Writer Jim Zub and artist Steven Cummings use what could have been a standard crossover book to make something so off the wall and engaging that it supersedes the crossover itself. The massive twist which makes this book so worthwhile is the inclusion of Deadpool who breaks the 4th wall in every way possible and makes this an entertaining book and also redirects our young heroes.
Ultimately this is also a book about rebelling against an adult world of callousness and cruelty by being kind, heroic and uniting with others who want a better world. Most importantly it arrives at this place organically rather than preaching.
The Heroes Reborn crossover involves a world in which the Avengers never existed and the Squadron Supreme of America are earth’s mightiest heroes. This seems like a fair exchange but the Squadron Supreme is not a kindly group. They take pleasure in punishing others and act less than heroic in this universe, willing to use their anger and aggression beyond what would be acceptable in any world. Our young Squadron of Heroes is not aware of this as they each go through their respective origins.
The first half of the issue gives us their unique origin stories in this new universe. Sam Alexander, Kamala Khan and Miles Morales gain powers from the prism of Dr Spectrum, the Utopian Relic of Power Princess and the inspiration of Nighthawk respectively. The other heroes take these new heroes pretty well except for Nighthawk who is furious at Miles for taking on the guise of Falcon soon after his last sidekick of the same name was killed by The Goblin.
Miles as the new Falcon quickly meets up with Kamala’s Girl Power and Sam’s Kid Spectrum as they all face down threats in the street. They unite to form Young Squadron and work to take on a Utopian powered Wrecking Crew. The battle is going well until the insane Deadpool of this universe crashes the party intent on taking down Young Squadron out of sheer fanboy rage. He’s angry that Falcon has seemingly come back from the dead saying he was promised that ‘Dead will stay dead’. His rant is clearly a tribute to how all of us sound on Twitter.
Deadpool kidnaps Falcon and Kamala and Sam meet up with blogger Rick Jones to discover how he’s been tracking them for his stories. Rick helps them pinpoint where Falcon has been taken. They free Falcon and take down Deadpool who then disrupts the joyful comic narration to reveal the true hellish evil behind the Squadron Supreme.
Nighthawk picks up Deadpool from Kamala and Sam but they realize he is clearly out to destroy Miles as well. The issue ends with the heroes renaming themselves as Champions and promising to show this world and its ostensible heroes a better path.
The art throughout the issue is solid, well done and easy to follow. The new character looks and costumes are interesting and different enough from their normal counterpoints without making the heroes unrecognizable. The characters all look fantastic and the art never distracts from the humor and action but it could do more to add to it.
This is a solid, enjoyable book helped greatly by the inclusion of Deadpool who adds a massive injection of classic Zub humor even while allowing the story to move quickly without too much angst and exposition. This is a team and setup which would truly be fun to revisit which is rare in any modern crossover.
Writing: 3.8 of 5 stars
Art: 3.0 of 5 stars
Colors: 3.0 of 5 stars
Overall: 3.3 of 5 stars
Writer: Jim Zub
Art: Steven Cummings
Colors: Erick Arciniega
Publisher: Marvel Comics