‘Heroes Reborn’ imagines a world with no Avengers

The series spins out of Jason Aaron’s work on ‘Avengers.’

Marvel has announced Heroes Reborn, a new project by Jason Aaron and Ed McGuiness that asks the question, “What if the Avengers never assembled?”

The story spins out of Aaron’s current work on Avengers, as the world is “reborn” after the Phoenix burns it to ashes — at least that’s what Executive Editor Tom Brevoort says.

“It’s only natural that after the Phoenix burns the world to ash, there should come a rebirth, and so REBORN is the next big step in the massive super-story that Jason and Ed have been crafting in Avengers,” he said. “Prepare to enter a very different yet hauntingly familiar Marvel Universe!”

In the reborn world, Tony Stark never built his armor, Thor avoids hammer and a frozen Captain America was never found. Only Blade seems to remember the way things were, as he looks for what shifted reality. The story will feature the Squadron Supreme, who have been a thorn in the Avengers side as of late, and also, if you look closely at the teaser image, Mephisto — another thorn who has popped up in Aaron’s run.

Here’s the description from Marvel.com: Welcome to a world where Tony Stark never built an Iron Man armor. Where Thor is a hard-drinking atheist who despises hammers. Where Wakanda is dismissed as a myth. And where Captain America was never found in the ice, because there were no Avengers to find him. Instead this world has always been protected by Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Squadron Supreme of America. And now the Squadron face an attack from some of their fiercest enemies, like Dr. Juggernaut, the Black Skull, the Silver Witch and Thanos with his Infinity Rings. Blade is the one man alive who seems to remember that the entire world has somehow been… reborn. And so begins his search for the cause behind this ominous shift in reality.

“Maybe the wildest story I’ve ever put on paper. I got to cut loose on this and release my inner comic-reared child in a really profound way, and together with a cadre of immensely imaginative artists, we built a world that I’m pretty confident in saying is quite unlike any version of the Marvel Universe you’ve seen before,” Aaron said of his latest Marvel saga. “It grew out of the pages of my Avengers run, but kept getting bigger and bigger as it went, and the more pieces I put in place for this Reborn world, the more gleeful and excited I became. This project really stoked the fires of my love for comics in all the right ways.”

Leading up to the announcement, Marvel has released several teaser images for it featuring characters from all over the Marvel Universe. In this new universe, it looks like Reed Richards and Ben Grimm joined SHIELD, Phil Coulson is running for president, Dr. Doom became the Juggernaut and Aurora wields Mick Foley’s barbed-wired baseball bat:

The teasers were drawn by Carlos Pacheco and Rafael Fontirez (except for Coulson and Peter Parker, who were inked by Mariano Taibo) with colors by Matt Milla.

“I’ve been having an absolute blast designing and drawing some new spins on old favorites Jason Aaron has brought to the table,” McGuinness said. “They are all with a purpose story wise which makes them really cool to get into from the art side of things. He may be the maddest scientist of all!”

Heroes Reborn #1 arrives in May.

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