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Uncanny Avengers #9 Review

5

Debates rage and conflicts threaten to rip the team apart. While battle lines are drawn, the Apocalypse Twins unveil their most terrifying creations yet.

The Good

Rick Remender has, so far, told an incredible story in a very small amount of time. It’s a story that, across less than 10 issues (even counting the Age of Ultron tie-in) has set up a cosmic-level threat that hearkens back to his Uncanny X-Force run in a natural, organic way but also fits seamlessly into Marvel’s narrative and timeline, despite large swaths of it being a massive retcon. This issue, specifically, is all about consequences. We see glimpses of Daken in Wolverine’s nightmares, the revelation of Uncanny X-Force’s first mission, in which a child carrying the mantle of Apocalypse, was killed comes to light for his teammates and Kang’s seemingly-limitless ego and plotting finally hit a wall at full-speed. The characters both banter and argue well, the Apocalypse Twins’ ploy takes an old idea and makes it new again, and no one character is given too much panel time. He even addresses a point we discussed on the podcast about why mutants are so much more feared than people who got their powers artificially, and while he doesn’t answer it definitively, he presents it, as well as the “mutant pride” argument, so well that it’s clear he’s not taking a side but letting the reader decide what they may.

Daniel Acuña's art is, likewise, still amazing. His strange, surreal style had worked well in the fantasy of Thor’s flashback and the high science-fiction of the Apocalypse Twins’ machinations, but even something as simple as Wolverine and Rogue having a kitchen conversation over steak is so beautifully rendered, with such attention to detail, that it makes it seem more stylized than it actually needs to be. Very few people make indistinct character outlines and completely invisible linework function as well as Acuña does, and that continues to be the case throughout this issue.

The Bad

As much as I praise and enjoyed the dialog, parts of this issue are very wordy. There’s no 3rd person narration (which I was JUST starting to come around on in some places), but the debate between Rogue and Scarlet Witch that rages in the Danger Room training session takes place in a VERY high-action part of the issue. It’s eventually played for laughs, but it would have been better to build to it, rather than just having large swaths of text when the eye should be moving faster across the page, off the bat.

The Verdict

This continues to be a must-read book, so if you decided to drop it after the first arc, feel free to come on back. The characterizations are great, and it has SO MUCH of it for a team book, but the real strength lies in the ways these characters interact with each other. Since they’re so clearly defined and consistent, the good times and the bad ones all make sense and all enhance the greater narrative of the book. That coupled with the absolutely incredible art makes this one of my quickly climbing favorite books.

29 Comments
Posted by Kerrigan

I've been enjoying this book--my favorite Avengers title right now. That said, some of the interteam conflict feels a little forced and unnatural. Some of the characters are acting dumber than we know them to be.

The Four Horsemen reveal at the end was really cool.

Edited by ThorBoy

Love this book! Remender is one of the best writers in the industry and has been for a while now

Edited by JamDamage

This story is so good so far. The best part is it's a direct sequel to the Dark Angel Saga, and I think us X-Force fans needed this. It's also setting up so much for the future as well. We knew something was going to happen when Archangel slept with Famine, but I don't think anyone thought it would be on this scale so quickly. We were also teased that Apocalypse is sleeping again, and not dead, so I think that might be Remenders intention of a trilogy. Apocalypse vs Kang. We all know Kand is finished in this story yet. Even tho New Avengers is good right now, this is without a doubt the best Avengers title on the shelves.

Posted by Avengers_4everXX

Really great. I loved the debate between Rogue and Wanda, Remender did a really good jobbing of representing both side of the argument equally(personally I agree with Wanda and Alex, but that's just MO).

By far the best moment of the issue was Wasp to Wolverine: "He's a killer and he never should have been an Avenger!". Ahh that was great. I've been waiting eight years for someone to say that. a very satisfying moment

Posted by Owie

Huh, I hadn't really been all that interested when I read the first issue, but it sounds like it's gotten pretty good. I have no idea what this whole Apocaypse Twins thing is about, but it sounds interesting.

Posted by JamDamage

@jamdamage:

I thought that was great too with the dialogue between Wanda and Rogue. I'm not the biggest Rouge fan or the biggest Wanda fan but the debate between the two has been really good. This book is just great. I just love the whole tie in with the Uncanny X-Force and was pissed that Remender left that book, but now it's like it's just a new team. Really cool. I also like how Thor was ready to walk out with Wolverine.

Posted by SolthesunGod

I think your crazy to give this a five Corey and this is from someone, at least review wise usually agrees with you. This was the weakest issue since the end of the first arc. Acuna is a fantastic artist but his work in this issue was so weak I actually checked the name in the credits to make sure it was even him. Then there was the Scarlet Witch/Rogue convo were Remender continued to drum home his non point....I still think I agree with the sentiment he means but not the one he's articulating....He has the Scarlet Witch state that mutant isn't the same as religion, sexual orientation or race...but all of those things are just social constructs, like mutant in the marvel universe and they intersect anyway so what exactly is the point he's trying to get at....there isn't a universal culture of anything because we are all the sum of different parts. That doesn't mean those cultures or sub-cultures don't exist though or that mutants don't have a shared history. I feel like Remender's approach to mutant culture is like that MP claiming lesbianism doesn't even exist. It's particularly bizarre from Remender too as he actually created a mutant culture or at the very least fleshed out one with Clan Akkaba. I don't know why he's actually denying it's existence when he himself contributed to it. If you have mutant communtities, laws, fashion designers, districts, artists etc how is does not quantify as a culture?

Wolverine suprisingly had some great moments though as did the Apocalypse twins but five stars that's a real stretch. I think three max. This was not Remender's best work. I kind of think he should just stay away completely from any kind of minority metaphor. He's made it clear he doesn't understand it twice now. I'd rather he just not write it all if he's not going to learn from all the critiscm/feedback. The book in general is good but trying to address this element just highlights his total lack of understanding of that topic.

Edited by Ultra_beleco

Can someone explain to me how came there was an explosion in the last issue and the person that stayed the most in a hospital was the one with healing factor?

Edited by Lokheit

Cap proves he's an hypocrite everywhere, first with all the Cyclops stuff, now with Wolverine killing (a discussion that they had yeeeeeaaaaaaars ago)... when while Steve was the leader of the Secret Avengers he made Beast kill an entire underground city with millions of habitants and at the end he tapped his back and told him "it was for the greater good, don't worry". Apparently only if Cap gives the orders, killing for a greater good or taking risks with Hope getting the Phoenix Force is justified. If anyone else takes those decissions, then Cap must step with his righteous shinny shield and bash them as he's the only one allowed to do anything like that.

Thor here, as Rogue said, is the one sane Avenger here (at least Wasp isn't an hypocrite about that part and I can see her personal reasons for not being comfortable). The others are a bunch of hypocrites (not that Wolverine isn't, he is too the way he acts with the Cyclops situation when he continued with X-Force and killed many more than him without being possesed by a cosmic force, but in this case Cap is the one causing trouble with his own hypocresy).

Poor Alex, Cap is using him so that he can make the decissions for the mutants (because remember, only Steve can make decissions about everything) and show Alex's face so mutants accept them. I loved seeing Alex fighting him in Cable and X-Force when Hope tricked their minds and that's what should happen here...

Don't get me wrong, I'm loving this series and the dialogues were great. I like the way this is developing. It's just that it irks me when Cap (or Wolverine in other situations) act like righteous saints when they're just hypocrites.

Posted by victorcheenoanleu

@lokheit: To be fair he's a completely different person when he's not Captain America. Even I who hate the good Captain understand that much. Bucky was a completely different person when he carried the shield too, but I do have to admit it does bother me when he starts throwing things like that in people's faces.

Posted by Doombert

This story is so good so far. The best part is it's a direct sequel to the Dark Angel Saga, and I think us X-Force fans needed this. It's also setting up so much for the future as well. We knew something was going to happen when Archangel slept with Famine, but I don't think anyone thought it would be on this scale so quickly. We were also teased that Apocalypse is sleeping again, and not dead, so I think that might be Remenders intention of a trilogy. Apocalypse vs Kang. We all know Kand is finished in this story yet. Even tho New Avengers is good right now, this is without a doubt the best Avengers title on the shelves.

Perhaps I missed something, but where is it teased that the big A is sleeping?

Posted by victorcheenoanleu

I also thought the first arc went by rather slow, but in the end I was satisfied with the outcome. Then after that first arc everything kicked into high gear with Rogue dropping Grim Reaper's useless behind & then the introduction of the Apocalypse twins. This series is magnificent & Remender's writing is so good. I just wish Alex wasn't portrayed as such a pushover.

Posted by Chibio

So, the four horsemen have arrived! Great! I'm looking forward to see the promissed fight between Thor and the Sentry and I'm telling you right now: I will be very upset, if they make the fight look even. I personally think that Sentry is more powerful than Thor in his regular form, but then giving him a horseman-power upgrade? He should be able to easily defeat Thor.

Edited by ghostcopy

@doombert: I believe @jamdamage is referring to the last panel on the splash page where the twins are within the akkaba nebula and are talking about Evan and his right to the throne, "The fraud has no right to the throne" "And our true father?" "When the time is right we will awaken him from his sleep." Although I believe Uriel is referring to Archangel (his father) and not Apocalypse

Posted by tommyx

Lovin' this book!!

Posted by longbowhunter

Boy has this title picked up in a big way. My favorite part by far is the personal politics of all the characters. While they're analyzing each other it makes me think about my own beliefs. It's great Rick is getting to continue to let his story from Uncanny X-Force unfold here.

Posted by TheNax

I wish the avengers weren't so high and mighty and constantly bickering with the X-Men. It's like only Havok is trying to keep the peace. Everyone else is entirely divided along X-Men/Avengers lines.

Posted by Namor1987

Someone PLEASE update the Avengers Unit Squad profile. It hasn't been updated since the Red Skull arc.

*I got banned from updating wiki pages by the mods a few years ago.*

Posted by Kid_Nacho

@thenax: If Havok threw his weight around and got rid of Rogue and Captain America, things would be a lot better. It's meant to be his squad yet he was barely in the issue at all, which goes to show how he's currently falling short as a leader. His heart in the right place, but he's going to need to be able to command the unit before he can be successful.

I also found it hypocritical of the Avengers to question Wolvering killing someone. It's not like he did it for fun. It was 110% necessary. Considering the amount of lives Cap has taken, surely he'd understand, child or not.

Edited by Doombert

@ghostcopy said:

@doombert: I believe @jamdamage is referring to the last panel on the splash page where the twins are within the akkaba nebula and are talking about Evan and his right to the throne, "The fraud has no right to the throne" "And our true father?" "When the time is right we will awaken him from his sleep." Although I believe Uriel is referring to Archangel (his father) and not Apocalypse

Ok that's how I interpreted it as.

The whole issue was entertaining. My gripes are personal ones and I can see why they wouldn't be considered (they wouldn't further the plot) but here they are. In WW2 we did horrible things. We carpet bombed cities. Schools and hospitals were included with that bombing. I don't understand how someone like Captain America, who has his core roots in WW2 cannot grasp the concept of killing. It just doesn't add up. And secondly I love how Wolverine is actually playing his hand in a lot of this. People keep calling him a killer of kids but if you remember, Logan voted against killing Evan when they found out he was a kid. It was Fantomex that did the deed against the objections of everyone else. Wolverine is just manning up and taking the blame for it since it was his team. What I honestly think Remender is doing is pulling the wool over all our eyes in a sense.

I dont think kid Apocalypse was really shot to begin with. Evan has been the real Apoc the whole time, not just a clone. I think Fantomex misdirected everyone into thinking so. In the end Apoc comes through, spanks some kids, maybe get to see a full powered Apoc for once in comics. (keep in mind to all the Apoc haters that we have only seen a full powered Apoc once in comics, and that was the first X-Force, when he fought Stryfe)

Posted by ScumDestroy

@solthesungod: Not exactly correct, "mutant" is definitely not a social construct in the MU, it is genetic/biological and not a choice, especially for mutants who cannot hide their powers.

Stoked for some Sentry action!! Haters bein' haters like its 2009 or something

Posted by ghostcopy

@doombert: Ya I spent most of Remenders X-Force run thinking the killing of child Apocalypse was a misdirect as well but Evan was in the clone tank in 'the world' which has the whole time manipulation deal so i'm still not sure, yet another reason i'm a huge fan of Ricks work, thoughts?

Posted by New_World_Order

Sometimes I hate Cap. I wanted Rogue to punch him in his face this issue.

Posted by New_World_Order

Also next issue I bet the Sentry is going to go ham.

Posted by DubyaNW

Really great. I loved the debate between Rogue and Wanda, Remender did a really good jobbing of representing both side of the argument equally(personally I agree with Wanda and Alex, but that's just MO).

By far the best moment of the issue was Wasp to Wolverine: "He's a killer and he never should have been an Avenger!". Ahh that was great. I've been waiting eight years for someone to say that. a very satisfying moment

Really? Because I seem to remember numerous instances of The Wasp flying through someones skull to uh....kill them. That's her move. Yes, it's usually a Skrull, moleman henchmen, or an unnamed alien. Someone just borderline enough where you don't have to actually consider them a "real person". These are sentiment beings that she's killed yet Wolverine is the murderer. Why? Because he usually kills someone with an actual name. Someone identifiable? Wolverine stabbing has saved the earth, and therefore Janet's life more times than she's changed her name. Which is a lot!

Posted by DubyaNW

@doombert said:

The whole issue was entertaining. My gripes are personal ones and I can see why they wouldn't be considered (they wouldn't further the plot) but here they are. In WW2 we did horrible things. We carpet bombed cities. Schools and hospitals were included with that bombing. I don't understand how someone like Captain America, who has his core roots in WW2 cannot grasp the concept of killing. It just doesn't add up. And secondly I love how Wolverine is actually playing his hand in a lot of this. People keep calling him a killer of kids but if you remember, Logan voted against killing Evan when they found out he was a kid. It was Fantomex that did the deed against the objections of everyone else. Wolverine is just manning up and taking the blame for it since it was his team. What I honestly think Remender is doing is pulling the wool over all our eyes in a sense.

I dont think kid Apocalypse was really shot to begin with. Evan has been the real Apoc the whole time, not just a clone. I think Fantomex misdirected everyone into thinking so. In the end Apoc comes through, spanks some kids, maybe get to see a full powered Apoc for once in comics. (keep in mind to all the Apoc haters that we have only seen a full powered Apoc once in comics, and that was the first X-Force, when he fought Stryfe)

Thank you. Someone remembers. Wolverine is falling on his sword. Twice! He didn't kill kid Apoc and he didn't kill Warren. Warren via Dark Beast tricked the team into acquiring the life seed. They thought they could use it to nullify the dark seed implanted in Warren and stop him from turning into Apoc. Turns out the was already pretty much Apoc (like 60%) and he was going to use the life seed to wipe out all life on earth. Yeah....ALL life. That means you too, sanctimonious Janet and Captain America. Betsy tried to talk Warren out of it and when he wouldn't change his mind SHE plunged the life seed into his chest. NOT Wolverine. Sorry for screaming but I'm tired of the laziness by the writers in this book. Maybe it's not laziness. Maybe they are trying to show Wolverine taking the high road. If you have not read those books or just don't remember you might be inclined to agree with Janet/Cap like some people on this board.

Posted by LordRequiem

@scumdestroy: It has been far too long since the Sentry was cruelly wiped off our comics as a junkie (thanks Bendis). I had hoped for years he'd return as a hero but so long as he's back and powerful as ever I'm happy.

Posted by buddha07

im about to go on a little bit of a rant so bear with me (a positive one but a rant nontheles), ive been enjoying the 2nd arc alot, the most is the extension of the apocalypse mythos. back when i started picking back up comics the first on my list was remenders x-force and it had me hooked, it was a book about a kill/black ops team but that was just surface it was alot better than that, in my mind archangel/angel got the "aquaman" treatment is was turned into a complete bada**, moving along this arc has added even more to apocalypse mythos beyond the twins (they pointed out that genocide is 15 years old, which means Angel would have served apocalypse somewhere between 15-20 years ago) i also like how the twins being defeated could go any which way (it has to be done, but it could be genocide trying to take his rightful place, revived archangel/apocalypse,evan could join the fray or since all the horseman are death they could try to take the helm themselves, battle royal between the remainign final horseman and the new horseman) its all rather exciting