Thunderbolts: Heroes Reborn:The Return

Scene from Heroes Reborn:The Return 2

"The Judgment" Heroes Reborn: The Return 1 (December 1997)
"Second Coming" Heroes Reborn: The Return 2 (December 1997)
"Third Dimension" Heroes Reborn: The Return 3 (December 1997)
"Fourth and Goal" Heroes Reborn: The Return 4 (December 1997)

Reader Rating: Average; Thunderbolts Interest: High

Roll Call: Atlas, Citizen V (Zemo), Jolt, MACH-1, Meteorite (Moonstone), Songbird, Techno

Summary: The Celestials force Franklin Richards to destroy either his own world or the pocket universe into which The Avengers and company vanished after Onslaught. Featuring The Avengers (Captain America, the Falcon, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Thor, the Vision, the Wasp), Dr. Doom, Dr. Strange, Eternity, The Fantastic Four (The Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, the Human Torch, the Thing), Hercules, the Hulk, Loki, Man-Thing, She-Hulk, Spider-Man.

Continuity: The T-Bolts only appear briefly: In a news recap in chapter 1, and, minus Techno, in a couple of panels in chapter 2, but the story is crucial: As the heroes’ departures created the opportunity for the ‘Bolts in the first place, so their return sets up the astonishing events to follow. Hawkeye comes back to the Marvel Universe, once more an Avenger and with his damaged hearing restored as confirmed in "House Cleaning" ( 2001/08/02).

Comments: This is the type of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink story that I do not care for. The stakes are so high that the powers of our heroes – the heroes for whom I read comics – are rendered meaningless. The Salvador Larroca artwork is impressive, although there are too many big pictures for my taste. Peter David’s script is thin; too much is left to the reader’s assumption. Why do the Celestials insist that either real Earth or Franklin’s Earth must be destroyed? Why must the Heroes be returned to their point of origin? David lets the Celestials’ demands remain cryptic, with frustrating results. And, stretching credulity completely, during the Thunderbolts’ entire brief battle with the Hulk, Citizen V doesn’t say one word!

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This page was revised on August 4, 2001

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