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Uncanny Avengers #5: Review

Mar 2013
Rick Remender, Olivier Coipel

Story Name:

Let the Good Times Roll

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Uncanny Avengers #5 Review by (April 24, 2013)
Rogue has much better control of her powers since Prof X helped her in X-Men Legacy #224. Hence she is able to kiss Havok's cheek without borrowing his power and leaving him unconscious. Rogue was unable to take Wonder Man's power in her 1st appearance in Avengers Annual #10. Thor is always in the background here, and doesn't say or do anything. For instance he doesn't sit down at the meeting table. It wouldn't surprise me if he was added to his few panels as an afterthought. The original Unity Team could be considered as equally split, it's 6 members managing to simultaneously have 4 Avengers and 4 mutants. Or looked at another way, 3 primarily Avengers and 3 primarily X-Men (counting Scarlet Witch among the former and Wolverine among the latter). The new 9-person version looks Avenger-heavy:- 6 Avengers and 5 mutants, or 5 primarily Avengers and 4 primarily X-Men-related (counting Sunfire among the latter). The only way I see to make it look even is to count Scarlet Witch as X-Men-related as well as Avenger. But we have yet to see how active Wasp and Wonder Man will be in the team.

When did Wasp get enough money to fund this team? She lost her inherited fortune due to the machinations of evil Tony Stark during the Crossing event. Since then she's worked as e.g. a fashion designer. Maybe good Tony Stark gave her her money back after Heroes Reborn? Scott (Cyclops) Summers is of course, since Avengers vs X-Men, the leader of the 'terrorist' group of X-Men in the current Uncanny X-Men. Wolverine was also Death during X-Men crossover The Twelve. Sunfire was Horseman Famine after House of M. Wolverine killing his villainous son Daken is another bit from Remender's UXF, this time #34. Wonder Man and Scarlet Witch were lovers after she resurrected him in his current ionic form after Heroes Reborn (although I think they were romantically inclined in Avengers West Coast). Simon had been killed in Force Works #1. Simon Williams' brother Eric surfaced as Grim Reaper in the original Avengers #52, to avenge Wonder Man's 1st 'death' in Av#9. He then got confused when Vision was created with Simon's brain patterns, and when WM himself returned. I think GM himself has died and been resurrected 3 times. The 2nd resurrection was also courtesy of Scarlet Witch post-Heroes Reborn. He then died in Dark Reign: Lethal Legion and came back again during the Chaos War. But he also supposedly died again there too. However in this issue he claims to have discovered he now can't be killed. A claim which Rogue appears to refute.

The prologue of this issue starts the next plotline, continuing the theme of combining Avengers- and X-Men-related subjects. The 1st arc saw a merger of Captain America's Red Skull with X-Men's dead Prof X. The next arc pits Avengers' Kang against the legacy of X-Men's Apocalypse. I will say more on Apocalypse's relationship with the Celestials in next issue's comments. Akkaba was the name of Apocalypse's birthplace in Egypt while Kang was reigning as Pharaoh Rama-Tut, in the Rise of Apocalypse mini-series. The Apocalypse vs Dracula limited series says he formed his descendants into Clan Akkaba, continuing to this day. I believe Akkaba City under the North Pole was 1st seen in Uncanny X-Force #14. The current 4 Horsemen are Pestilence (Ichisumi the geisha), War (Decimus Furius the Minotaur), Famine (Jeb Lee the Civil War drummer). There is no current Death Horseman. The 4th person here is Apocalypse's son Genocide. Apocalypse himself has been dead since X-Men v2 #186. The Kang plotline picks up elements from Rick Remender's Uncanny X-Force. The current Horsemen were introduced in UXF#2. (Their Death died in UXF#14.) Genocide debuted in UXF#13. In that series Archangel, who used to be one of Apocalypse's Horsemen (Death, in the early days of X-Factor), became turned to his dark side by a Seed planted in him by Apocalypse to trigger after his death. Before the end of the series Pestilence was pregnant by him. Apocalypse's clone Genesis was also introduced in #4 of that series. (But he's now a student in Wolverine & the X-Men.) For a bit more on Kang's involvement with Apocalypse see next issue. For more on Kang in general see Avengers Forever #9. But really this whole Apocalypse/Celestials/Kang plot is invented in this arc.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Uncanny Avengers #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In Akkaba City under the North Pole Pestilence gives birth to Archangel's children, the Apocalypse Twins Uriel and Eimin, watched by the other current Horsemen of Apocalypse and Apocalypse's son Genocide.

Kang is also watching from outside time. He knows/believes this is all part of a plan by the Celestials, which he has been fighting since the time of his reign as Pharaoh Rama-Tut. He wants to stop Uriel from becoming ruler of a ravaged Earth. A chronos dam of adaptable tachyons has prevented him from forestalling their birth. Apparently he has tried to kill Uriel in the future. But his place has always been taken by his sister Eimin, Apocalypse's son Genocide, or Apocalypse's clone Genesis.

Now Kang thinks he has the answer, as he takes the twins away with him. (But I'm unsure whether he means to pit the twins against each other, or to use them to prevent their own fate.)

(Of course Kang isn't the altruistic hero here. He just wants a future that *he* rules.)

Back at the more prosaic Avengers Mansion in New York City, Wasp and Wonder Man have just flown in to be the Avengers PR people. Wasp is also going to fund the Unity Team, as Iron Man bankrolls the main bunch. Wonder Man wants to support his old love Scarlet Witch. The mutants on the team distrust her after House of M and Decimation. But the old Avengers don't like Wonder Man after he publicly turned against them (culminating in 2011/2012's New Avengers and Avengers Annuals).

Havok welcomes them, visibly trying (and failing with Rogue) to keep a happy ship. Wasp unveils her PR plan to make mutants consumer-friendly with a line of clothing based on their costumes (and probably a line of toys).

The news reports that since Red Skull and the S-Men in the preceding storyline anti-mutant feelings are still rising. Scarlet Witch tells Captain America she thinks Alex Summers isn't up to the job as leader. Steve gently reminds Wanda why they can't afford to have *her* as the public face of the team.

Cap calls a team meeting. (Rogue snipes that she thought only team-leader Alex could call meetings. Havok weakly declares that from now on *anyone* can convene a meeting.) Cap reminds them that Avalanche, who figured publicy in Skull's plot, used to be a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. And so were Rogue and Scarlet Witch. So he thinks they should play down the mutant women's membership. But Havok takes a stand and says they should all be given equal prominence.

Later he admits to Rogue that he doesn't feel like a leader. But he wants to show brother Scott thet Charles Xavier's dream of human/mutant friendship isn't dead.

Wolverine isn't at the meeting because he's in Tokyo recruiting Sunfire to the team. Shiro Yoshida is now a drunk, bemoaning his time as Apocalypse's Horseman Famine. Logan reminds Sunfire that he too served a time as a Horseman, Death. And he's just killed his own son Daken. Shiro resists Logan's plea to carry on Prof X's dream. But the news of what Red Skull did to the dead Xavier changes his mind.

Wolvie and Sunfire are there with the rest as Cap publicly announces the formation of the Avengers Unity Division, led by Havok. Havok publicly unmasks as Alex Summers, brother to Cyclops. He says he wants to ban the word mutant - the Avengers are all humans. (Er, what about Thor? And Wonder Man's ionic.)

Then we have the obligatory fight. Simon Williams' brother Grim Reaper attacks Scarlet Witch for bewitching Wonder Man, but Wondy takes the brunt of the blast meant for Wanda. More than this, Eric *blames* the Witch for bringing Simon back to life. Grim Reaper himself was once dead too, and thinks they should both be left to return to the peace of the grave.

Reaper fends off Wolverine, Cap and Rogue. Sunfire tries to get Wonder Man to attack, but Simon says he's a pacifist now. His brother stabs him with his scythe, which disrupts his ionic energy, rendering the choice moot. As Reaper menaces unconscious Witch, Rogue steals Wonder Man's power and punches his brother in the jaw. Unfortunately she didn't know how powerful Simon was, and she kills Eric in full view of press and public.

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Olivier Coipel
Mark Morales
Larry Molinar
John Cassaday (Cover Penciler)
John Cassaday (Cover Inker)
Laura Martin (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Kang
Kang

(Kang the Conqueror)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: Apocalypse Twins, Archangel, Avalanche, Grim Reaper, Havok, Sunfire.