When Uncanny Avengers’ last arc ended with the absolute destruction of Earth, I had absolutely no idea where this series was going. Here we are, entire issues later, and it’s been consistently and amazingly entertaining and, though it looks like we’re on the cusp of the status quo returning, I’m actually incredibly excited to see how it all shakes out. From time travelling Avengers, Kang the Conqueror actually being helpful, morally troubled X-Men (or X-Council as they’re now known), Rick Remender has done a LOT in a shockingly small amount of time. Remender, in general, does a great job of giving us heroic heroes and villains who are villainous only the loosest sense of the word as they have tremendously good motivations, particularly Magneto who seemingly has everything he’s ever wanted, even if the methods were extreme even by his standards. There are twists and turns here that are well earned, but this is a very combat-heavy issue and the combat is HIGHLY entertaining, seeing a lot of characters face off who haven’t had the opportunity to do so. I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for battle issues and this one does not disappoint.
Daniel Acuña handles art from pencils to inks to colors and that makes it all the more impressive that the art is so consistently incredible. I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of this very title that Acuña style is especially well suited to this title’s tone of science fiction and high fantasy and that continues to be the case in this issue where we get bright, shining visuals contrasted with dark, twisted action, but all the time the visual style is unique and singular, always serving the tone. The tone, by the way, is pitch black, even in the hopeful moments. This is still a grim, dark book with a lot of disturbing moments, particularly from Wolverine and Sunfire. This is a future I wouldn’t mind seeing more of.
Some of the motivations in this issue seem forced to ensure the plot moves forward. I won’t spoil any major plot points, but some characters turn on a dime in ways that don’t feel entirely earned, and it’s not even the first one in the issue. We’re talking about some beliefs that were firmly entrenched simply being uprooted for no reason beyond “Well, I hadn’t thought of it LIKE THAT,” or at least that’s how it comes across.
I love that we’ve spent awhile in this timeline, and I actually wouldn’t have minded spending even MORE time in it if we’d been given the chance. Perhaps we will at some later time, but for now it seems like we’ll be leaving and it’s a testament to the strength of the storytelling that I can’t wait for that either.