Heroes Reborn #4
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by James Stokoe and Ed McGuinness
Inks by Mark Morales
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Letters by Cory Petit
The Rundown: Doctor Spectrum patrols the universe dispensing his own brand of American justice on the lowly denizens of space.
Doctor Spectrum has cut a swath of destruction across the stars in the name of America and his actions have devastated worlds. Worlds that view him as a threat bigger than any they could face and for which they will look to a bounty hunter to take down. After returning Thanos to the black site prison he created in space, Spectrum finds himself looking down the barrel of Rocket Raccoon and his arsenal.
After a devastating space battle, Rocket gets the upperhand, but Spectrum is not that easily defeated and finds a way to fight back. A fight that will be both brutal and devstating. In its wake, an unknown figure mourns for a lost friend and Spectrum confronts Coulson about the changes in the world. Changes that begin to take shape as only being could shape them.
At the same time, the young Starbrand is discovered by Rocket and Groot floating through the stars. After growing up with the pair in deep space, the death of Rocket sparks her desire to return to Earth. A desire Groot will find hard to stop and her ticket back to Earth comes in the form of a familiar face.
The Story: This story has been hot or cold with me since it began. The premise is solid and intriguing but the execution has been hit or miss. This issue is a miss only in its cartoonish depiction of Doctor Spectrum. Aaron makes him way too obvious of a bad guy and spends more time manipulating the emotions of the reader than making a genuine case for this character being a threat. It was a good premise and I liked how the nods to the worst of American foreign policy, but it was way too heavy handed to be entertaining beyond the surface.
The Art: Stokoe has an interesting visual eye and style. Unfortunately, the cartoonish nature of the plot emphasized the wrong things in the art.