PUBLISHER: MARVEL, 1997
WRITERS: JIM LEE, BRANDON CHOI, WALT SIMONSON, JEPH LOEB
ARTISTS: RON LIM, BRETT BOOTH, MICHAEL RYAN, ANTHONY WYNN, ED BENES, TERRY SHOEMAKER, MIKE MILLER, JOE BENNETT
Much of the second half of the Heroes Reborn titles (especially Fantastic Four) were given over to the build-up to the arrival of Galactus and the twelfth issue of the four titles, all 48 pagers, covered this in "Heroes Reunited". As the name suggested this saw the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and the various supporting characters from Iron Man and Captain America all muck in against the big purple planet eater. The odd thing is, though, that it's an anti-crossover in a way - each title effectively has its' own crack.
In the first three instances the heroes lose, the sole survivor being a time-jumping Victor von Doom who works out what's needed by trial and error. It's an interesting approach for sure, and in Fantastic Four #12 at least has some shock value as people start dying. After that it gets a bit predictable and the Avengers & Iron Man instalments especially feel like treading water now the format's been blown but the creative teams all take some pleasure in killing off everyone else's characters early doors (the Fantastic Four getting ICBM'd about a quarter of the way through the Avengers #12 is the peak).
The non-central cast only really get a workout in their own books - the Inhumans are only really seen in Fantastic Four (and then briefly, certainly not enough to justify the time wasted introducing them), the full Avengers roster (including a repaired Vision) only gets much to do in their own book, Iron Man #12 is the only one to pretend that the Hulkbusters are in on this and Captain America #12 is the only one to bring Falcon and Bucky into things.
The final issue featured Doom's time travel equipment damaged, making the fourth attempt all or nothing. Convenient, that. After a promising start the finale is weak, the Silver Surfer being persuaded to fight against Galactus entirely by Bucky being stupid and then defeating him fairly easily before some wrap-up stuff for Cap's solo storylines, making for an underwhelming conclusion.
While it's a marked improvement on Industrial Revolution it's another weak crossover, this time due to a botched format experiment that isn't without promise but only works once rather than the three times it's actually used. It ensures that the last real event of the Heroes Reborn universe is as much of a failure as everything else.