Or – “A Book That Has Repeatedly Set Me Off…”
The first issue of Uncanny Avengers ended with a moment that crossed the line from awesome into WTF territory, and the comic hasn’t slowed its roll since. Certain moments have been excellent, and I like the cast as a whole, but it seems that every issue has a moment that makes me sit back, agog with disbelief. Will #9 wow or will it go down in flames? Your Major Spoilers review awaits!
Packed with drama.
An awful lot of talking.
Some unnerving resurrections.
UNCANNY AVENGERS #9
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Daniel Acuña
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist: Daniel Acuña
Editor: Tom Brevoort with Daniel Ketchum
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Uncanny Avengers: In the wake of Avengers Vs. X-Men, Captain America created this team of Avengers to specifically address whether Homo Superior and plain ol’ Homo Sapien can get along in the wild. This is complicated by the fact that many of the heroes just don’t care for one another, nearly all of them have a lot of past to make up for, and also Kang the Conqueror wants to kill them using the Apocalypse Twins, monstrous offspring of Archangel from an alternate timeline or some such. The main thing you need to know? Bad things are happening…
LET IT NOT BE SAID THAT MARVEL WON’T TAKE CHANCES.
The issue kicks off with Archangel confronting Wolverine over the body of Logan’s own dead son, Daken. Though it proves to be a delusion, a dream of the badly injured hero, it ties together the events of Dark Wolverine with the Uncanny X-Force comic that Rick Remender wrote a couple of years ago. Indeed, this book is interesting in part because of all the storylines being pulled in, from the AvX issues, to the Scarlet Witch’s actions waaay back in ‘House of M’, to Sunfire’s role as a Horseman of Apocalypse some years ago. The downside of it all is that this issue is awash in dialogue, with Wonder Man and Wolverine talking, Captain America and Immortus talking, Rogue and Wolverine talking, and then a long spread of the Apocalypse Twins… talking. There’s good stuff being said in nearly all cases (although Rogue is being what I would call uncharacteristically bull-headed), but the ratio of “Doing” to “Discussing” is about 5 to 1.
Things come to a head when Captain America finds out about Wolverine’s murder of the offspring of Apocalypse, and the Wasp draws a line in the sand: Get rid of the killer, or she will quit the team. Worse still, Captain America overrides Havok’s ostensible team-leadership, and the Uncanny Avengers split in two, with Thor, Wolverine and his loyalists heading off to confront the Twins. As the issue ends, the Twins’ plan becomes clear as they resurrect the own Four Horsemen to fight off their Uncanny foes: The Grim Reaper, Banshee, Daken and The Sentry. I get the reasoning behind this choice of Horsemen, and even support it (Wolverine’s dead son, Wonder Man’s dead brother, a high-profile dead X-Man, all great drama) but the return of the over-powered and under-characterized Sentry puts this issue squarely in the realm of WTF? Still, Acuña does a phenomenal job reimagining each of them as threatening armored badasses, and the issue is a good-looking one from beginning to end, even without John Cassaday on board.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A CHALLENGING CONTINUATION OF SEVERAL DIFFERENT STORIES…
Remender understands his drama, and Havok’s recent revelation that he “doesn’t even want to be called mutant anymore”, drives a very interesting discussion between Rogue and the Scarlet Witch, with each hero effectively arguing pro or con of Alex’s announcement, taking what could have been just another dumb strawman argument and making good points about the emotional power of names and such (an argument that seems more relevant than ever given this week’s internet controversies.) Had there been a little bit more happening, this issue could easily have gone over the 4 star mark, but moments Wonder Man’s exceptional confrontation with armed humans while explaining how he’s a pacifist now felt almost preachy. Still and all, Uncanny Avenger #9 is a challenging comic, with a lot of plot threads coming together, and while its ludicrous moments are puzzling, it’s mostly okay, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. If Sentry lives past this arc, though, I may have to retroactively come back and dock the creators for this one…