Best Shots Advance Review: UNCANNY AVENGERS #1

 

Uncanny Avengers #1

Written by Rick Remender

Art by John Cassaday and Laura Martin

Lettering by Chris Eliopoulos

Published by Marvel Comics

Review by David Pepose

'Rama Rating: 8 out of 10

Click here for a preview

It's a brave new world for the Avengers and the X-Men, and leading the way are Rick Remender and John Cassaday with their larger-than-life flagship title Uncanny Avengers. Capitalizing on the epic sensibilities of the Avengers movie, this comic definitely pulls no punches.

Gone are the quippy back-and-forths of Brian Michael Bendis, and in its place is something a bit more deliberate, a bit more visual. By working with a smaller cast, writer Rick Remender is able to focus on individual cast trajectories, like Alex Summers and Wolverine wrestling with Cyclops' corruption under the Phoenix Force, or Rogue and the Scarlet Witch going head-to-head over the latter's role in the depowering of mutantkind. The mutant characters of this book have some very clearly defined arcs already, and that's going to go a long way towards selling this book.

The other thing that's going to sell this book? John motherloving Cassaday. If you want your book to look like a movie — and let's face it, Marvel has more than 1.5 billion reasons to make a lot of things look like a certain movie — Cassaday is the man to call. With clean lines, broad characters, no-nonsense page layouts, Cassaday is basically Olivier Coipel but even more accessible to the general populace. A scene with Cyclops looks especially haunting with Laura Martin's oppressive reds, and Cassaday's action scenes are great throughout, particularly a sequence where Cap is shot into the air by Havok, as they try to stop a murderous Avalanche in his tracks.

Remender ends the book on a cliffhanger that's both shocking and ingenious, and one that goes a long way towards helping explain the lingering question of Uncanny Avengers: Why do Marvel's Mighty Mutants need to huddle underneath the Avengers umbrella, anyway? Out of the entire cast, Cap and Thor are the least defined of the bunch (aside from a latte joke that falls kind of flat), although they certainly help contribute to the action fireworks. The team-up possibilities do feel tantalizing, but they don't feel 100 percent earned. At least, not yet.

That said, Remender has some time to draw the question out, particularly as long as Cassaday keeps knocking the visuals out of the park. If they can give this team a real thematic reason for being — and neither mutant acceptance or brand-name cash grab is gonna cut it, folks — this comic will be the heavyweight that Marvel fans have been craving.

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