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In May, the Marvel Universe as we know it is poised to experience a rebirth in Heroes Reborn, which serves as an epic alt-history saga delivered by acclaimed creators Jason Aaron and Ed McGuiness. This is a world where Earth's Mightiest Heroes never assembled and the Squadron Supreme has taken up the mantle once held by the Avengers.
The year 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of the original Heroes Reborn project that ran from 1996-1997, led by artists Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld, and introduced new origins and backstories for their characters existing in a pocket universe known as Counter Earth.
As part of this massive multi-titled event series, Marvel will also be releasing a number of mash-up one-shots exploring what reverberations this would have across their comics landscape - and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive look at one of the first out of the gate with Heroes Reborn: Night-Gwen.
Written by the Eisner Award-winning Vita Ayala (Nebula, Morbius: The Living Vampire) and paired with artwork courtesy of Farid Karami (Hot Valley Days And Cocaine Nights), Heroes Reborn: Night-Gwen #1 arrives in June and introduces Spider-Man's former flame as the dynamic crusader, Nightbird.
During the day, Dr. Gwendolyn Stacy is Ravencroft Asylum’s most prominent psychiatrist. However, by night, she's transformed into a high-flying vigilante known to all as Nightbird. This Heroes Reborn one-off explains how Stacy became a superhero in this alternative reality, and exactly what Kyle Richmond, AKA the Nighthawk, has to do with her origin story as Nightbird hunts down a new menace named the Jackal.
"I've always loved these types of stories, and being asked to write a re-imagined Gwen Stacy is such a thrill! It was a really fun chance to get to explore and play with boundaries with a new version of an incredibly iconic character," Ayala tells SYFY WIRE. "Plus, the team had a lot of fun putting in little Easter Eggs for everyone to find!"
Artist Javier Garrón designed Nightbird's new costume and explains how he wanted to set a core of principles "pretty firmly" and then pivot the design around them.
"I like to think every costume must tell its own story," Garrón tells SYFY WIRE. "So here we had Gwen modeled after her mentor, Nighthawk, but very much a superhero in her own right. I wanted her to keep the color codes and main outline in the shoulders (so the silhouette would be reminiscent of Nighthawk's) and mask. Give it a modern but slightly classical favored touch. She has some armored parts and a more contemporary construction and tailoring of elements (like the neck, or how the cape and chest symbol assemble).
"But the main section of the costume is spandex. She has a full face mask but the lower part can be dismantled and keep only the more classic top part (which is also a nod, in its shape, to Nighthawk). She has her hair loose, not covered by the mask, but the hairstyling is more complex as we do these days."
Marvel Comics' Heroes Reborn: Night-Gwen #1 soars into comic shops this June.