Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: James Stokoe, Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales, Matthew Wilson, VC’s Cory Petit, Sunny Gho, and Leinil Francis Yu
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 26th, 2021
With the celestial vigor of his Power Prism, Doctor Spectrum has become one of the most feared protectors in the universe. Nevertheless, now the evil forces of deep space have dispatched the cosmos’ most infamous bounty hunter, Rocket Raccoon, to finish Spectrum for good! Let’s dive into HEROES REBORN #4 by Jason Aaron to find out a bit more about this new universe, its heroes, and the ones forgotten.
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon.
ON THE SPECTRUM
For those unaware, Doctor Spectrum is MARVEL COMICS version of GREEN LANTERN. He can manipulate light and make constructs into almost anything. His weakness… ultraviolet light (instead of the color yellow). So, Jason Aaron takes readers on a small journey surrounding another key player of the SQUADRON SUPREME in which readers see a showdown between Doctor Spectrum and Rocket Raccoon.
Now, my first thought is the misrepresentation of the cover. When I see THANOS, I get jazzed. Plus, a showdown between Spectrum and THANOS would play well within the context. Yet, we don’t really see that at all. Readers get one-half page in which it appears as though Doctor Spectrum manhandles him with ease. No… it’s Rocket Raccoon who gives Doctor Spectrum a run for his money. Really? I know this is an Elseworld (kind of) story. But, in what reality do I believe Rocket is a larger threat than THANOS with “Infinity Rings”? I just can’t buy it.
Now, the believability of this story wasn’t the biggest problem in HEROES REBORN #4. James Stokoe’s art leaves a bit to be desired. The illustrations seemed extremely heavy in what appears to be pencil lining while the coloring was exceptionally dull and muted. Oftentimes, the panels were too busy, along with the penciling, which added to the confusion happening within each frame. The art just wasn’t crisp and vibrant, which is what you’d expect from someone controlling light energy from a prism. This issue should have popped with color! If not for the dialogue to guide me, I would have been perplexed as to what was going on throughout the entire issue.
So, we affirm that Mephisto is certainly behind this… to a degree. Is Coulson also involved? Maybe. It remains to be seen. Yet, we notice that Mephisto has somehow altered the entire landscape of the universe making him “God”. As this issue of HEROES REBORN comes to a close, we see Doctor Spectrum with President Coulson in a church directly in front of a Mephisto statue. It couldn’t be more clear that he has something to do with all of this. Yet, could this be a red herring?
As we pass the halfway point, we merely are introduced to each character in the SQUADRON SUPREME and get a taste as to who may be involved. However, from covers back in issue one of HEROES REBORN, many have already speculated Mephisto’s involvement. So, what have we really received from these issues? HEROES REBORN appears to simply be a series of one-shots about DC COMIC spin-off characters in the SQUADRON SUPREME. The issues are entertaining but their pertinence is lacking. Their point and purpose are missing. The best comparison I can come up with is the MARVEL 2099 comics that came out in 2019. That’s exactly what this series reminds me of. Furthermore, Stokoe’s illustrations this week added no flare or excitement to the issue causing the story to feel flat and lackluster.
Truthfully, more is needed to keep this event alive. An event that began with excitement and intrigue has turned dull and mild. Readers need more than one-shot bio pieces with one-page cliffhangers. If you’re curious about the SQUADRON SUPREME or Doctor Spectrum, this issue is for you. Otherwise, you can pass and really not miss a beat in the entire story to this point. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God bless!