The Red Skull’s plan for revenge on the Avengers Unity Squad steps into high gear, as the crimson craniumed cad creates chaos by controlling Quicksilver. Can Rogue route this rubicund reprobate? Does Deadpool dare delve into this dire dispute? What’s….Brother Voodoo up to? Alliteration is hard.
Uncanny Avengers #18 (Marvel Comics)
After a several issue dalliance with a certain company-wide crossover, the Uncanny Avengers are back to dealing with their true enemy – the Red Skull. The Skull and his daughter, Sin, are finally ready to launch their assault on what’s left of the Unity Squad thanks to a psychic suggestion to the team’s resident speedster – Quicksilver.
In quick succession (the only kind he knows), Pietro takes down the Human Torch, Synapse, MAYBE Brother Voodoo (that sequence isn’t entirely clear) and the Wasp before Cable, Deadpool and Rogue figure out what’s going on. Of course even that’s a tad too late and Quiksilver absconds with Cable, leaving Rogue (whom the Skull has spent much of the issue trying to mentally control from afar) and Deadpool (whose fourth wall-breaking insanity/unstable brain molecules due to his healing factor makes him unable to be mentally controlled) to attempt a rescue mission for their colleagues.
If that sounds like a lot to happen in an issue it is, and it speaks to the combined talents of Gerry Duggan and Kevin Libranda that the book never feels rushed. Duggan cuts a swift pace that still has time to build character moments, while Libranda’s pencils do a good job of portraying characters’ emotions – even if some panels leave characters with a sort of crazy-eyed smirk that feels odd.
Take for example the excellent flashback sequence to a young Rogue first joining the X-Men. The hope on the Southern Belle’s face when she’s told she can stay at the Mansion is fantastic, whereas Xavier’s pride at his efforts on the next panel over is just a touch strange.
Still, the issue stands out on the rack, creating realistic danger for our heroes, strong action pieces to set the tone for next chapter, and a menacing villain that seems all but unstoppable by the end of the issue. It’s everything you want from an Avengers book!