Uncanny Avengers #1 Review (Mania.com)

By:Joel Rickenbach
Review Date: Sunday, October 14, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Earlier this week we published our post mortem of the giant, sometimes unwieldy, Avengers vs X-Men. I had a lot of criticism to unleash, even though I did enjoy the event. There were certain characters that felt like they were given short shrift compared to their importance to the story, and there were others that should have absolutely had at least a scene together, yet never did. Somehow, almost all of this is addressed in a single issue of Uncanny Avengers, and makes us wonder what it would have been like if writer Rick Remender was exclusively steering that ship into port.

From the ashes of the big showdown hullaballoo between Phoenix-powered Cyclops and, well, everyone else, comes a wonderful focus you just can’t get in a big event book. Uncanny Avengers immediately has a new and different feel than the last few years of Avengers or X-Men books. The world has been repopulated with mutants, and with that comes a new wave of questions, fear, and misunderstanding. The public doesn’t know what to think, Cyclops’ actions and subsequent imprisonment are not completely clear, and to help usher in a new era of understanding, Captain America does something he feels is long overdue- Integrate mutants into the Avengers. This is easier said than done- Wanda Maximoff was responsible for all this chaos in the first place, Wolverine is not exactly a model citizen, and the man they believe to be best suited for the job, Havok, is the brother of public enemy number one. It doesn’t help that the emerging villain of this first arc has a track record of hate, and could undo everything before it ever gets off the ground.

Rick Remender addresses so many things missing from AvX. Havok and Cycolops finally have a scene together that was sorely absent from AvX, and shows us just how different these two brothers are. Wolverine gives a phenomenally written eulogy for Charles Xavier, and makes Professor X’s death truly mean something. We also get a deep look into where Logan’s head is at, and the nuggets we mine from his speech would have been very welcome in AvX. Rogue and Scarlet Witch have it out at Charles Xavier’s memorial, and both women feel more like flesh and blood characters than they have in a long time. John Cassaday’s art is the final piece of the puzzle, from the bombast of the summer crossover comes Cassaday’s wonderfully detailed and nuanced renderings. The pain on Wolverine’s face is palpable, the structure of the panels and Dutch angles of his contemplation are nothing short of gorgeous. The kinetic feel of Havok literally blasting Captain America into battle is thrilling, and Cassaday’s last page reveal may be the most gruesome image you’ve seen in a long time.

So far, Marvel Now! Is off to a great start thanks to the talents of Rick Remender and John Cassaday. If this initial book is any indication- we’re in for another great era.

Joel Rickenbach is a curator of cult cinema at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA, and can be heard every week talking film, TV and other geekery on the You’ve got GEEK podcast. Follow him on Twitter and hilarity will no doubt ensue. 

Mania Grade: A
Comic: Uncanny Avengers #1
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: John Cassaday
Publisher: Marvel Comics