By Gerry Duggan, Ryan Stegman, Mark Morales, Guillermo Ortego, Richard Isanove and Matt Yackey
There have been many books re-launched by Marvel that have not lived up to the hype of former runs, Uncanny Avengers was initially one of them. The opening story arc was a bit underwhelming, but Duggan and company started to pick things up last issue. The addition of the Red Skull, still in possession of Charles Xavier’s brain, has been an interesting plot thread since Rick Remender’s run. As the series delves more into that, our gang of heroes also gets caught up in the Standoff event.
Gerry Duggan has a great sense of humor and he showed this repeatedly with his Deadpool run. Uncanny Avengers is a more serious book and Duggan had to show more than his jokey side. Last issue was a turning point for this series because it was the best story this re-launch had seen so far. This week we get a loose Standoff tie-in that is again better than the first arc. What works here is that everyone in the issue gets some decent development. Duggan is a pro at writing Deadpool, so he’s always the best character in every issue, but Synapse continues to become one of the most intriguing characters in the series. Her development under Duggan’s pen has been steady and consistent and this issue she works cable on becoming a better soldier. Duggan has done a great job of giving almost everyone something to do this issue. Synapse works with Cable on being a better Avenger, Voodoo deals with his deceased brother and Deadpool continues to be the comic relief. Last issue dealt with Wrecker being released and wreaking havoc on a pseudo Avengers mansion. This week Duggan gives us some continuity as Wrecker is back in the fold. Duggan does a nice job of making him a sympathetic character this issue. Even though he is a villain, his motive is a legitimate one. If there is one gripe about this issue, it’s that it takes a little while to get going. There are two little side stories that start the issue off that doesn’t seem to tie into the Standoff storyline. These may be important down the road, but they seem a bit odd as a starting point for this issue.
This issue welcomes back Ryan Stegman on pencils and the colors are done by Richard Isanove with help from Matt Yackey. This is actually one of the better issues that Stegman has drawn for this series. The opening page involving Quicksilver has some cool effects in it, such as speed lines and flashes of light. Those are nice little touches that help enhance the page. Wrecker looks great this issue; he’s subject to a lot of abuse and is pretty much bleeding the entire issue. Stegman allows things to flow naturally in this issue. There aren’t any forced panels where every character is there and the quality of each person is not as high. The colors by Richard Isanove and Matt Yackey are very good here, and they are helped by the smooth inks of Mark Morales and Guillermo Ortego. What Isanove does best is that he doesn’t overdue the colors. In the scenes where Voodoo is talking to his dead brother’s spirit, the setting is a creepy forest. Everything in these panels seems to be perfectly colored. Voodoo’s brother is a light, glowing blue; the forest is dark, but not too dark, and we even have some cool, creepy red eyes in the shadows. This is some of the best art this book has seen since the re-launch.
Uncanny Avengers could have been a book that is easily forgotten, but the past couple of issues have really made a case for it being one of the better books in Marvel’s stable, if not the best. Gerry Duggan is getting comfortable with the characters and it’s showing on the page. The art has consistently improved as the series moves forward. This series isn’t a fluff book that can be blown off, but a series on the rise.