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Uncanny Avengers #1

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By Rick Remender & Daniel Acuña

Uncanny Avengers #1 sees the relaunch of the premiere X-Men and Avengers crossover book that was originally the flagship title of the first Marvel Now relaunch. Since then, it’s kind of fallen by the wayside in terms of promotion levels and it’s good to see that there’s a new jumping on point for newcomers or lapsed readers like this reviewer, who enjoyed the first two volumes of the first Uncanny Avengers but then fell behind. However, with the original Uncanny Avengers lineup severely altered by various events – Steve Rogers’ age has caught up with him, and has passed on the torch to Sam Wilson as the new Captain America. And with the fact that the main X-Man, Wolverine, now dead, it’s time for an entirely new lineup of characters that makes for a very interesting cast, with Remender allowed to pick from the best of both the X-Men and the Avengers as well as explore some who haven’t quite got a lot of attention lately.

Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are reunited as part of the Uncanny Avengers, giving the team that brother-sister dynamic. Rogue joins Scarlet Witch as one of the few surviving members from the original Unity Squad and Sam Wilson’s Captain America also plays a role. Then there’s Doctor Voodoo, The Vision and Sabretooth, three characters who this reviewer was less familiar with than the others and as a result this issue provides a great introduction to what they’re capable of and it’ll be very awesome to see what Remender can come up with going forward. There’s certainly a fresh team dynamic here that makes the book feel a bit different than the previous series, which allows the relaunched Uncanny Avengers to be deserving of its new first issue.

Daniel Acuña handles both the pencils and the colours and he really puts in an impressive job bringing the characters to life. There’s that dark, pulpier feel that’s commonly found on the majority of Remender’s works, and you need look no further than Black Science and All New Captain America for that feel that seems to carry across no matter who the artist is. It’s also worth noting that there are a lot of panels in this book, and mostly smaller ones, and it’s very good indeed to see that Acuña keeps some good attention to detail with a lot of work to do, with the backgrounds to each scene being given plenty of depth.

Remender establishes the foundations of the book well for the debut issue. He gives each member of the team plenty of things to do, but despite this, the issue feels designed primarily to set the scene and create some tension so don’t go in expecting a lot of payoff. However, anybody who is familiar with the writer’s other series should know that Remender is a master of long-term plotting, so as things progress you can expect the stakes to be raised and the action to get more intense going forward.

What’s also worth noting is that you don’t necessarily have to be familiar with the events of AXIS to understand what’s going on in this issue, because there isn’t really much focus on the fallout from the event other than a few scenes with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, and the fact that Sabretooth is now a part of the team in place of the dead Wolverine.

There are plenty of things to keep us engaged going forward in this book. The combination of experienced creators, well known and not quite as well known characters with an intriguing plot and plenty of potential helps create one of Marvel’s stronger first issues as of late and despite its flaws, and it’s certainly something worth sticking with for the long haul.

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