What if... the world had no Avengers?

It’s a concept that’s been explored in many Marvel Comics through the years (most with the words What If...? right in the title) but it’s getting new life in a just-announced series called Heroes Reborn. The series will take place in an alternate reality where the Avengers never existed. That’s not to say there aren’t any heroes though — as instead the world is protected by the Squadron Supreme, among others. The only person who seems to know something is wrong is the vampire hunter Blade.

The series will be written by Jason Aaron (AvengersThor) and illustrated by Ed McGuinness (AvengersHulk). There’s also a trailer for the new project; you can watch it below.

Via the press release here’s a bit more about the premise:

Welcome to a world where Tony Stark never built an Iron Man armor. Where Thor is a hard-drinking atheist who despises hammers. Where Wakanda is dismissed as a myth. And where Captain America was never found in the ice, because there were no Avengers to find him. Instead this world has always been protected by Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Squadron Supreme of America.

This is not the first Marvel comic with the title Heroes Reborn. In the 1990s, several former Marvel creators who’d left to found Image Comics — including Jim Lee and Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld — returned to take over four books that were then suffering from sluggish sales: Fantastic FourIron ManCaptain America, and The Avengers. (Yes, believe it or not, 25 years ago, nobody cared about the Avengers.) Rather than have Lee and Liefeld take over the existing books, these characters were sent off to another dimension where they could be rebooted, their origins retold in a modern ’90s context. The books were known collectively as “Heroes Reborn.” (After a year, the characters all returned to the main Marvel Comics Universe.)

The new series essentially flips that concept on its head; instead of a world where the Avengers are created and are the heroes, this Heroes Reborn imagines a universe where the team never existed. Aaron and McGuinness are an excellent team, it should make for an interesting series. Heroes Reborns will arrive in comic shops this May.

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