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Heroic Age

The Heroic Age: Age of Heroes

Kurt Busiek, Dan Slott, Rick Remender and Paul Cornell help blaze a trail for the latest era of Marvel greatness

By Jim Beard

As Dark Reign ends and Siege comes to a close, a new era dawns on the Marvel Universe: the Heroic Age. Helping to chronicle the first steps of this fledgling epoch in the AGE OF HEROES limited series will be the writing quartet of Kurt Busiek, Paul Cornell, Rick Remender and Dan Slott.

Busiek, the superstar scribe and AVENGERS legend making his grand return to Marvel, kicks off AGE OF HEROES with a tale of Earth's Mightiest Heroes-and New York's Most Annoying Mayor.

"My story starts shortly after the events of Siege, as people are still taking in what's happened," Busiek explains. "It focuses on J. Jonah Jameson, Mayor of New York, and how he's going to deal with the whole big ruckus. The people of New York play a part, as do the Avengers, who are off in the Midwest still dealing with some fallout from those events. It's about how ordinary people react to extraordinary events happening around them, but in this case, our witness to extraordinary events is irascible and manipulative J. Jonah Jameson, who'd love to use these events to tear down the heroes even further and glorify himself. But it may not be as easy as he thinks.

"It's very much a story about how the people of New York view their heroes, in the light of all that's gone on, so what's been happening and what's coming next are the subject of the story. It's a treat to be back playing with the Marvel characters again. It's nice to be back in this particular sandbox, being part of the new era." 

Paul Cornell's stories check in with both youthful and seasoned heroes, and how they react to the new era.

"I'm doing two short pieces, one with the Young Masters [from DARK REIGN: YOUNG AVENGERS] and one with Captain Britain and MI-13," he notes. "The Young Masters are hiding, planning a robbery, unable to agree on what direction they should take, now the world has grown away from them. The Enchantress has got even wilder since Loki's not around to mess with her. They still don't know if they're villains or heroes or what.

"[MI-13] are attending an official reception presided over by Steve Rogers, given in their honor for being the first country in the world to get rid of the Skrulls. Cap is a natural fit, the sort of hero this age was made for. As are a few of MI-13, like the Black Knight and Excalibur. Even Pete finally has to admit that it's a better place to be, and that he should put his cynicism aside and embrace it."

Dan Slott has already embraced the light, as has as a certain web-slinging wonder whose strings he often pulls, along with a few other friends.

"For Spidey, the Dark Reign is o-v-e-r!" he says. "This's a time for web-singing and wall-dancing. His neighborhood is finally friendly again. For Gauntlet and Cloud 9 [from AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE], they're at a very big crossroads. Their journeys got kick started by the end of the Civil War and the start of the Initiative. In this Heroic Age, they have to find a new place for themselves.

"And for Squirrel Girl? This is the world she was born to be in! For her the world used to be-pardon the phrase-nuts! Now it all makes sense."

One might assume that the Heroic Age and its brighter tone appeals to Slott on a basic level?

"Dude, I'm the guy who brought back Squirrel Girl," he boasts. "This is the Marvel Universe I've been dreaming of.  Fun is not a dirty word anymore."

Though fun may be the mission statement of AGE OF HEROES, not all of its characters tend to walk the paths of light.

"Doctor Voodoo and his disembodied ghost brother Daniel have resumed trying to live normal lives while playing Sorcerer Supreme of the universe," says Rick Remender of his story. "The first thing Jericho does is to take his current love interest Alexis on a date during the wild New Orleans style celebration at the end of Siege. This isn't a life or death struggle, this is Jericho trying to enjoy a single normal human moment by enjoying diner with the company of an attractive woman. Naturally, this is impossible. However, the interdimensional trouble that ensures ends up playing out almost comically.

"The world is celebrating," notes Remender. "It's akin to the end of WWII. Jericho himself has saved the entire fabric of reality, only no one is aware of it. So it's time to unclench the fists and unwind a bit. We find Jericho involved in a new struggle: to enjoy life."

Look for more Heroic Age coverage all week long on Marvel.com!


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I agree it would've needed more to pick up, and its premature feel to me was its biggest indicator that it would fizzle quick. What probably helped it dip is that it was an immediate doom and gloom series too, something that would've probably done better as a story thread in the New Avengers book while that itself threaded (no pun intended) water. After all, the selection of Drumm as Sorcerer Supreme happened in its very pages, and we all know seeing them in the same predicament against the Hood's gang over and over did little for many.Either way, I'm getting that this will be in the vein of the periodic, event-inspired anthologies, instead of issues onto themselves. At least I think that's what makes sense about these things coming out. I can see how those might feel unfulfilling for some, 'cause it doesn't seem like a real story is getting a go. I wouldn't mind a few of these titles being an ongoing anthology series though.


No offense, but I'm not picking up any of these books. I love all the characters, Voodoo, squirrel girl, was a huge excalibur fan backinaday but... all the stories seem... I dunno, y'know. I was very disappointed to see Voodoo being cancelled. Remender's a talented writer and a pretty sharp tack; that book could definitely had longevity given a couple more arcs.


I loved MI:13. Glad to see them still around. I really like Remender's writing on Dr. Voodoo and thought Bendis's story would have brought enough attention to that character to keep him going, but with everyone still using Strange for magic stories no wonder his book didn't make it. They might as well give the Sorceror Supreme title back to Strange if nobody is going to call on Voodoo for help when it comes to magic. They should at least put him on a team to give him some regular face time.


[quote@ultimate_avenger7 those are members of mi 13, i was wondering what was of them after cap brit n mi 13 #15, that's cap britain, the blond girl is meggan, his wife, the girl in white is faiza hussain, there's pete wisdome, etc, the others are pretty obvious xD[/quote] To be clear, Meggan has a white dress under a red robe/cape while Faiza/Excalibur has a white robe over her blue suit and is on the right of the pic. I agree that's supposed to be Pete Wisdom sitting on the edge of the bus, even though it looks a lot like how Urich is depicted sometimes. I like the fact that MI13 is getting some face-time though. I think it'd be a great idea if they start to get a consistent run of minis from here on out, especially if there could be more minis of viable characters and less of those that already have a full (or multiple) series. - and yes, just the right serving of Squirrel girl, please, sir.Alas, we knew thee well, as your premature run fizzled away, Dr. Voodoo. I wonder why the 'normal night' story couldn't afford Monica Rambeau face time again (it doesn't always have to be a normal paramour for the story to have the impact when one needs to explore trying to have a normal night, but I do understand how such a story plays out) it was something that could've kept going.I like the idea of continuing the developments of Gauntlet and Cloud-9. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this is going to be a story. Gauntlet is going as a great character (wouldn't throw him into any solo ongoing yet though Marvel, pace yourselves) and the journey of the oh-so-innocent, passively powered Cloud-9 into a darker mindset only to be faced with the light again makes for some interesting potential stories.Back to Squirrel Girl; anyone planning on touching on the Robbie Baldwin romance that got to develop in the spin off reality (Loners mini) where he's remained Speedball? It'd be hilarious to see her folly playing off the ever brooding and muddled Penance (I mean, he's already got Streaks back, why not explore some more aspects that bring him closer to a settled [super]human being?).


I was really excited about Heroic Age until I learned Ed Brubaker is one of the creators. I'm not interested in his political agenda and I am not interested in reading any of his racist themes. Count me out. This is the most upset I've been in my 30 years of collecting and reading comics. Marvel feels like a life long friend that I never really knew in the end.


those are members of mi 13, i was wondering what was of them after cap brit n mi 13 #15, that's cap britain, the blond girl is meggan, his wife, the girl in white is faiza hussain, there's pete wisdome, etc, the others are pretty obvious xD


Shaved head? I think that's Captain Britain (guy hovering in the top right?) with blond hair. The girl that kinda looks like Ghost from dark horse is Faiza Hussain from Captain Britain & MI:13. The blonde woman may be Valkyrie?


lol. Anyone know who the shaved head kid is? Penance or someone from Britain? and the same with the girl.. I don't recognize her.Is that Ben Urich crouched down there? Maybe the Asgardians with grant him power after embedded without asking and then leave.Ben Urich..reporter by day, crimefighter by night?I'd buy it.


Wowza. Ms. Marvel (or whoever's over Spidey's right shoulder) is bustin' out.