by Rick Remender (Writer), Daniel Acuña (Artist/Colorist)
The Story: The members of the Unity squad are trying in their own way to solve the problems posed by the Apocalypse Twins. Meanwhile, the twins are themselves plotting for the fulfilment of their plan.
The Review: Even though I rather like the creative team, the themes and most of the characters featured in this series, something didn’t seem to click for me with Uncanny Avengers. This lead to me being rather harsh (though fair) in my review of the previous issue of this series, which seemed to represent many of the problems I had with the series to begin with, putting them to the forefront in a way that lead to an unsatisfying read for me. I, however, believe in the fact that not all issues in a series can be great, that missteps can be made. Was the previous issue simply a fluke or would this issue provide another assessment of a lot of the problem I had with the series so far?
In a lot of ways, this issue corrects a lot of what annoyed me a bit with this series as it tweaks some elements and move at a faster rate with its many plot points and characters. It’s not a complete reversal in terms of quality, with some of the problems I have still being present, yet it is definitely a step in the right direction, with all things considered.
One of the aspects that is better shown here is the action. With the previous issue being somewhat lacking in that department, this one delivers the good as characters like Wasp, Havok, Captain America and Thor get a chance to shine. Remender is great at showing how some of their powers and training make those characters worthy of the title of super hero, with each of their skill being put on the page, like Wasp with her inventive use of her shrinking powers, Havok and his fighting techniques combined with his powers and Captain America and his shield-throwing. Cutting a bit on the dialogue and argumentation during those scenes, Remender is able to provide more focus on the characters and their action, either through narration or simply with what they are fighting.
The added focus on some of the characters is much better here as well, as not only are the pieces moving a bit faster, but most of those scenes do seems to accomplish something in the process. The use of narration in some scenes like the Thor one not only bring gravitas to what is happening, but also push the book forward while it serves as a reminder of previous eras, like Claremont’s X-Men or Busiek’s Avengers. Not all of them use it, though, which is a smart choice, as Remender’s use of them is short and to the point, with the writer never relying too much on them in order to magnify details or enhance some scenes. Some of the scenes between characters are especially strong, like the one with Wolverine and Daken, or the one with Wanda and Simon. It’s a bit unfortunate that those scenes are exceptionally strong only if you know the characters history, yet they are handled in a way that makes their point clear all the same.
Where it falters a bit, though, is the fact that it still doesn’t seem to get to the point even now. Part of the problem comes from the fact that the characters are divided, resulting in a lot of jumping around to put the focus on each characters. It does help to diversify the locales and it does give a lot of different plot threads for the readers to get into, yet it also make the progress of several scenes somewhat limited in the prospect. People move from point A to point B, yet some characters end up getting a whole lot more panel time than others. Those looking for more Thor scenes along with some featuring Rogue and Sunfire shall be a bit disappointed, to say the least.
What’s the very opposite of disappointing is the return of Daniel Acuña on art as he is back in full form for this issue. His action, his panel flow and the way he seems at ease with weirder and more cosmic designs is uncanny, as he is able to combine everything without creating any sense of chaos in the tapestry of this issue. His style is on full display here, as he is able to bring the grand super heroics with a touch of science-fiction to the book, bringing a nice aesthetics that render some of the moment even bigger than they are supposed to be. The characters, all the while, have a good diversity of expression with both their facial features and their body language, which makes the character work of this issue works doubly well in some case, like in the Wolverine and Daken scene. His style may be a bit rough in terms of finer details at time, but he is really in the upper-tiers of his game in this issue when it comes to the artistic direction.
This can also be attributed to his color work, which is frankly superb. Some of the scenes, in terms of colorization, are extremely evocative, like the Thor scene with the brighter and more diverse colorization that shows the alien world he’s on, or the very dark and twisted torture scene between Wolverine and Daken. He is able to bring dark, optimistic, cosmic and simply super heroic in one package with his colorization, with a vast plethora of light effects and contrasts that he is able to emulate and work with. After this title, I really hope they put Acuña on another high-tier title if he is able to continue displaying the same amount of quality in all of his works.
The Conclusion: Bringing in some development, neat action and some meaningful character interactions, Remender is upping his game on this title as this issue provide some interesting and exciting prospects for its future. With the return of Acuña, it also provides some especially strong art and colorization which really enhance the whole thing to another level. When all is said and done, this is a vast improvement over the latest issue.
-Hugo Robberts Larivière