January 28, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Noteworthy Issues: Heroes Reborn #6 (June, 2021)

Power Princess meets an unexpected challenge.

So far in this new Heroes Reborn storyline, I’ve seen each member of the current Squadron Supreme get the spotlight, many of them showing some of the less savory stereotypes about Americans.  Hyperion thought of a simplified view of American history that ignores the dark side.  The Blur was all about mindless consumerism and having a nonexistent attention span.  Doctor Spectrum was a judgmental nationalist.  Nighthawk was a corrupt politician.

So, what’s Power Princess’s whole deal?

Issue:   Heroes Reborn #6, June 2021

Writer:  Jason Aaron

Artists:  Ed McGuinness and Erica D’Urso

The Plot:  Power Princess has more or less eliminated every godlike being that she’s come across.  So why does an unexpected return bother her so much?

Commentary:  Power Princess is, of course, a Wonder Woman knock-off.  And as such, she almost certainly will represent the darker aspects of the character.  In this case, well, Zarda basically just lives to fight.

She’s good at it, too.  Her own personal headquarters is littered with fallen foes.  See, she has the ability to turn the beings she’s defeated to stone, and they’re all out on her lawn around the Statue of Liberty.  As a Wonder Woman stand-in, she has her own Cheetah and Giganta in the form of Tigra and the Wasp, but there’s also Gorr the God-Butcher, and the King in Black.  Other flashbacks shows she defeated a Phoenix-powered Jean Grey.  And in the middle there is Hercules, who briefly returns to his flesh and blood to have a good laugh.  See, there’s a sound Zarda finds troubling, coming from Asgard, a realm where all the gods were killed in a battle.

That sound?  Thunder.

Yeah, Thor remembered who he was, and unlike the other Avengers that Blade has been gathering, he’s on his own looking for answers.

So, it looks like the thing this mini-series has been slowly building towards–an all-out clash between the Avengers and the Squadron–will finally happen.  Yes, Hyperion was weirded out a bit by a handshake with a man he didn’t know was Captain America and Nighthawk met his match in a brief scuffle with Black Panther in the guise of Ronin, but this is a all-out brawl between a newly returned Thor and a Zarda who has no idea who he is.  After all the ornaments on Zarda’s lawn, I would have thought that Thor would not have been much of a problem for Zarda, but instead he more than holds his own.  It was a bit like when Hyperion seemed to feel weaker in the presence of Captain America.  There’s no way Cap should make a character like Hyperion feel weaker, and yet it happened all the same.  That suggests the truth may be more powerful than the Squadron, and while they may be able to wrack up all kinds of victories in the world around them, those victories were against Marvel heroes and villains that were also altered by the new reality.  Thor, like Captain America, represents the “real” world where things turned out the way they should.

It’s noteworthy, I think, to also point out that whatever Asgardian legends exist in this new reality, they do not even mention Thor.  Zarda has no clue who this guy with the hammer is standing in Asgard’s ruins.

This is getting interesting, especially since it appears the next issue will feature the two teams finally squaring off.

As for the tie-ins for this issue, there was only one, one showing what may be this universe’s Suicide Squad, where brainwashed antiheroes run missions for the government against various enemies.  There’s a Punisher who doesn’t know his family is dead, an Elektra that doesn’t know she’s also brainwashed, and a Cloak and Dagger working, at first, on opposite sides of the conflict.  Given the brainwashing, this may actually be a darker version of the Suicide Squad.  At least the Squad knows their own reality for what it is…

Grade:  B

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