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Uncanny Avengers #8: Review

May 2013
Rick Remender, Daniel Acuna

Story Name:

(No title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Uncanny Avengers #8 Review by (May 14, 2013)
At one point Uriel refers to Red Skull's onslaught. Because everything is in capitals one can't tell if that's really 'Onslaught'. But the word is in bold, suggesting that it is. Possibly this points to a future plot development where Skull's merger with the brain of Prof X creates a new Onslaught, as the previous one was a psychic merger of Prof X and Magneto. Ahab was a character in a future timeline in an Annuals crossover (Fantastic Four #23, New Mutants #6, X-Factor #5, Uncanny X-Men #14) called Days of Future Present, which was itself a continuation of the Days of Future Past story in UXM#141-142 where mutants are confined in camps. He was the master of the Hounds, mutants who were trained to hunt down other mutants. The Ahab referred to here is possibly from a variant of that future, because Red Skull and Kang weren't mentioned in the original. I think what Wolverine was remembering last issue was the events in Uncanny X-Force (2010) that I commented on last time. Logan was presumably shocked by the Twins reminding him of Archangel. Archangel did actually die in UXF#18, and it is supposedly a new personality that occupies his body now. But it was actually Psylocke that killed him. And it was Fantomex who shot Apocalypse's child in UXF#4. The inhabitants of Akkaba were among the millions of mutants depowered when Scarlet Witch said "No more mutants" at the end of House of M #7.

Extra comments on #8AU:- The Age of Ultron tie-in clarifies some of what's going on in Uncanny Avengers itself. Kang lives outside of time and so can choose to enter the timeline created in AoU#7 by Wolverine going back to kill Henry Pym before he invented Ultron. He chooses to bring the teenage Eimin and Uriel there. So this lies between his kidnapping them as babies in our #5 and their returning as adults in #7. We learn that as part of their upbringing Kang would punish the Twins by putting them in the mutants concentration camps set up by Red Skull and run by Ahab in multiple futures, as the Twins recall this issue. We see Uriel in particular chafing under Kang's rule. And we witness them learning about Jarnbjorn for the 1st time, which Kang has used to kill heirs of Apocalypse in many timelines, and which the current Twins have predumably stolen from him. Kang tells the Twins he has defeated all other versions of them in different timelines. (Although in #5 he admitted to us that whenever he got rid of one heir of Apocalypse another one would pop up. But that was before he got hold of Jarnbjorn in #6.) He reminds them that his new tactic is to raise this version of them to work with him to lead mutants away to a place of safety (thus leaving the humans of Earth for him to rule). (But his method seems to be to emphasise how humans hate mutants.) The goal of the older Twins in the main series now seems to be in opposition to Kang's plan. They have come to prevent Red Skull's camps, which they see as leading to Kang's rule. But whether they are intent on leading mutants to salvation elsewhere, or mean just to wipe humans out is unclear to me.

The next section is the more general #8AU comments I added previously. The section after that is comments on #8 itself.

In this issue we get the 1st mention of the Rapture, though we don't yet know what it is. This issue repeats what the other #8 said that Eimin lost her sight as a punishment from Kang. But #12 will show us that Uriel was ordered by Ahab to blind his sister as a punishment on them both, the alternative being that Ahab would kill her. Kang just didn't stop it, but observed from outside the timeline. Other trophies of Kang's include some Captain America shields including a triangular one, and a Darkdevil costume from the Spider-Girl timeline. He also has Ahab's armour. This could be from the X-Men's Days of Future Past timeline, or from the timeline above where Ahab is working for Red Skull. But in #14 Kang will rescue Ahab from that disintegrating timeline, claiming that Ahab has been really working for *him*. Kang has told the Twins that Wolverine killed their father Archangel. Strictly speaking Psylocke killed him in Uncanny X-Force #18, but Wolverine was the leader of the team. And I'm not sure to what extent Warren Worthington is dead, since his body is still walking and talking. Age of Ultron #8 explained that Morgana le Fey won a war against Asgard and now controls half the world. There is no Avengers. Dr Strange's Defenders (and Iron Man's version of SHIELD) stand against Morgana. Cable is 1 of the Defenders, but in this reality it's the codename of Alex's brother Scott Summers - Cyclops to us. This issue makes it clear that Thor is dead, whereas in AoU#8 I just assumed he'd retreated to Asgard with the rest of the Asgardians. The Morlocks are a group of mutants whose monstrous looks would make it difficult for them to live amongst surface humans, so they inhabited the New York sewer system. Sinister's Mutant Massacre of Morlocks occurred in the main Marvel timeline too, in the X-titles at the end of 1986. Caliban was 1 of the Morlocks who survived.

I've added #8AU as a 2nd story to #8, because such an issue can't be simply included in this database. I already added comments on #8AU that were especially relevant to the ongoing series. Now I'm adding some comments more specific to the issue itself. Some of them benefit from knowledge of issues that have followed since.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Uncanny Avengers #8 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Apocalypse Twins Eimin and Uriel watch from Apocalypse's Celestial ship as Thor breaks up the Peak satellite falling on Rio de Janeiro. He destroys some of the pieces, but is faced with a dilemma - smashing the last piece with Mjolnir could still cost some lives. But Sunfire, who obviously survived the collison of spaceship and satellite last issue suddenly pops up and vaporises it.

While they watch, the Twins from the far future remember their childhood in the time soon to come. Red Skull will turn the world against mutants, and have them put in camps, where Ahab will choose some to be his Hounds. They have come here to prevent that future. Eimin also remembers how Kang had her blinded, and gave her time-space synesthesia. In particular music enables her to see the future. But not now because they have set up a tachyon dam which stops time-sensing (and also stops someone like Kang looking in).

Eimin had predicted that Sunfire would appear here to save the day, and it is he they want to talk to. They also want to recruit a female to their cause, who later statements suggest is Scarlet Witch.

Enhancements by Apocalypse when Shiro was one of his Horsemen allow Sunfire to accompany Thor into airless space to reach the Celestial ship. The Thunder God has a personal stake in confronting the Twins because Uriel has his old weapon, the super-powerful axe Jarnbjorn. Inside they find the slaughtered crew. And the ship takes them away.

Wasp is flying an Avengers quinjet to the North Pole, where Wolverine tells them Apocalypse's underground city of Akkaba is located. Havok, Rogue and Scarlet Witch are along for the ride. (Wonder Man is obviously sticking to his pacifist stance and staying behind.)

Everyone senses Logan knows more than he's telling. But Rogue counters that Thor is keeping some secret about the axe. She takes Wolverine aside and confronts him with the fact that the Twins' wings are reminiscent of the ones Apocalypse gave Archangel when he was a Horseman. Wolvie responds that Archangel can't be involved because he's dead. But Wasp thinks their whispered conference is another example of the mutant members keeping things from the rest of the team.

The Avengers know that Captain America escaped from The Peak along with the SWORD agents in escape pods. But now SWORD boss Abigail Brand contacts them to say that his pod has gone missing.

Cap's capsule has been inexplicably diverted to South Sudan, where militants don't take kindly to his red, white and blue uniform. Escaping from them he hides in an abandoned basement. And finds a recording device with an instruction addressed to him personally telling him how to use it. The message it plays indicates that the sender knew exactly how he would get here, and such a devious plan was necessary to fool *them* (presumably the Twins).

The Celestial ship has brought Sunfire and Thor to Akkaba, where they are confronted by holograms of Eimin and Uriel. The Twins ask Shiro to resume his Horseman role as Famine, but he declines.

They thank Thor for enchanting Jarnbjorn to battle Celestials (as seen in #6). They tell how Kang (in the future) used the axe to kill any who succeeded Apocalypse in the Celestial-driven plan to guide the evolution of mutants. Thus allowing Kang to rule the world and subdue the mutant race. But now *they* have the axe, and they will use it to redress the balance.

They also damn Wolverine and his X-Force for killing earlier heirs of Apocalypse:- Archangel, and also Apocalypse's child En Sabah Nur.

Meanwhile the Twins themselves are really walking amongst the inhabitants of Akkaba, who all lost their mutant gene after House of M. Uriel uses his chrono-power to age them all to dust. He considers it a mercy killing.

The Twins now leave the city. Their purpose had been to spread the seeds of dissent amongst the Uncanny Avengers, which they believe will help Wanda to come over to their side.

The quinjet arrives just in time to see Eimin and Uriel fly off. And the city of Akkaba explode.

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Story #2

#8AU (no title given)

Writer: Gerry Duggan. Writer: Rick Remender. Penciler: Adam Kubert. Inker: Adam Kubert. Colorist: Frank Martin. Editor: Daniel Ketchum. Editor: Tom Brevoort. Cover Penciler: Jim Cheung. Cover Inker: Mark Morales. Cover Colorist: Justin Ponsor. Letterer: Cory Petit.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

In 4145 Kang amuses himself watching Ant-Men Eric O'Grady and Scott Lang fight to the death against sword-wielding ants in an artificial ant-hill. He turns to the young teen Apocalypse Twins Uriel and Eimin that he abducted as infants in #5. He claims that he has always defeated them as grownups in multiple timelines as they tried to lead and defend mutantkind. These and other timelines have shown that war between humans and mutants is inevitable. He proposes that they take a new approach and lead mutants to a destiny separate from humans. The Twins are willing and eager to do whatever their 'father' wants.

Kang promises to teach them how to fight to overcome the obstacles that will arise. Uriel asks why they can't simply just use time-travel to kill their enemies at birth. Kang claims that is not the honourable way of the warrior, but also explains that such intervention usually has unpredictable and undesirable consequences. As an example he will show them the timeline that has arisen in Age of Ultron after Wolverine went back in time to kill Henry Pym.

In this timeline Morgana le Fey is the dominant enemy and the Defenders are the super-group arrayed against her.

Kang shows them Steve Rogers (Colonel America in this reality wearing Nick Fury's eyepatch), 1 of their greatest foes in all timelines. He wants them to kill him without using the time-powers he has given them, and in open conflict - not sneaky assassination.

Rogers enters the tunnels beneath New York seeking the mutant Morlocks, who are even more cautious of topsiders since Mr Sinister tried to wipe them out in the Mutant Massacre. Callisto reluctantly takes him to their leader Havok. CA is here with the blessing of Alex Summers' brother Cable, to arrest Caliban wanted for murder. There's no love lost between the brothers, Havok believes Caliban killed in self-defence, and the Morlocks don't trust human courts, so they refuse to give him up.

Havok is supported by his wife Rogue. Steve reminds them that his murdered wife Scarlet Witch believed that humans and mutants should live in peace, but the Morlocks don't rate her much either.

The argument is interrupted by an attack by the Twins. Eimin fires what seems like solid light beams at CA while Uriel strikes at him physically. They claim to be defending the Morlocks, but the mutants don't know who they are and the light beams are hitting some of them.

Havok tells Rogers to head off into the tunnels to draw the fire away. The twins follow him, and he hears them talking about Father Kang. Steve realises that the youngsters are just deluded pawns, and this tempers his response. But he ambushes them, downing Eimin. CA and Uriel engage in a physical struggle until they are separated underwater. Rogers surfaces near some more Morlocks as Uriel strikes with the solid light, and again Morlocks get injured. But Steve also has lots of light shards in his back poisoning him. Invisible Kang urges the Twin to finish him off, but Uriel hesitates.

Havok arrives to hold Uriel off while CA staggers away. Uriel tries to argue his way past the mutant, saying he's seen what humans do to mutants in the future in Red Skull's concentration camps. Havok won't give way, and under the insistence of Kang Uriel cuts him in 2 with the sharp edge of his wings, saying Alex was too weak to lead the mutants.

Rogue catches up with her husband and viciously attacks Uriel when she sees the dead body. But the Twin fatally stabs her with his wing tip. As she's dying she touches his face to take his memories. She realises that he is Archangel's son, and that Kang has corrupted the Twins. Surprisingly Uriel says they know Kang is evil. But he is teaching them how to save their people the mutants.

Uriel flies off with Rogue, taking her to the Morlocks to possibly be healed. But Eimin stops him, firing more solid light knives which finish Rogue off. Angry Uriel attacks his sister. They're supposed to protect mutants, not kill them! But Kang praises Eimin for having the will to kill her enemies, while Uriel has shown weakness. And they both failed to kill their prime target Colonel America.

Kang takes Rogue's hood as a trophy for Eimin. They go back to his future HQ, where the trophy room holds things like multiple different heads of Hank McCoy the Beast and multiple different Iron Man helmets. Kamg claims to have killed them all in hand-to-hand combat. The twins notice for the 1st time the axe which Kang tells them is Jarnbjorn, enchanted to kill Celestials (as seen in #6). He has used it to kill Apocalypse and his heirs in many timelines.

Kang says Uriel needs toughening up, and will be sent to spend more time in 1 of Red Skull's camps under the control of Ahab. Eimin volunteers to accompany her brother.



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


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Kang
Kang

(Kang the Conqueror)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: Abigail Brand, Ahab, Apocalypse Twins, Archangel, Callisto, Havok, Sunfire, X-Force.