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Heroes Reborn was a 1996-1997 crossover story arc among comic-book series published by the American company Marvel Comics. During this one-year, multi-title story arc, Marvel temporarily outsourced the production of several of its most famous comic books to the studios of its popular former employees Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld.

Following the apparent deaths of The Avengers, Fantastic Four, and Doctor Doom battling Onslaught in Onslaught: Marvel Universe, they were "reborn" and certain aspects of their earlier stories were expanded with the intent of telling their adventures anew for modern generations. This was eventually explained, in-story, as their having been transported into a pocket universe by Franklin Richards, the near-omnipotent, psychic son of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, to save them, where they lived in the so-called "Franklin-verse", oblivious to what had happened to them. Once the contract for the titles expired, the heroes were brought back to the mainstream Marvel Universe in the miniseries Heroes Reborn: The Return.

Tropes associated with this work:

  • All the Myriad Ways: The Heroes Reborn Earth was actually revisited several times; it was conquered by both Doctor Doom and Baron Zemo, and it's currently filling the position of Counter-Earth.
  • Amnesia Danger: Captain America. Heroes Reborn started with him as an ordinary family man with a loving wife and son -- who dreamed of World War II battlefields each night. He eventually learned that SHIELD had mindwiped him to keep him under control, and that his wife and son were Life Model Decoy robots.
  • The Atoner: Tony Stark.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Heroes Reborn: The Return, the miniseries that hauled everyone back to Earth-616 once it was clear that Heroes Reborn was a failure. Before then, the second halves of the Captain America and The Avengers titles, both heavily Retooled after Liefeld rejected Marvel's new contract terms and Wildstorm took over production.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: When an alternate version of the Heroes Reborn universe's Rikki Barnes is stranded in the mainline Marvel Universe, she meets John Barnes, an alternate version of her brother. Unlike her real brother, who was a criminal, a wannabe Neo-Nazi, and a rather unpleasant person in general, MU!John was kind and helpful. Seeing this as a chance to have the kind of caring brother-sister relationship she never had with her real brother, Rikki befriended John. Unfortunately, this John never had a sister, and he misinterpreted Rikki's intentions. He eventually tried to kiss her. When the shocked Rikki tries to tell him that she couldn't love him that way, John doesn't take it well. At all.
  • Captain Ersatz: Rikki Barnes took inspiration from Carrie Kelly, the original female Robin from The Dark Knight Returns.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Reed Richards, Victor Von Doom, Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, and Henry Pym studied together when they went to college. They even called themselves "The Atomic Knights[1] of the Round Table" before drifting apart.
  • The Faceless: Hawkeye.
  • Fifth Week Event: Although Heroes Reborn was only scheduled for twelve issues, each title had a thirteenth issue inserted that was an Intercontinuity Crossover with Wildstorm's characters, called "World War III". The Heroes Reborn Earth was also the subject of another Fifth Week Event in 2000.
  • Groundhog Day Loop: The Heroes Reborn take on the Galactus saga. In each of the four titles, the heroes face the threat of Galactus, almost defeat him before being curbstomped, and as dinner starts, Doctor Doom fires up his time machine to try another plan in another title, saying "Time and time again."
  • HSQ: The Galactus storyline was crammed with these. The first issue literally ended with the destruction of the earth, the third issue began with the the death of the Fantastic Four.
  • Negative Space Wedgie: Gamma Core, the nuclear reactor powering Avengers Island, turns out to be this, explaining why there is a nuclear reactor near Manhattan.
  • Ultimate Universe: Before Marvel's Ultimate Universe proper, Heroes Reborn was meant as an example of this trope.


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