I finally figured out what was that weird feeling I get when reading this series. You know how you order something familiar from a new restaurant because you’re really excited to see that dish on the menu, but when it arrives it’s nothing like what you remember from the original place? Yeah. It’s that kind of feeling reading the latest iteration of Uncanny Avengers.
All the showcase-y moments feature characters that I really don’t warm up to. One or two unfamiliar or unfavorite characters are welcome to take up space in my comic. In fact, that’s kind of nice. But when it’s just a bunch of characters like Synapse, Deadpool, and Cable… well, it’s just weird that they make their quacamole with tomatoes, you know? There was a nice moment for Quicksilver (a character who doesn’t often get some of those) with someone even giving the guy some genuine respect (which, ditto.) But overall, the whole thing hinged on the newest character, the newest villain, and their relationship to one another, with all the other characters doing their own things several pages removed. Even with four issues with this character, that’s not enough buy-in for a grace period to allow that.
Even with the unwelcome intrusion of another not-so-flavorful Cable, the story was not without its tension. Cable did save the day, in a force-quit kind of way, that was surprising, and also a bit ruthless. It’s nice that the dramatic end may be with some consequence, too. Not only does it set up the villain to be potentially recurring, but the Cable was pretty drastic and Synapse seemed a bit shaken. A genuine reaction, I think.
The artwork continues to bounce from being a bit too strange to being a good fit for the book, since it, too, is a bit strange, I guess? The designs for the Shredded Man is creepy and effective, particularly his bug-filled demise. Yikes and yuck! But Synapse’s costume still just doesn’t make sense, especially with the art style making her hair appear flat and a wet mass. Quicksilver’s motion lines are more distracting then just being a way to convey a sense of movement, and Cable is both glorious and hilarious in his display of the excess of the 90s aesthetic. He even holds a giant gun that is by far the most ludcrious thing since Rob Liefeld was in a jeans commerical.
The art also pays attention to backgrounds, both actual and metaphorical. There’s green dripping from all surfaces of the cityscape, and sometimes it’s just patterns of lines or opportunities for the colorists’ glows and gradients. It’s too bad that so much of it is just.. green. I mean, I understand that it’s the whole point of the plot, but it begins to suffocate the artwork, too. That’s probably deliberate but comes across as empty.
After four issues, the team can finally triumphantly take a Right Stuff-inspired slow walk away from their helicopter in a full page splash. It just doesn’t feel like this is an assemblage of Earth’s Mightiest Clubhouse, since they are more or less just professionals, showing up to do their job, and then going back to their office. I can see that every day at work; I don’t need my favorite comicbook hero team to do that, too. Where’s the camaraderie? The sense of family? Either it happened in the “eight month gap” between old and new volume of the series, or Deadpool’s banter is meant to compensate for that.
As intriguing as that cliffhanger is, I’m going to drop the book, I’m afraid. Lable this one: Not for Me.
The final chapter in the opening arc comes to a close, although the characters are essentially compartmentalized into dealing with various aspects of it. The main section involves two characters that are brand new and have some attempt at pathos for the reader, but it’s not connecting with me. I’m likely turned off by the ugly costume, needless inclusion into the roster, and having to accept her fait accompli without really seeing her included in the team. The Uncanny Avengers is a really unique way to see a bunch of unlikely heroes interact, but they should probably start by being likeable.