Uncanny Avengers #1-New Union
Uncanny Avengers #1 seems to be Marvel’s flagship book for their finally-upon-
us re-launch, Marvel Now! As geeks here on ogeeku.com, we might be tempted to buck
the trend, to ditch the mainstream, but I’ve always seen “geekery” as another word
for “extreme passion,” and those of us who are passionate about comic books should
respect the work of talented creators. Sometimes, we can also anticipate that work, and
when Rick Remender of Uncanny X-Force and John Cassaday of Astonishing X-Men
fame unite for Marvel’s biggest current book, the fan community should sit up and take
I’ll admit it – I’m a bit of an elitist. I’ve only read the rare Avengers title (mostly
Secret Avengers, with its A-List revolving-door of writing talent), considering most of
them to be stacked full of upper-tier, heavily-popularized characters to pull in the largest
number of confused readers who didn’t really know what they wanted with the most
explosions and biggest punches around. I wasn’t even that impressed with The Kree/
Skrull War. Now, I’m not saying that Uncanny Avengers is Thomas/Adams level stuff,
here, but it definitely steps away from the more stereotypical cast of characters Avengers
books have tended to feature, in favor of the cover’s Havok, Rogue, and Scarlet Witch.
Of course, Wolverine, Thor, and Cap are on that cover, too, but their parts are
downplayed in this first issue.
And that it is folks – a first issue, lightly tinged with what I like to call “First
Issue Blues.” As with the beginning of any new Avengers book, Uncanny deals first with
establishing a status-quo, and then with the recruitment of the team-to-be, ending with
the cliffhanging introduction of the evil mastermind “behind it all.” Uncanny Avengers
#1 is no different, but, luckily, we’re in the hands of a very capable (when he wishes to
be) author, and he’s got some interesting plot-thread fodder to help us make sense of in
establishing our status quo: the aftermath of Avengers V.S. X-Men! Remender
accomplishes this through the mechanic of Charles Xavier’s funeral, and flashes out
periodically to play that scene against a visit between Alex Summers and his brother, the
Especially given the cast that the book focuses on, it almost feels more like an X-
Men book than an Avengers title, which is certainly nothing to complain about, given
how directly tied into the preceding events of AvX the X-Men were, and how deeply the
death of Charles Xavier will effect them.
The final scene is a conversation between an X-(wo)Man and an Avenger who
might’ve been an X-(wo)Man herself. Rogue confronts the Scarlet Witch over Xavier’s
grave, reaching back to the early 2000’s storyline, House of M, to remind Wanda that
everything that has taken place since then has, essentially, been her fault. It’s a great
scene that allows Rick Remender to showcase his character-developing skills, and it feels
like a great setup for an ongoing team dynamic. In fact, the entire team looks like it’s
going to be interesting, because Havok has been placed in command, and it’s almost a
certainty that his inferiority complex as relates to his brother will come into play, making
him a self-doubting leader: the most colorfully conflicted kind! With the focus off
stalwarts Cap, Wolverine, and Thor, Remender has shown that he is interested in writing
a unique Avengers book, and we can only hope that the inspired heights he brought us to
in Uncanny X-Force will make a return here in Uncanny Avengers!
A quick note on the fight scenes: they seemed to be more Avengers-esque than X-
Men-esque, with the team members combining their capabilities in new and unique ways.
For example, Cap asks Havok to blast him, catching the force of the blow on his shield to
propel him more quickly into the fight. I also want to commend Remender and Cassaday
for not rushing ahead, and beginning their book with baby steps. There’s something nice
to seeing the intensity of the fights the team deals with slowly ramp up, and starting with
a good, old, “people rescue” mission is about as slow as you can get.
A rating? I’d say about 7.6.