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Uncanny Avengers #1: Review

Oct 2012
Rick Remender, John Cassaday

Story Name:

New Union

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

Uncanny Avengers #1 Review by (October 14, 2012)
Review: So, here we have the first release in Marvel’s new initiative, designed as a jumping-on point for all the new readers who have seen the Avengers movie. How does it work on that account? Well, we begin by rehashing Charles Xavier’s dream of mutant equality at great length; y’know, if a new reader doesn’t know about this already, he won’t be helped by anything else in the issue. Then they provide a recap of AVX which says nothing beyond “Cyclops turned evil and killed Professor X,” which leaves out an awful lot of the story. And then they fail to explain anything about the House of M series which is at the heart of the conflict between Rogue and Wanda later in the book. So I would say that as a way to get new readers up to speed (especially those who aren’t familiar with the X-Men) the issue is a failure. Well, how about as a story? Here we do a little better. Confession: I’ve never been a fan of the X-Men, so I was a bit disappointed when this turned out to be more of an X-Men title than Avengers. Maybe it’s because as a metaphor for oppressed minorities everywhere, the characters (and/or the writers) are so bleepin’ self-righteous—or perhaps it’s because there are just too many people and titles for me to wrap my head around. Either way, I never got into them so I’ll give this my best shot. Logan eulogizes Professor X, Havok yells at Cyclops, Cap and Thor show up, a big fight scene, Scarlet Witch and Rogue fight, villain reveal. Okay plot mainly sets up the first story arc, decent art (Cassaday was better in his Cap run about a decade ago), gruesome brain surgery bookends. As Iron Man-ager Rob Johnson put it, “The X-universe has for a long time been a mainly self-contained bubble within the rest of the Marvel Universe. Won’t making them merge more confuse readers joining from the films, where the Avengers and X-Men are separate franchises? Or does somebody know something we don’t?!” He’s got a point. But then, what can we learn from issue #1 of a new title?

Comments: The first title in 2012’s Marvel NOW! initiative. Many X-Men are seen in cameos at Xavier’s funeral, most notably Storm and Beast, with Magneto watching the ceremony on TV. This issue comes with eighteen variant covers including the obligatory blank one (“instant collector’s item and no thought had to be put into it!”).



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Uncanny Avengers #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

As an unseen figure muses on the world’s growing mistrust of mutants in the wake of the coming of the Phoenix Force (see AVENGERS VS. X-MEN), he performs surgery on the mutant known as Avalanche, removing the frontal lobe of his brain and replacing it with an electronic device….

As a crowd gathers at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, a pensive Logan steps up to a podium and delivers the eulogy for Charles Xavier, honoring his vision of a world where human and mutant could live together in harmony and mourning the tragedy that he did not live to see it happen. While this is taking place, Alex (Havok) Summers is at the Brig, SHIELD’s high security prison to visit his brother Scott, who betrayed Xavier’s vision and the trust the X-Men placed in him, seeking a violent solution to the mutant problem. As he leaves Alex is met by Captain America and Thor who take him back to Avengers Mansion. There, Cap proposes a squad of Avengers led by Havok, featuring Avengers and X-Men working together to set an example of cooperation. Alex is reluctant—but they are then interrupted by the appearance of Avalanche in the street outside unleashing his earthquake powers. Havok, Cap, and Thor rush to the scene, where the villain calmly announces, "The inciting act is complete" and hurls himself from a high promontory.

Meanwhile, Scarlet Witch is quietly mourning at Xavier’s grave when Rogue appears and blames her decimation of the mutants during the House of M crisis for Cyclops’ mad plan to restore them. Wanda in turn rejects the martyr complex which seems to infect the X-Men. Rogue tries to absorb Wanda’s powers but is confused when it doesn’t work. Suddenly they are interrupted by a massive explosion at the tomb, and five grotesque villains appear and overpower the two heroines. Collecting what they came for (Xavier’s corpse, as we learn on the next page), they exit through a gateway created by one of the baddies.

Epilogue: The mystery villain gloats that he now possesses the most powerful weapon on Earth, Charles Xavier’s brain—and he stands revealed as…the Red Skull!


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John Cassaday
John Cassaday
Laura Martin
John Cassaday (Cover Penciler)
John Cassaday (Cover Inker)
Laura Martin (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Red Skull
Red Skull

(Johann Shmidt)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: Avalanche, Havok, S-Men.