AVENGERS #1-13 (1996-1997): Heroes Reborn

In 1996, Marvel was sucking wind and Image Comics (and WildStorm) was getting all the love. Why?

Good question. Their books really weren’t great. But they had fresher ideas.

When the indie creators took over Marvel’s books for a year, we got art like this:

And this:

And this:

It makes you wonder if they were trying to suck, since Marvel was their competition. All the creators involved were capable of much better work.

I originally was going to give these issues full coverage, like any other monthly comic, but as I’ve (tried to) read them, I realize (a) they are mostly not about the 616 universe since they take place in Franklin Richards’ brain and only include 616 characters “killed” by Onslaught and, more importantly, (b) they suck. I mean really, really suck.

I really don’t want to tag all the “Franklin universe” characters and talk about them but one of them survives the event, so I’ll mention him. That’s all I’m going to do for my coverage of these issues. Storywise, just know the (not) Avengers fight (not) Kang and (not) Ultron and meet (not) Mantis and lots of (not) versions of characters you probably used to like before you saw them here.

First, meet the new Hawkeye.

Same as the old Hawkeye. Literally. For some reason, Clint Barton is completely different in this universe but he’s actually the 616 Barton. It just gets more and more confusing. As for the Heroes Reborn universe survivor, it’s Swordsman. He will reappear in a few “nostalgic” stories in the future.

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