By: Rick Remender (Writer), Matteo Scalera (Artist), Matthew Wilson (Colorist)

The Story: Captain Britain, Hawkeye and Beast battle the evil Avengers from Earth-666. Meanwhile, the team gets back together to prepare to face Father and the rise of the Descendants.

The Review: Rick Remender’s tenure on this title has been a little bit weird. It had begun with a strong arc with elements taken from his Uncanny X-Force series with Father and the machines that follow him, then went on to get a bit lost with tie-ins to AvX and an arc that tried to finish some of the plot points Ed Brubaker started with Max Fury. He had built up quite some situations, yet not all of them were properly handled throughout his tenure on the title.

Thankfully, this issue is chock-full of plot developments from his very first arc as Father and the machine people gets front and center, standing clearly as the antagonists here in various scenes, one of the better ones being when Father is talking to the United Nations. Right there, you see that he is a character to be taken seriously, a true threat when he unleashes his machine rebellion. He does engage in the typical villain talk, explaining his plan and purpose, but a lot of these ideas and plans where actually built up in the very first arc Remender wrote on the title. With all the pieces set for the final and explosive arc, this promises to be pretty good if this issue is any consideration.
However, talking only about the development in the writing would be a disservice to Matteo Scalera, who does a fine job . He draws some nice action scenes and some good machinery, with his panels being filled with a lot of details. I love how he is able to evoke a sense of scale and depth to some of these huge panels found in this issue, making us readers see that everything that is happening right now is big in many sense. If there are some weaknesses to his art, however, it would be that he is a little bit sketchy and that some of his characters are a little bit thin and elongated. It is a style choice, but it does not always suit every character properly. He does a fine Captain Britain, but I did not particularly like his Father.

Another problem would be a certain inconsistency with facial expressions. Some of the expressions he draws are perfect, giving us some very clear details about what is going on in the mind of the characters, like when Vision is possessed or when Captain Britain tease that he has a plan in mind to return to their proper Earth. Some of them, however, are a little bit too cartoonish or rushed a little bit, with the Reed Richard scene being an example or the various panicking pedestrians being another valid one.

What could be another problem to the art department would be the colors by Matthew Wilson, which are inconsistent as well. In some scenes, the choice of a somber colorization is brilliant. The big panel when the Human Torch speaks to all the Descendants works very well with somber coloring, yet when the giant Sentinel attacks the Avengers, it does not work as well. Still, the colors are very good most of the time.

Conclusion: A lot of setup and important and interesting development dragged a little bit down with the inconsistent quality of the arts.

Grade: B

Hugo Robberts Larivière

Some Musings: – Is it just me or was Captain Britain very awesome in this issue? It makes me wonder a little bit why he wasn’t chosen to be the leader of this group instead of Hawkeye.