Marvel has been hawking Uncanny Avengers #1 the past few days in the most unconventional ways. Ever heard of a comic book marketing campaign taking to the late night talk show circuit? There’s a nice breakdown of Joe Quesada on Jimmy Kimmel Live on comicbook.com and it goes without saying Marvel is expecting big things from this series. I have a personal conspiracy theory that Marvel is doing this in order to get more sales to directly compete with DC Comics’ big reveal of Joker over in Batman #13 (to be reviewed later today), but maybe they are just excited. This is the column where we review the hottest comic of the week and answer the question, is it good?
Uncanny Avengers #1 (Marvel Comics)
It’s clear from page one this series will be the direct continuation of Avengers vs. X-Men. I’m not sure where Hope is, but the book contains Scarlet Witch, Cyclops’ brother Havok and of course Captain America. Havok’s place on the team is especially curious, as if Captain America wanted a pseudo-Cyclops on the team. More than likely his selection will become more clear as time goes on. It certainly can’t be for the reasons he tells Havok, that Wolverine wasn’t selected due to his checkered past (yeah because Havok never went villain? He actually did, plus Wolverine has been an Avenger for so long it’s complete BS…anyway…) At the very least writer Rick Remender selected him due to the potential story elements Havok could have with the big bad brother Cyclops has become.
And when you spend your entire life fighting for something it’s totally cool to give up on it and become the thing you detested for years.
Nobody will pick this up to keep reading the riveting story that Marvel forced us to read for the last six months. Okay, maybe some of you, although you must be sadomasochists. No, everyone will pick this up for Remender and artist John Cassaday. As far as a #1 issue goes, this book delivers on all fronts, and frames Cyclops’ demise and Xavier’s death as strong dramatic beats that are rife with storytelling possibilities.
What a convenient storytelling element that identification screen is.
Aside from the unbelievable notion that Havok wants to kill Cyclops for killing Xavier, Captain America cares about Xavier (they only knew each other from the Illuminati right?) and even Thor knew him well, this issue is a home run. The master stroke is the internal monologue of Scarlet Witch which does a good job setting up her state of mind due to guilt and being a mutant in general.
The reason this series is a good thing: the stale X-Men are about to get a shot of something new.
A lot of X-Men fans are going to be upset with the way the issue frames Cyclops. With his insect-like goggles and complacent nature it’s obvious he’s the new unhinged villain. It’s funny to think this is exactly how Scarlet Witch was after the House of M but hopefully they get inside his head more than the mostly absent Scarlet Witch was after the fallout.
He’s either thinking about his actions…or taking a dump.
Cassaday’s work is awesome as always. The figures hold a certain weight so many comics lack that only Frank Quitely has mastered. His pencils seem to have a bit more detail than they did back on Joss Whedon’s and Grant Morrison’s X-Men. Surprisingly, the panels come off as a tad rushed in comparison to his previous work, but maybe this means less delays as the series goes on.
Love Thor’s new look.
And that brings up an interesting topic. It’s clear Cassaday is on an impressive streak of working with incredible writers. The fact that Rick Remender got this book shows Marvel has a lot of faith in him.
The Xavier burial is a Marvel pastime at this point.
Aside from Rogue punching first and asking questions later, Remender appears to have a firm grasp on writing women in comics. His Psylocke comes to mind as one of the stronger and more realistic females in the Marvel Universe since he started Uncanny X-Force. Overall you can’t complain with this issue. The issue is short on action, but the character psyches are well written, the stakes are raised by the abominable actions of the villain and a new team is forming with good pace. The action I’m speaking to is going to turn some heads. It’s almost silly and will surely piss some folks off.
Let’s hope his plan isn’t to make a pâté.
My only question is…the X-Men just had a funeral with a tomb and everything. Nobody thought, “oh did we bury the body?” It’s not like he was burned to cinders or anything. How many folks were witnesses to Xavier’s death at the hands of Cyclops? Red Skull somehow snuck in and grabbed his body? Not one hero could stop him? Some heroes they are!
This is a well written issue that’ll keep the pages turning even when there isn’t much action. Cassaday can make the most boring conversation interesting to look at and this issue is yet another example of that. This is Marvel’s primo book right now and I’m sure they’re happy with it. Barring some amazing comics expect this puppy to show up as a purchase in our weekly comic book budget review column ComiX Weekly which can be read by clicking here.
Is It Good?