Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Uncanny Avengers Vol. 1 by Rick Remender

For this March, I decided to read only two X-Men titles since I have just wrapped up my 2015 X-Men comics diet and I have other comics and manga I want to get into this year. So I chose to read and review Rick Remeder's Uncanny Avengers by volume, and also tackle my long overdue thoughts concerning Avengers vs. X-Men, a heavy motherfucker of seven-hundred or so pages. It's interesting to read them side-by-side, considering Remender's UX is post-AVX (much like the other MARVEL NOW! titles). I think this is the last series from that line-up that I haven't read yet, and I'm glad I saved it for the last because this particular title is BONKERS. 

Granted, Bendis' All-New X-Men has the the most bonkers premise of them all, and the easily forgettable X-Men IV which really should have been renamed X-Women is a depressing parade of nonsensical bonkers hence my inability to finish it--but Remender's Uncanny Avengers seriously takes the cake for a series that has little coherent sense narrative-wise AND YET manages to be entertaining nevertheless. But hey, it's only been the first volume. I'd like to be a positive Patty and believe that things will only get better from here but based solely from my experience last year on at least 40% of the X-titles I encountered, it'd be best to expect that the worst is still to come. So let's all curb our enthusiasm, shall we?

How bonkers is this series so far? Well, for one thing it's a combination of two superhero team names: X-Men and The Avengers. With the aftermath of the AVX, everyone's favorite boy-scout Captain America (whether in an ironic context or not) assigned Alex Summers (a. k. a Havoc), brother to former golden boy Scott Summers (Cyclops, who lost his shit and killed Xavier while possessed by the Phoenix Force) to be the face of the new collaborative heroic efforts of the newly minted 'Uncanny Avengers'. 

It's gimmicky--it's blatant publicity--it's a desperate measure of compromise to appease the general public regarding the mutant threat. It's everything experimental that would make me anxious for the most justifiable of reasons. It only took him decades, but hey, at least Captain America was now willing to stand up for the mutants and include them in his agenda for social change and upholding the American values. Look, I've been a fan of Kapitan in the movies, but based on the ways he was characterized here in Remender's title and the AVX issues--I'm not sure I buy his brand of noble superhero. For one thing--did it really have to take him this long to take a stance promoting mutant rights? But should is still surprise me at this point? No race and minority has been oppressed this much in comics than the X-Men. It's essentially the encompassing themes of all their stories.


I like it. I really did. It's has a Zooey Deschanel sort of quirky charm to it at times that has a surprisingly believable dark twist. Illustrated by John Cassaday and comprised of the first five issues of the series, The Red Shadow was able to hold my interest enough for me to look forward to the next volume. There are cool passages of prose and I'm certainly happy to see my childhood favorite Rogue again and her conflict with Scarlet Witch unfold. Sad-Logan is also a bonus because I miss him from his version in Jason Aaron's Wolverine and the X-Men. It's always great to see his vulnerability.

  • Claremont-esque prose in a lot of the narrative panels. Remender seems to be doing a conscious tribute to the man's style of writing and I didn't mind it. It was nostalgic since I am a fan of the good Claremont era.
  • Rogue and Scarlet Witch's interesting conflict. Rogue blames her for the chain of events since Wanda cast that decimation thing about the mutant race that everyone doesn't want to talk about anymore because, you know, awkward and sad and stuff...I could only hope Rogue and Scarlet Witch interact more now that they're on the same team. I can roll with Rogue's animosity for her and Scarlet Witch's road to redemption after her shitty action in House of M.
  • Alex Summers finally taking on a leadership role and butting heads with Kapitan. His speech about distancing himself from the label 'mutant' was intriguing and Bendis in All-New X-Men was given a chance to respond to it through Kitty Pryde's insight. Comparing their opinions about the subject matter was genius. I like how they both have valid reasons for their convictions; Alex wanting to be treated as more than just his identification as mutant; and Kitty claiming that distancing yourself from your race only contributes to the discrimination and prejudice itself. On some days, I'd lean on Kitty because it seems more realistic to think of the world in terms like that and to fight against any form of oppression by stating that "I am _____ and proud of it". But, on other days, I think I also aspire to live in a world that Alex is preaching where divisions of race, gender, sexual orientation don't ultimately matter.


  • Claremont-esque prose in a lot of the narrative panels. I'm a fan of the good Claremont era, yes, but the man has a tendency to 'tell' rather than 'show' action scenes at times that it would come off lazy and pretentious.
  • FUCKING RED SKULL AS THE VILLAIN OF THIS ARC. I FUCKING HATE THAT BASTARD. I WISH THERE IS A FIERY PIT I COULD PUSH HIM INTO. He's such an awful piece of shit and he didn't even get the punishment he so deserved.
  • Stupid stuff like Red Skull being able to absorb late Xavier's telepathy via--I dunno--lobotomy? He basically scooped his brain out of his skull and---ate it? WHO THE FUCK KNOWS?? And then he starts controlling everyone, having mobs beat up on innocent mutants on the street. The worst offender of them all is him being able to corrupt Thor AND THAT THOR COULD STILL WIELD THE HAMMER EVEN WHEN HE WAS TURNED EVIL. Is my lore about the hammer wrong? Isn't it a big deal that only someone who is worthy of the hammer can wield its power? Evil Thor never should have been able to wield it then. Motherfucking plot holes, man.



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