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Uncanny Avengers #23: Review

Aug 2014
Rick Remender, Sanford Greene

Story Name:

Let's get well

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Uncanny Avengers #23 Review by (September 13, 2014)
Immortus' remark that he doesn't remember *this* Kang implies that he *does* remember others. Originally Immortus was the future self of 1 of many alternate Kangs, with the memories of all of them. But in Avengers Forever Immortus' timeline was severed from that of Kang. This is the 1st explicit statement that he still remembers Kang-lives. Possibly he doesn't remember any Kangs who diverged after they split in AvF. (Or more logically he shouldn't remember any Kangs who diverged after he absorbed all the memories in Avengers #269. Which brings with it the possibility that, due to time-travel, this Immortus is between Av#269 and AvF. And hence the post-AvF Immortus could *still* have no Kang-memories. Isn't time-travel confusing!) Time-travel and alternate futures mess up Ahab's history too. He was introduced in the Days of Future Present crossover Annuals, inserting him into the Days of Future Past future of concentration camps for mutants, as their Master of mutant-sniffing Hounds. In #12 of this series he was seen in such a future, but this time Red Skull was behind the mutant internment camps. In #14 Kang rescued him from Red Skull and that disintegrating future (from a scene that looks remarkably like the end of this issue). He was left here last issue obviously with instructions to help Red Skull. Who now, in this new future timeline, intends concentration camps for *all* supercharacters.

This issue's Sanford Greene begins a sequence of 1-off artists replacing Daniel Acuna. Rogue's mutant gift meant she would absorb memories and powers from others by skin contact. But too prolonged contact could hurt them, even kill them. It also meant that she was denied intimacy. And also her mind was often plagued by the personalities of people she'd affected. But she was eventually given full control of her power by Prof X in X-Men: Legacy #224. So she could absorb stuff only when she wants, and then without damaging the other person, and without lingering personality transfer. But now it seems she's back to square 1. Back in #9 we learned about the 7 prime timelines. Immortus now refers to them as the 7 most *likely* futures, but the 1 future that is now replacing them is still called the prime timeline. I mentioned in #9 that the idea of 1 'prime' timeline wasn't new, but multiple primes was. The idea of probability applied to timelines is also new to Marvel, I think.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Uncanny Avengers #23 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
It's some weeks after the Ragnarok Now/Planet X story, and Wasp has been with Scarlet Witch in a remote cabin coming to terms with the loss of her daughter Katie (conceived in an alternate future that has now been wiped from all but the memories of some of the Unity Squad). They're returning because Jan's husband (in that future) Havok is going to be released from a stasis tube where he's been recovering from his injuries.

When they get back to Avengers Mansion they find that Steve Rogers has become too old to continue as Captain America (since CA#21). Thor and Wolverine are also there. And it seems that Alex Summers, along with Banshee, Rogue and Sunfire, are going to be revived not so much because they've recovered but more because the Avengers scientists Beast, Iron Man and Vision have given up trying to find ways to help them.

Banshee will be stuck with the Apocalypse Death Seed (but at least he's still no longer dead) - so it seems they're going to leave him in stasis and maybe try a long nanotech process to separate the death energy. Sunfire will also be stuck in an energy form that he only conventionally shapes like a human.And Havok's cosmic energy-based system rejects all plastic surgery, so he's going to remain disfigured. But the science guys are more hopeful that Rogue will be able to free Wonder Man from within her mind.

They release Havok, Rogue and Sunfire. Alex and Jan unite in love and grief over Katie. Wanda tries to magic Wonder Man out of Rogue as she did all the other powers last issue. Not only does she fail again, but Rogue's touch shocks her. Rogue realises that she's got her old problem back - she can't touch people with unprotected skin without damaging them (and starting to absorb their memories, powers, etc).

Not only that but she's still sharing her mind with Simon Williams, and she can't shut his voice out. She panics and flies away, even though Simon tries to calm her down. When Scarlet Witch catches up with her, Rogue blames her for the situation. But Wanda reminds her that it's her love Simon who's trapped in there.

Havok and Wasp are discussing things. Alex reminds Jan that the future may be gone, but they lived it - fell in love, married and had a daughter. And Katie isn't dead - Kang has her outside of time. Jan doesn't know how she can live without her. And Immortus drops in to say she might not have to.

The Master of Limbo 1st digresses about the result of the just-concluded story. The 7 most likely futures have been destroyed, and the new prime timeline is still being created out of chaos by actions now. He and his Infinity Watch will guard that future against tampering by Kang. But he has no memory of this Kang's actions, so he doesn't know where Kang and his Chronos Corps (and Katie) are hiding.

But Immortus tells them that there is a way to get Katie's spirit back. If they conceive at a specific date and time, then the child will be Katie. He has seen this in the possible futures.

But if the Red Skull's current plans come to fruition, such a future will not be. So they must kill the Skull. (At 1 point during this conversation/monologue Wasp says she doesn't trust Immortus - this could be just 1 of his schemes. She may be right.)

Red Skull is with Ahab. They say that Arnim Zola will begin the 'cleansing' tomorrow with his mutate army, and the Avengers will fall into his trap (presumably this is the invasion of New York that started in CA#22). Meanwhile Skull has set another trap for the X-Men (in Genosha judging by what he says in that issue). Now he sends his S-Men to 'collect his prime targets' in a specified order.

Now Skull considers Ahab. He can read the other's thoughts using Charles Xavier's brain, so he knows that Kang deliberately left Ahab to work with him last issue. And that Kang wants Skull to succeed because that will make a far future easily ruled by himself. But he also knows that Ahab himself would prefer his own now-deleted future - 1 where mutants are kept in concentration camps. This has given Red Skull the idea of doing the same thing for all superhumans (unless he's being sarcastic when he says he hadn't thought of it for himself), showing Ahab rows of huts behind barbed wire fences.


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Sanford Greene
Sanford Greene
Dean White
Agustin Alessio (Cover Penciler)
Agustin Alessio (Cover Inker)
Agustin Alessio (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.
Editor: Daniel Ketchum.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Beast
Beast

(Hank McCoy)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Red Skull
Red Skull

(Johann Shmidt)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: Ahab, Arnim Zola, Banshee, Havok, Immortus, S-Men, Sunfire.