Uncanny Avengers has become the highlight of my month. You think I’m kidding, but I give you my word, I am not. This series has been so good and we are only on issue number five. Rick Remender has figured out a way to make me care about an on-going title that much. I feel sorry for everyone who has completely dismissed this series; especially after the remarkable resume that Remender has compiled. But it is usually around issue number five where a series looses its steam. Writers seem to get lazy and the story just isn’t all that great. Seeing as I do the press releases for Marvel I knew the Uncanny Avengers #5 team roster would be expanding and to be honest that made me a little nervous. Did I have reason for my hesitation about the new members or was this just another well executed plan by Remender?
As the issue starts we are immediately introduced to two new team members. Both are former Avengers, Wasp and Wonder Man. Both have been recruited for PR purposes. Wonder Man says he will not fight. Wasp hasn’t exactly said much of anything other than what I need to hear. The real purpose behind why these two were recruited, and this is drama. Janet Van Dyne is exactly the kind of girl that will butt heads with Wanda and Rogue. Simon ended on extremely bad terms with the Avengers, especially with Captain America. But what about the third member, Sunfire? Why was he brought on to the team? Shiro is basically an atomic bomb. What is more dramatic than having an atomic bomb go off at any given moment? So the new team members will only add to the already dramatic dynamic the team has going for it. I can deal with that, in fact I approve of that.
No Cassaday this issue, but Oliver Coipel does a great job taking over the duties. He is definitely one of the more talented artists and a fine replacement. My only complaint is almost nit picking, but that’s my job, right? Coipel really struggles with faces from a distance. I’m not talking a far distance I mean even slightly distant – the faces always look like those no face aliens from X-Files. It’s almost a hidden talent at how creepy they can look. But as I said before, I completely approve of Coipel as the replacement artist. He is still great at what he does. Not calling the guy a Liefield with feet, I’m just making an observation. But enough about the art. Let’s talk story, shall we?
One of these days I swear I’m gonna make a chart showcasing why this team is the most dramatic team you could possibly have. Show every little thing each person has ever done to one another so people can realize just how much personal angst is on this team. Even with all of the little things (and big things) new drama is always escalating such as Havok being team leader. It would appear that not only are some bitter about the choice due to his time with the X-Men, which Remender all so cleverly revealed through flashbacks just in case people forgot how much Alex Summers thought he was hot shit. But he has been a leader before. And I haven’t quite figured out why all these people can’t seem to remember that. Especially because these members all go WAY back and have known each other for a very long time. Add to that a budding romance between Alex Summers and Rogue and we have even more drama. And if that just wasn’t enough, Wonder Man still has the hots for Wanda. Can I just say what a great guy Captain America is for having all these emotionally charged people on one team? He knows this is a terrible idea, but he does it to prove that mutants and humans can get along.
Okay now we can talk about the story. Sunfire has joined the team just in time to face his greatest fear. The almighty Apocalypse Twins. Just when Sunfire had come to his senses and joined the crusade to save Xavier’s dream, he is going to face that terrible trauma FOR THE SECOND TIME. And to make things worse Kang is the one that will be leading the charge! Not to mention Red Skull is still on the lose as the Onslaught! These people are in for some serious shit! But none of that has even come to light yet, currently we are dealing with another guy with a vendetta, The Grim Reaper! Simon continues his mantra of not fighting even though his brother is wiping the floor with everyone. This could prove to be an issue in the future.
One important factor in this issue was the introduction for the Uncanny Avengers, which weren’t called Uncanny Avengers at all. Which is good but The Avengers Unity Division? I understand that the main goal is promote peace between humans and mutants but that just seems silly. Something I would like the writing team to do is explain how Captain America even has time for both these teams. Let alone his own solo adventures. There seems to be no time that flies by. It appears to be almost the next day each time. I know this has been a problem with many characters appearing in different books but we aren’t talking about just any writer here. We are talking about THE Rick Remender, the man made Uncanny X-Force the must buy title. Give him the right team he can do it. You give a man lemons he will make lemonade and he will make the juiciest lemonade out there.
The last thing I’m going to discuss is Alex showing his real identity to the entire press crowd. A very Avenger like move. Are secret identities even a thing anymore? Alex made a big move to let the crowd know that he doesn’t like the word mutant. I guess he finds it racist? Even though they call themselves mutants and have for years… I thought that was a really dumb line. But then I realized why it was put in there. When the reporter said “What do we call you then?” And Havok simply responded with “How about Alex?” BOOM! And just like that Alex Summers because the face of the Uncanny Avengers, I’m sorry, Alex Summers became the face of The Avengers Unity Division. I am so glad they didn’t give the comic that title, yikes.
Overall another incredible issue. Uncanny Avengers is everything comics should be. I should never have trouble getting through a comic. I can’t say that I don’t have trouble reading through some of the comics I read. But Uncanny Avengers has a recipe and the main ingredient is success.