Written by: Rick Remender
Art by: John Cassaday
The Marvel NOW! books are meant as perfect jumping on points for new readers and lapsed ones. These are not however reboots for the characters. At least so far, these stories seem to just be starting points of new story arcs. In the case of Uncanny Avengers you do need to at least have a basic knowledge of the characters to jump in.
Uncanny Avengers picks up in the aftermath of the summer blockbuster story arc Avengers vs. X-Men. Of positive note though is that you can jump into this book having not read that summer series. The whole thing is quickly recapped and this book appears to be a story that is happening as a result of the summer story but the minutia of that summer story is inconsequential here. Basically it took the near destruction of the planet for Captain America to realize that he hasn’t done enough to help the X-Men as a minority part of the global population. I don’t mean to be hyperbolic but that is the core of the reasoning that this new team exists. That part of this story, as least as far as this issue goes, is the best part of the story.
Mutants are hated more now than ever after so many of them teamed with the four that possessed the Phoenix force to try and rebuild their population at the cost of the rest of humanity of necessary. Captain America’s bright idea is to put together a new Avengers team made up of half mutants and half known Avengers to show the world that not all mutants are bad and that they have a lot to give to the world. The Avengers and even more Captain America are highly respected and trusted universally so if these mutants are part of the team then a statement is being made. It’s a neat set up for an eclectic team. It’s also a way to build mistrust and drama within the team as Avengers who were nearly killed by mutants must now team with them. The challenge dramatically will be to build on and maintain that drama. If done right there could be some fascinating character complexities. The problem is that for the last 20 years when the X-Men have gotten close to something challenging and interesting the book has simply fallen back into stereotype and story retreading, and that’s with any of the writers that have attempted the book.
Also, while the concepts that are established in this book have potential the entire book is a very small piece of what will probably be a very large set up. In the whole page count of the book Cap is able to sort of recruit one mutant, that’s it. It that’s his pace, and half of the team is to be mutants, it’s going to take at least two more issues to build the team. There are a few other nice moments though. The exchange between Rogue and Scarlet Witch is great, two mutants on opposing sides of the summer battle with one being both directly and indirectly responsible for everything that happened, for better and for worse.
There’s very little action in this book and the entire thing is a set up but there are nice moments in the story and the potential for a cool story is there. Definitely worth a look.
The artwork is fairly solid throughout the book with more focus being applied to characters than backgrounds. In fact some of the nicest character moments have almost no background at all other than a solid color. Speaking of the colors they are vibrant and appealing throughout the book. A few of the smaller panels feel a little messy but overall this is good stuff. It’s easy to see the flaws in the art when you are reading the book digitally on the iPad and that’s something comic book creative need to remember as they are building books.
The only potential problem with this first issue of Uncanny Avengers is that it is setting a standard for the pacing of the story. This issue is a little slow for what little that does happen. If things are right in the world the pace will pick up in subsequent issues and this one will end up feeling like a set up title and that will be fine. I’m crossing my fingers that these concepts are built into something that will make for an interesting Avengers diversion and will rebuild the X-Men to their former greatness.
Overall (Not an Average) 8/10
The Story 8/10
The Art 8/10
Overall (Not an Average) 8/10