If you’re wondering what happened to the last arc of the “Heroes Reborn” issues, “World War 3” (for those of you who don’t know that’s a crossover with the Wildstorm Universe) I’ll do the entire event as a Scanning My Collection article next week…just to get the darn thing over with. I’m not waiting four weeks!
Heroes Reborn: The Return #1
Marvel Comics (December, 1997)“The Judgement” WRITER: Peter David PENCILER: Salvator Larroca INKER: Art Thibert COLORIST: Steve Buccellato LETTERER: Kolja Fuchs ASSISTANT EDITOR: Polly Watson EDITOR: Bobby Chase
Franklin Richards is the one responsible for putting the heroes who sacrificed themselves against Onslaught into the Reborn universe (which should make you very worried about this kid’s mind, never mind his powers). This has not gone unnoticed by the Celestials, who send an agent named Ashema, “She Who Hears” (spoiler: she will proceed to do more yelling at Franklin than listening). She takes Franklin into the Reborn universe where Sue has been having strange emotional reactions all day. Ashema decrees that Franklin must decide which universe to destroy…the regular Marvel universe or his Reborn universe, and he decides to ask the only people he trusts…his parents who now have never heard of him!
What they got right: If you ever wondered what would happen to the Man-Thing (who somehow became Franklin’s guardian) if felt fear, like when Ashema confronts him, now you know…he burns himself. The catch-up pages, which Marvel had started using partway through the Reborn event but is expanded here to catch everyone on what led to the Reborn universe, was a great idea. The comic is extra-length but uses the space well.
What they got wrong: Like I said, “She Who Hears” doesn’t really listen. The art, which thank Kirby is still better than any of the Reborn comics, is still a bit 90’s in the face. Frankly especially has some strange expressions but at least you can tell what emotion he’s conveying. My biggest issue, however, is the coloring of the font used for Ashema’s voice. I know they’re trying to convey the otherworldly Celestial has a different voice, but the only time you can read what she’s saying easily is when she yells at Franklin to lower his voice.
Recommendation: Ignore the Reborn titles and just go right to here. You’ll be better off.