By: Rick Remender (Writer) Daniel Acuña (Artist/Colorist)
The Story: The Apocalypse twin tries to plan for what they want to make happen to the world as the Avengers deals with dissension in their ranks.
The Review: Rick Remender is not a man that is afraid to go big. As he tried and succeeded in creating a big stories with lasting effect with his memorable run on Uncanny X-Force, he tries to go even bigger with this run as he incorporate many elements from the Marvel universe, including some from his own tenure on his previous title. However, does he succeed in this attempt? Is he able to give us something bigger?
In ways, the short time he had on this title seems to indicate that he might just be able to do that, as he almost effortlessly incorporates his own ideas into the larger Marvel universe without making them too weird or even out of place amongst the many strange things that are included in this superhero universe. It is, after all, a book that tries to connect the mutant world of the X-Men with the rest of the Marvel imprint. Now, I am no expert on the X-Men, but from what I read, I had always perceived the mutants characters to be almost in a little universe of their own, as they had their own threats, their own saviors, their own events and their own spinoffs, with most of them completely unrelated to what was happening in the rest of the universe they were supposed to be sharing. It seemed to me that those characters were almost better off being literally given their own universe after all, yet Remender makes for a really good case in the more open connection he gives here.
His use of Kang and the Apocalypse twins do make for a really smart way to connect both world in a way that not only make sense, but also seems exciting. We can see the very manipulative ways of Kang as he does his noble conqueror, making him a villain based in the grey area of morality, despite his cruelty at times. Remender knows how to handle such a character, even despite the fact that time-travelling can be something very complex to do. As such, he creates a future conflict that is tantalizing to say the least, as he also does give us another side to this future battle with the Apocalypse twins. Despite being new creations, Remender waste no time in making us see the connections as he uses many of the plot points from his Uncanny X-Force run as he builds those characters up.
The way he has constructed those characters is actually quite fascinating, as one can make a lot of sense out of the way they interact with each other and with the world around them. As Uriel tries to live like a king as he had been deprived of such things from Kang, Eimin, his blind sister, tries to ensure that no such thing can ever happen again. Their interactions and the way they plan makes them pretty compelling villains, as Remender did some nice work in making sure we could sympathize with them, giving them some shades of grey to make them more rounded characters.
However, as fun as the villains are in this issue, we also have the team of Avengers and mutants that are also fairly entertaining as well, be it Wolverine and his haunted past about killing people, Rogue and her brash and energetic replies to anyone, Scarlet Witch and her attempts at repairing the trouble she caused. If there’s a character that really stood out this issue, however, it would be Wonder Man who made all the scenes he was in very enjoyable. Be it with his rather optimistic and playful attitude and his pacifism, he was a joy to discover as his non-violent ways are actually very fun to read, which is something I hope Remender will take full advantage of in the future of this title.
What was actually good, but also a bit tedious in this issue was one key scene that made a lot of sense on paper, yet destroyed the pacing of the issue as a result: the argument scene between Rogue and Scarlet Witch. The animosity between those two characters has been a part of this title from the start and it is easily justified, as the Scarlet Witch did indeed almost cause the extinction of the mutant species with her spell. As such, during a training session, they have a rather heated argument about the speech that Havok made in the fifth issue, the very speech that had been deemed controversial. In a way, this is a logical conversation they would be having, but it also seems a bit metatextual as Remender answers the very controversy head-on through his characters. On one hand, the replies each characters give fits their voice quite well, yet it seems to go on for a bit too long. It is a necessary and important piece of the comic as it does indeed revolve around the very issue that drives this title along, yet it is done in a way that seems almost awkward, with the big action happening behind them. Sure, it creates a rather comical effect, but at the same time it seems a bit much. It’s an effective scene, yet it could have been done better.
If there’s one thing that is handled very well throughout the entire issue, it would be the art duty by Daniel Acuña, who is a little godsend to this title. His somewhat sketchy, yet incredibly detailed lines and coloring makes for some visually smashing moments, as he handles the action and the heated arguments quite well in this issue, giving this title the quality it deserves. His colorization is also top-notch, as the painting feeling he gives to the whole issue elevates the bigger aspects of the scripts so well. The arrival of Wonder Man, the ship of the Apocalypse twins, the four horsemen of death, each of these big moments are made bigger with his expert hand and the book is better for it.
The Conclusion: With some big moments, some great character works and some terrifyingly beautiful art, Uncanny Avengers is on the quality level it should always have been. There might be a hiccup or two, but this book is well on its way to becoming another classic that Remender might boast about.
Hugo Robberts Larivière