Even by its own aggressive standards, Marvel NOW!’s release schedule over the past few months has been extraordinary. Many of their books are double shipped and some even arrive on shelves two or three weeks in a row. This is great for anyone loving a story with bottomless pockets, but at the end of the day most folks will need to cut back elsewhere to continue reading a single series. That makes our job as reviewers all the more important, forcing us to take on the burden of reading and reviewing all the comics, so that when you arrive at the comic shop you already know the answer to the question, is it good?
Uncanny Avengers #6 (Marvel Comics)
In order to write a good Avengers story you need to thrust everything into an epic scale. You can’t just have time travel, you need to have multiple timelines, dimensions and repercussions at every turn. The greatest Avengers stories are remembered not for what happens, but the stakes in play. Considering the first story arc of writer Rick Remender’s Uncanny Avengers I was very wary of what would come next. Then I read this comic and realized Remender has what it takes, and all of a sudden we’re reading the best Avengers story since Mark Waid!
Remender gets Thor. He “gets” him.
Anyone expecting the Avengers plural should be aware Thor is the only hero to make an appearance in this issue. That’s a dangerous move on Remender’s part, but luckily he has the cadence and voice of Thor down pat. In fact, much of this comic feels like an extension of Jason Aaron’s marvelous Thor: God of Thunder series. This issue even begins in ancient Scandinavia much like Aaron’s series has done.
You don’t wanna see the Apoco-eye stare. Oh no, no no.
It seems Apocalypse has gone back in time to take Thor’s life due to something he’s going to do in the future. It sounds confusing, but luckily Remender keeps the time travel jargon to a minimum. Instead he leaves the encounters in this book where they should be, namely the stakes and the implications are clear. It helps that he’s really nailed the Asgardian tongue as well.
Abandon your revenge…does he not know his son? Especially the younger one we got here.
Four horsemen of the apocalypse… gnarly!
The detailed art shines in this one. Literally. For instance, in the image above of Odin, note the golden luster of the Asgardian’s armor. Both add to the power of the elder and power to his words. Then we have the horsemen in the above shot, who only get about two pages in this issue, but have so much personality you almost wish they would stay a little bit longer. This issue is a good example of the art in a comic improving and enhancing story.
Bear slicing and dicing!
- Incredible art in even the smallest of panels
- A story with multiple levels of going ons
- More Avengers please
Getting back to what makes an Avengers story timeless, which I think is apparent in this issue, the writer needs to build layers into the work. Words and actions may not appear important, but later on they pay dividends. That’s apparent here, as the surprise ending only enhances just how important the actions were in this issue. On top of that we get some epic mutant Apocalypse meets Asgard fun and some impeccable actions scenes by Acuna.
Is It Good?
Yes. If Remender can keep this quality up we’re in for another story to add to the handful of unforgettable Avengers adventures.