What Are You Reading? | ‘Batman: Fortress,’ ‘The Closet’ and more

See what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately, which includes ‘Avengers Forever,’ ‘JLA Classified,’ ‘Little Monsters,’ ‘Strange’ and more.

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our look at what the Smash Pages crew has been checking off their “to read” list lately. Today’s reviews include some Batman, some Justice League, some Avengers and some horror comics.

Let us know what you’ve been reading lately in the comments or on social media.

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Aaron + Walker head back to the past for ‘Avengers: 1,000,000 B.C.’ one-shot

The one-shot promises to reveal more about ‘Thor’s mysterious connection to the Phoenix Force.’

Jason Aaron will continue the story of the prehistoric Avengers in a one-shot this summer titled Avengers: 1,000,000 B.C. He’ll be joined by artist Kev Walker on the story, which promises to reveal more about Thor’s relationship with the Phoenix Force.

“The Prehistoric Avengers have been an important key to my Avengers run since the very beginning,” Aaron told Marvel.com. “They are the earliest versions of some of the earth’s most powerful legacy characters. They’re the heroes who protect the Marvel Universe in its crib. Now, we finally get to see them all in the spotlight in a huge way, in a story that shows how these prehistoric heroes shaped Marvel history in the most profound ways and that will also have big ramifications for the Avengers going forward.”

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Marvel announces plans for milestone ‘Avengers’ #750

The oversized issue will include stories by Jason Aaron, Christopher Ruocchio, Steve McNiven, Carlos Pacheco and more.

Marvel is pulling out the stops on issue #750 of the Avengers, which arrives in November, as the 96-page issue will include multiple stories by current Avengers writer Jason Aaron and artists like Carlos Pacheco, Aaron Kuder, Ed McGuinness and Javier Garrón.

“It’s such an honor to be a part of issue #750 of Avengers, and I’m looking to celebrate the rich history of the title and its iconic characters by using this issue as the gargantuan-sized kick-off for a story that’ll be as wildly sweeping and swing-for-the-fences epic as it can possibly be,” Aaron told Marvel.com. “It’s not just that everything I’ve been doing in the last 50 issues of Avengers has been leading to this, but there are threads feeding into the next year’s worth of stories that stretch back to most every major series I’ve ever written in my 15 years at Marvel Comics.”

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Magpies and rats: The Heroes Reborn roundtable, week one

Carla, Tom, Shane and JK assemble to discuss Marvel’s latest comics event.

Marvel kicked off a new Heroes Reborn miniseries/event last Wednesday, the first of eight issues (and several tie-ins) that tell the story of a Marvel Universe where the Avengers never assembled. Instead, the Squadron Supreme, which takes its direction from a Phil Coulson who is much more menacing than Clark Gregg ever was, is now the MU’s primary super team.

With the first issue by Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales and Matthew Wilson now out in the wild, Shane Bailey, Tom Bondurant, Carla Hoffman and I thought we’d discuss the event each week, roundtable style, like we did with Future State earlier this year.

So grab your copy of the first issue and let’s get to it …

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Marvel reveals more ‘Heroes Reborn’ details + covers

Dale Keown, Federico Vicentini and James Stokoe join Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness for the event series.

Marvel has revealed more details on their upcoming Heroes Reborn event series, which will spin out of Jason Aaron’s current run on Avengers. The alternate-reality story imagines a world where the Avengers never assembled.

Ironically, the Squadron Supreme — Marvel’s, um, homage to the Justice League — will become Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in this vacuum. They’ll also take center stage on the series’ covers:

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‘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.

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C2E2: Marvel announces ‘Ultraman’ creative team

‘The Rise of Ultraman’ will be written by Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom, with artwork by Francesco Manna.

It was a bit surprising last year when Marvel announced plans to bring the popular Japanese superhero Ultraman to America. At C2E2 this weekend, the publisher revealed the creative team and some cover art for the series, which will debut later this year.

The Rise of Ultraman will be written by Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom, with artwork by Francesco Manna.

“A few years ago, thanks to my time on Power Rangers, I was able to discover and learn more about Tokusatsu. With its wildly different conventions and inspirations, Tokusatsu — and Ultraman in particular — has been a huge source of joy for me,” said Higgins. “It’s a genre so ripe with possibilities, even down to what we conceive of in the structure of Super Hero storytelling. It’s both an honor and a privilege to bring Ultraman to Marvel.”

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