I haven’t said much about Uncanny Avengers through my inconsistent reviews of the X-Books mainly because I got lost in the story and waited for it to finish so I could read the whole thing through. Usually I don’t do this – I’ll read an issue and then flip back if I need a reminder, but the just-ended story in this book finished an 18 issue story. Seriously, the story that wrapped in issue 22 started back in issue 5. I suppose you could say that it was actually three stories – Apocalypse Twins, Ragnarok Now and Avenge the Earth – but it certainly reads as one big story. One really good big story.
Thoughts on the whole thing after the jump, and as all my review-ish ramblings, there will be SPOILERS if you haven’t read it.
Never let it be said that Rick Remender is a writer who does not have a deep appreciation for what he’s working with. There are some writers who plow forward with their own thing and tend to ignore what happened before (*cough**cough*Loeb*cough*) which gets fanboys like me all uppity in their blogs when something formerly cool gets ignored. With his run on Uncanny X-Force, Rick Remender proved that he had a deep appreciation for X-lore making an incredible Apocalypse story that pulled together nearly three decades of character and history development. It was good stuff.
Uncanny Avengers, as a mix of Avengers and X-Men coming out of AvX, needed something to tie together Avengers lore and X-Men lore, two families that have historically stayed pretty far apart from one another until Wolverine showed up in New Avengers. This massive beast of a story gives us that by not only continuing the Apocalypse story (which is as X-Men as they come), but locking it nicely inside of a Kang the Conqueror story (which is as Avengers as they come). There are Celestials, Brotherhood of Mutants, alternate futures, worlds blowing up – it’s a huge story. And wouldn’t you know it – it’s GOOD. It’s an excellent, excellent read.
In Uncanny Avengers, Remender pulled together a core group of Avengers (Captain America, Thor, Wonder Man, Wasp) and a ragtag bunch of X-Men (Havok, Rogue, Wolverine, Sunfire) and then used Scarlet Witch to bridge the gap between the two. Or she would have, had she not you know nearly wiped out the mutant race. So the team has trouble coming together, which gives us our main theme. Mutants and humans have to come together or catastrophic occurrences will take place. And we get to learn those lessons by watching the catastrophes happen.
If there’s one thing I’ve enjoyed about this book’s run (beyond reading it, of course) it’s watching the fandom’s reaction to it. It became apparent to me that the events of the story would end up being undone, since it was a Kang story which meant time travel. In issue #14, Rogue kills the Scarlet Witch and then herself gets killed by the Grim Reaper. The reaction was crazy – these longtime fan favorite characters had been killed! Why was the rest of the Marvel U not reacting? Grumble grumble grumble! When I came to that scene, I realized that it would most likely be undone by the story’s end. Then Captain America got killed. Then the Earth got blown up. How was this not obvious to anyone else?
Beyond being a fantastic story, it has also done wonders for its characters. Havok, in particular, has stepped up to be the new face of Charles Xavier’s legacy. Cyclops is no longer about mutant/human relations – he is the face of mutant survival. Havok, instead, has become a leader of a level that even Captain America appreciates. His relationship with the Wasp came out of left field but became endearing very quickly (finally someone besides Polaris) and their having a child together was an unexpected event. Though, of course, one has to wonder why they would have a child when their entire goal is to undo their world…but whatever.
Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man finally get their thing together (which apparently is a long-running thing – I’m not a big Avengers fan) but now Rogue has to be involved which is the worst third wheel ever. Wolverine is regretting his actions in X-Force and looking for redemption from all his killing due to his time amongst the Avengers. And Sunfire is just damn badass. You also have the resurrected Four Horsemen – Banshee, Daken, Grim Reaper and Sentry – who don’t need to be saddled with the Pestilence, Famine, War and Death tags this time around.
And now I realize that I’m just fact dropping all the awesome stuff about this book. Any fan of the Avengers or X-Men should be reading Uncanny Avengers. It is really THAT good.