In Marvel’s Heroes Reborn, Hyperion proves that the Fantastic Four have been making an assumption about Doctor Doom that isn’t true.
Warning: spoilers ahead for Heroes Reborn #1!
Marvel Comics’ new Heroes Reborn event has begun, and Marvel’s version of Superman has just proved the Fantastic Four very wrong. Taking place in a remade Marvel Universe where the Squadron Supreme of America has replaced Avengers who never assembled, this new universe features all kinds of major changes and shifts in the familiar status quo. For example, Doctor Doom is the nemesis of Hyperion, as the Fantastic Four never got their powers. As a result, Hyperion ends up disproving a belief Marvel’s First Family have maintained about their longtime foe in the normal Marvel universe.
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In this first issue of Heroes Reborn from writer Jason Aaron and artist Ed McGuinness, Blade the Vampire Hunter is the only person who remembers the world as it should be and as such he guides readers through this new world, revealing all of the changes such as Tony Stark never building his Iron Man suit, Thor being a drunk atheist, Captain America remaining trapped in ice, and much more. However, he also shows what’s new, such as Doctor Doom transforming himself into Doctor Juggernaut in order to take down his nemesis Hyperion, all while the rest of the Squadron Supreme of America battle the “Masters of Doom” like Black Skull (a Red Skull/Venom hybrid) or the Silver Witch (Wanda Maximoff wielding her own magic with her brother’s speed).
As Hyperion and Doctor Juggernaut battle, it’s revealed that the two of them have been foes for a long time, and that Hyperion at one point banished Doom to the Negative Zone (similar to how DC’s Superman has sent many of his foes into the Phantom Zone). However, Doom has somehow escaped in this issue, and he’s looking for revenge due to Hyperion having allegedly turned his country of Latveria against him. Hyperion points out that Latveria rejected Doom itself, as he came last in fair elections overseen by the Squadron.
While Doctor Doom has been the ruler of Latveria for decades in the standard Marvel Universe, it appears that the country would wholeheartedly reject him if given the chance. This is interesting, as many have questioned why the Fantastic Four would allow Doom to retain his power and lead Latveria even after all the terrible things he’s done. The answer has usually been that Doom is seemingly the lesser evil, as past attempts to empower new leadership in Latveria (such as with Lucia von Bardas or a run at democracy) have ultimately crashed and burned, requiring Doom to resume the throne once more – sometimes with the hero team’s help. But while the Fantastic Four have time and again gone along with the logic that Doctor Doom is a necessary presence whose worst impulses just need to be controlled, it seems as though the Latveria of Heroes Reborn has found a way to prosper without Doom, thanks to the support they received from the Squadron Supreme.
All in all, it looks as though the Fantastic Four have been taking the easy way out, as they’ve yet to find a way in the normal universe to remove Doom from power. Heroes Reborn and Hyperion have proved that it can be done, so if the world can be set to rights, it will finally be on the genius team’s shoulders to find a way to free Latveria from Doom. Of course, they’ll be doing so without a Superman-level hero at their beck and call.
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