Get on your pleather pants and floral print tops, losers, we’re going back to 1996. Mainstream comics were undergoing a strange, tumultuous time in the aftermath of the creator-owned explosion of Image Comics. Trying to stay on top of the sales charts had led to some pretty cringeworthy stunts, and frankly, what’s one more among friends? The X-Men’s long-building threat, Onslaught, had just seen most of the publisher’s non-mutant hero populace transported to a pocket dimension created by Franklin, the occasionally terrifying child of Sue and Reed Richards. In this world, many stories that had once taken years to build and deliver were smooshed into a much smaller number of issues. After a quick introduction, plots were completely derailed, and within about a year, we were back to the 616 with a general “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” attitude about the whole event.
Heroes Reborn: Avengers undergoes at least three major creative lineup changes in twelve issues, which may give you a decent idea of how disjointed and weird this series is, even when completely divorced from the greater Heroes Reborn context. It might also go without saying that this series, which barely manages to eek out a single coherent plotline over the course of a year, doesn’t age great, but it still somehow isn’t the worst thing printed in 1996 (here’s looking at you, Amalgam Universe). [Read more…] about Heroes Reborn: Avengers (1996) Retrospective!