• Reviews 

    Review: Uncanny Avengers #7

    By | April 26th, 2013
    Posted in Reviews | % Comments

    The debut of The Apocalypse Twins and some kissy kissy times.

    Be warned, minor spoilers are discussed if you’re not totally caught up!

    Written by Rick Remender
    Illustrated by Daniel Acuña

    • Enter The Apocalypse Twins! The beginning of the end begins with their arrival!
    • Why do they seek to anger The Celestials? What is their connection to Kang? How is Thor responsible for their mighty power?!
    • A death at the hands of an Avenger divides the team!
    • Will Sunfire torture an S-Man to save mutant lives?

    Did you read Remender’s run on “Uncanny X-Force”? No? OK, go read “Uncanny X-Force” we’ll wait. Read it? Good. Now you can read “Uncanny Avengers”.

    Yes, while “UA” is supposed to be Marvel NOW’s flagship title, it’s arguably the one current title with the most continuity attached to its backstory. Basically, the entirety of “Uncanny X-Force” serves as the launching pad for the current events in “Uncanny Avengers”. With Wolverine as the one link between X-Force and The Avengers Unity squad, it’s kind of neat to see how this series is essentially taking “UXF”’s threats and putting them on a bigger, public scale. No longer are we dealing with Wolverine and Fantomex taking out threats behind the curtains, everything is laid out on the table. Even the first few pages of this issue dwarf almost the entirety of “UXF” in terms of big epic events.

    Unfortunately that comes as a bit of a cost to the story. Even the antagonists’ arrival two issues ago come out of seemingly nowhere. If this book was picked up by Marvel’s target audience with the NOW initiative, it would probably seem incredibly confusing, or at the very least out-of-place. That’s not to say said antagonists aren’t in any way not entertaining. The Apocalypse Twins are really fun villains who offer a huge threat at a level that’s hardly been seen before. Having read “UXF” and being fairly knowledgeable in Marvel lore ensures that the ride Remender and Acuña are crafting goes more smoothly, but if you have no idea what’s up with Clan Akkaba or Kang the Conquerer you might not fare so well.

    Meanwhile, the actual Avengers Unity Team doesn’t actually deal with that huge threat for most of this issue and deal with the inter-personal politics left over from last issue’s ending. That particular incident is fairly quickly resolved although, if solicits are anything to believed, it will resurface in the near future. So, the Uncanny Avengers just spend a good portion of the issue talking about their mission statement which leads into two awkward scenes.

    Now, the following paragraph is not meant to be a social justice crusade. But, after the hobo piss-storm that was caused a few issues ago but Alex Summer’s “How about Alex?” speech, it’s hard not to read “Uncanny” without a separate set of analytic goggles for similar missteps. So when one female character reveals what her role on the team is and that role could be easily misconstrued as sexist, it feels fairly rough. Not in a “Wow, Rick Remender hates women” way just in a “Wow, this was bad timing” way. This same scene, by the way, is followed by the same character almost making out with someone, which is then preceded by another scene where another female character almost makes out with someone. There’s no accusations of social injustice there, it’s just going to be a bit weird if almost make-outs become a staple of this series, considering the same thing happened in issue five twice. Unless an almost make-out occurs with Thor and Wonder Man. That would be incredible.

    Daniel Acuña, all almost make-out sessions aside, does a great job here and shows why he is so apt at portraying Remender’s big sci-fi scripts. His depiction of the issue’s beginning really grasp the feel of the epic scope of the issue’s intro. Plus, seeing him draw the members of Clan Akkaba from “UXF” again is always a real treat. Acuña doesn’t fare quite as well in some other points in the issue, namely whenever people are just sitting around, teasing the possibility of tonsil wrestling, but whenever he’s handed a gigantic entity or explosion to draw Acuña completely nails it.

    Continued below

    Remender meanwhile, though he is still delivering a stellar plot and characterization, feels just a little bit off. The final few pages are exciting but still marred by a Claremont like overuse of words. Some character’s emotional reactions to events are clearly illustrated earlier, but an overuse of narration reminding the audience why a character is feeling a thing just end up feeling redundant. Compared to say, “UXF” it’s almost like Remender is putting it upon himself to make sure “Uncanny Avengers” feels more like a superhero book than his previous work with Marvel has been.

    And that’s what “Uncanny Avengers #7” is. It’s an honest-to-goodness superhero book with big enemies, big soap opera drama, and big explosions. There’s a lot to be desired when it comes to certain elements, but as an action ride featuring fantastic villains, it’s  a certainly thrilling one.

    Review Score: 7.0 – Read if you’re into Remender; Browse if you just like The Avengers family.

    James Johnston

    James Johnston is a grizzled post-millenial. Follow him on Twitter to challenge him to a fight.