Wednesday 10 December 2014

1997: HEROES REBORN Issue 1 (Panini UK)

From 1997: the first issue of Panini UK's HEROES REBORN COLLECTORS' EDITION, the British reprints of the rebooted Fantastic Four and Iron Man strips.

HEROES REBORN was a bizarre Marvel New York initiative that took control of some of their most bankable characters (the above plus The Avengers and Captain America) and outsourced all the creative work to Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld, two ex-Marvel creators who'd bailed years earlier as part of the mass exodus to create Image Comics.

The year-long project was mired in controversy as the radical reboots didn't always find favor with fans, alienated the existing creative teams who were unceremoniously dumped to clear the decks for the newcomers and Marvel's beleaguered editorial teams who saw some of the company's crown jewels being handed over to outsiders, on lucrative contracts, who had spent (in some cases) the previous few years bad-mouthing the publisher who had helped make them industry stars in the first place.

The experiment lasted a year (I believe Liefeld, never one of the industry's most reliable creators, was asked to exit earlier).  The characters then returned to the mainstream Marvel Universe in the Heroes Return event.  

The British edition managed a 42-issue run before shuttering.  It shouldn't be confused with the impending 2015 revival of the HEROES TV series. 

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