If you’re a fan of alternate tales like What If, you’ll find Heroes Reborn a lot of fun. This story has been in the making by Jason Aaron for some time, who has laid the groundwork for a world where the Avengers don’t exist and the Squadron Supreme rules as the Earth’s superhero team. This weekly series continues with Heroes Reborn #2 (check out our review of #1 to catch up), and this week it’s all about Hyperion. Or, as Ben Grimm calls him, “Hype!”
If you haven’t already figured out, Hyperion is a stand-in for Superman. This is made even more obvious in Heroes Reborn #2, which focuses on the heroic acts of this flying hero from another world who gains his strength from the sun. By all accounts, he means well and wants to do right for the world, but he’s also very much a 1950s white, American, Christian man. That makes him a bit out of touch with a more open-minded hero, but he means well. As Aaron reveals more about this hero’s day today, the issue reveals he and the other heroes don’t treat villains very kindly and their more harsh ways certainly lack empathy. But hell, Hyperion’s Jimmy Olsen is Peter Parker, so he can’t be all bad, right?
Aside from connecting Hyperion to Superman — right down to Hulk serving as his Bizarro — this issue also does a good job in showing how powerful this character is as he can take out nearly every villain in a few hours. By all accounts, he’s stronger than the entire Avengers combined, though he’s also doing it all alone. If we’ve learned anything from comics, you need to team up and work together! This issue also progresses the plot ever so slightly with a good backup story drawn by Ed McGuinness. It keeps Blade’s narrative moving forward from the last issue.
The main story is drawn by Dale Keown and Carlos Magno with colors by Edgar Delgado. They give the book the detailed superhero look you’d come to expect from a hero impersonating Superman. The coolest aspect of this issue is the gnarly villains, most of which are mashups or interesting new takes on familiar faces. Ultron is particularly cool as he’s huge, but also textured in an interesting way. Most action sequences resort to a single blow by Hyperion, likely for story reasons, which can make the fighting simple. There is a great sequence involving the Hulk, though. Ultimately, the art team does a good job establishing that Hyperion is a good guy but he simply doesn’t know killing or imprisoning a villain forever is wrong. That’s a problem he’ll pay for once the Avengers likely show up later.
For a comic like this, the story could have done more to get inside Hyperion’s head. He means well, and there are definitely some questionable choices made, but it never goes deep enough to understand the man inside the spandex. Other elements, like how fast he can kill Galactus — seemingly defying everything we know about the character — seem too easy, even if you can see how they serve their storytelling purpose. The book never probes deep enough.
Heroes Reborn kicks off its second issue with a focused narrative on Hyperion. This issue is like a good alternate take on Superman, right down to some winks and nods to the reader you’ll most certainly get. As a single issue, it’s a touch light on plot progression and Hyperion isn’t the most complex of characters, but as a chapter in a bigger story, it keeps your interest and helps convey how this kind of hero doesn’t work in the Marvel universe.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!