Leinil Francis Yu (Cover Penciler)
Leinil Francis Yu (Cover Inker)
Sunny Gho (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther


(Eric Brooks)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Phil Coulson
Phil Coulson


(Peter Parker)


Plus: Blur (of SSOA), Carol Danvers, Doctor Spectrum (of SSOA), Echo (Maya Lopez), Hyperion (of SSOA), Nighthawk (of SSOA), Power Princess (of SSOA), Squadron Supreme.

> Heroes Return: Book info and issue index

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