Pick of the Week

Pick of the Week – 04.24.2013 – Uncanny Avengers #7

What did the
iFanboy
community think?

947
Pulls
Avg Rating: 4.4
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 7.6%
 
Users who pulled this comic:
Story by Rick Remender
Art by Daniel Acuña
Cover by John Cassaday

Size: 32 pages
Price: 3.99

I’ve got a problem. It’s a conflict of my current vs. my previous positions. Previously, I would have told you that comics that have a nostalgic bent to them do nothing for me. It turns out that that is not always true. No, I’ve changed, and whether it’s due to age, or experience, or pure sentimentality, sometimes I find myself liking comics that make me think of other comics, from a different time. There’s been so much focus for so many years on the reinvention of the superhero, and exploring those “dark” nooks and crannies of the existential superhero experience, that I find I appreciate when modern comic creators attempt something else, be it straight forward superhero stories, or even something a little like what we used to do.

This brings us to the Rick Remender penned Uncanny Avengers. As I said when I read the first issue, it feels like old comics. More specifically, it feels like the Avengers comics from the 70s and 80s I got from some dude in a ripped paper bag. I don’t remember who that dude was, but I remember the exceptional melodrama, and the idea that I had no idea what was going on to start, but I jumped right in and held on tight. This is what Remender’s Uncanny Avengers feels like. It’s got massive world ending threats on one side, and superhero soap opera at the mansion on the other side. It feels like home. I can almost smell that ripped paper bag.

The big bad is the new Apocalypse guy wielding the truly savage axe he stole from past Thor. This is an axe that can kill a Celestial, which in Marvel terms, is a very big deal. So when he does kill a Celestial, that’s a really big deal. But on the other side of things, there’s this angsty thing going on back at HQ, where Alex Summers is just trying to do a good job, but is beset on all sides by personal drama, part of which is the Wasp trying to get down with him. Then back in Wanda’s room, we’re sucked into the past as she and Simon get all General Hospital while he is wearing a red turtleneck. I had to check the cover to look for early 80s trade dress. It’s not even that this feels like an old comic. It doesn’t, but it has all the elements that I really like from earlier eras, along with quite a bit I like from now. I always find it odd that Remender can be such a polarizing creator, because so much of what he does at Marvel is classic Marvel, with a little twist. That twist seems to come in large part from his personality, and the way he thinks about these characters, and dissects them psychologically for the reader. I understand why some people don’t enjoy the work, but no one can say he’s not putting it all out there.

On the other side of the credits is Daniel Acuña, who fits in like the perfect Tetris block. I know that Cassday is the fan favorite, but the work Acuña has done since coming on board has really put this title over the top. Right off, on page two, he rendered a Celestial that’s as good as any I’ve ever seen. Also doing the coloring, Acuña put his own spin on Kirby dots and brought me backwards and forwards in comic book time with the same image. It’s giant cosmic scope that Marvel does best, and while it doesn’t look to be a perfect match at first glance, that first glance is just wrong. Then, he goes from Kirby Huge to the visual character tensions as the Avengers argue in the mansion, handling both scenes with grace and skill. Those panels with Simon and Wanda are some of my favorite of the week with their intense timelessness and not-quite-sexual drama. Not done yet, he goes back to the destruction of the S.W.O.R.D. base (which is a hell of a design), and Thor hauling himself into some self-pitying vengeance over Rio de Janeiro. Acuña hit every note and then some, and left me wanting a lot more.

I can accept change. Sometimes you like a thing for one reason and don’t like another thing for the same reason. Who can make sense of it? What I know is that I’m enjoying the holy Hell out of Uncanny Avengers, and Rick Remender and Daniel Acuña are going classic on us. Much like the 180 he’s pulling over on Captain America, if you were sick of the Avengers status quo, here is a different thing, and it features a bunch of X-Men characters, and has Havoc with Conan O’Brien hair. Who doesn’t want that?

Josh Flanagan
That turtleneck is super boss.
josh@ifanboy.com


Comments

  1. I’m really glad I read volume 4 of Uncanny X-Force before this, because with all the Apocalypse mythology going on in this book, I would’ve been SUPER lost.

    Still, fun issue. Not my pick, but a very worthy choice. Acuna kills it on art.

    • JML (@twitter.com/JoshMLabelle) says:

      Very close between this, New Avengers, and Manhattan Projects. With New Avengers, I’m enjoying the ongoing story more than I enjoyed this particular issue, so I guess that’s out. And I keep forgetting about Manhattan Projects, but when I do remember it I remember I liked the hell out of it. Hmm.

  2. “A giant butthole’s gonna open in the sky an’ dump bad times on everyone.”Best quote of the week!

  3. Well said, Josh. I agree. Remender hits the sweet spots for our generation of readers.

    So, was Alex dressed as Dr. No because this issue is numbered 007? Or is that a strange coincidence?

  4. I’m really glad this got the pick. I was so happy with this week overall, it was one of those weeks that I have every several months or so that reaffirmed my love of comic books in general and superhero comics in particular.

    Marvel specifically has wowed me ever since their Marvel Now relaunch, this is the most excited I’ve been about either of the Big Two as a whole since the early to mid 00’s. Just this week alone Uncanny Avengers had to edge out New Avengers, Young Avengers, FF, Wolverine and the X-Men, Ultimate Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers Arena. Between all of these and other books like All-New X-Men, Daredevil, Hawkeye, and Kelly Sue’s books this is a good time to be a Marvel fan again. I love Image and Vertigo and a few other companies that do spectacular, wholly unique comics but I’ll always have a slight preference towards the superhero side of things and I’m really glad when the superhero stuff lives up to the other stuff.

    But regardless of superhero or not, between the entirety of Image and Marvel, the Bat books from DC, a lot of what IDW and Dark Horse is doing, and the other stuff that I’m not even reading this is an amazing time to be reading comics. (If you can’t tell I had a great comics week).

  5. Oh, and I should probably talk about the book itself. I grew up on Claremont X-Men reprints so a nice balance of crazy action and relationship melodrama is what I look for in my superheroes. The script delivered that perfectly and I loooove the way Acuna draws these character’s faces. Especially Rogue and Scarlet Witch.

  6. I have a hard time discerning if it’s a satire or genuinely bad.

  7. Excellent pick! The Acuna art adds a little to that 80’s feel, too. It looks like some of the experimental art you’d see in the Marvel graphic novels or magazine-format books, where it’s just undefined enough to look different, but you can still tell who’s who very easily.

  8. Uncanny Avengers is finally picking up. But it’s far from being Marvel’s flagship book, as it was once billed (Hickman’s Avengers fits that description on story and merits). Remender and Acuna are very talented creators, but it seems the premise of this book is as stale as the summer crossover it spawned out of. It still feels to me as editorially-driven comics, instead of a great Remender story (as Uncanny X-Force was). Marvel mustn’t try and turn this book into a win, if you know what I mean. 😉

  9. Yup my pick as well hands down the best avenger book

  10. I’m headed to C2E2 in a couple hours, and Uncanny Avengers (along with pretty much everything I bought yesterday) has me on a huge “Hooray Comics!” high already. I’m pumped.

  11. This def picked up once Cassidy stopped doing interiors. The series was a little choppy at first but it’s been firing on all cylinders since issue four. This is the best issue yet.

    • Yeah, I agree, but the art this issue, while still way better than Cassady, left me cold. The whole thing looks unfinished. The black buttoned up shirt on Alex made him look very gestapo too…it’s a very small thing, but given that he is the antithesis to the nazi in this book, it seems popping that top button would have visually worked much better.

      I do agree with Josh that the Celestial images were amazing. I think the layouts were nice, but the rough look that can totally work at times seems just unfinished here.

      For the “flagship” of Marvel NOW (is that even true anymore?), the art on this series has almost consistently been in trouble.

      Can we get Coippel(sp?) back?

      Story wise, though…man this has consistently rocked. I’m loving it.

  12. Interesting to read other opinions on this stuff. Avengers as the flagship book? Honestly if I didn’t trust Hickman as much as I do I’d be off it a long time ago, the story seems epic but good character moments seem few and far between and it is taking a long time to get where it is going. If I think back on the 10 issues so far the smasher issue is the only one I really liked very much.

    Guardians of the Galaxy 2 I honestly thought was fairly terrible, I have never read these characters but none of them seem interesting and if this is what I can expect from Rocket Racoon I honestly think I might hate the character. I’m strongly considering dropping the book already.

    With that said I love the ongoing story in New Avengers, Young Avengers 4 was the strongest issue of that series yet and probably my pick of the week. Uncanny Avengers was a lot of fun, love cap as well but I’m a big Remender fanboy.

    • I’m curios what it is people like about New Avengers over Avengers. I actually really love the Avengers book overall. I can see what you mean about the character moments but everything else has been so cool that it never really bothered me. For New Avengers I debated dropping it before this last issue and I’m not sure if I want to keep going. I feel like there is something there but it just feels like not a lot is happening. What about New Avengers is better then Avengers for you?

    • New Avengers for me has better character moments, I love the idea of the illuminati and I enjoy the overarching epic concept of it more.
      Issue 5 and we have seen Terrax, Galactus and the new Black Swan character seems interesting.

      The other thing about Avengers I’m not sure I like is the inclusion of Captain Universe who just Deus Ex Machina’ed the entire first 3 issues.

    • Was that really a Deus Ex Machina? I can see why people might think but if you follow the logic of her Captain Universe and the Villains it makes perfect sense at least it did to me at the time of reading it.

    • It did make sense, which is kind of why I don’t want the character more powerful than the rest of the team combined there.

    • Also unresolvable problem resolved by a unexpected intervention. Yes Captain Universe was there but the character comes out of the background after no focus and just resolves everything, my only other Captain Universe is the spider man what if story.

    • Yeah I think Captain Universe is going to be a big part of Hickman’s run based on my reading of the tea leaves. Also with that issue part of what I felt like they were doing was introducing the unknown players by showing off there powers and Captain Universe was like the conclusion of all that. Like you see Hyperion shooting shit out of his eyes and Shang Chi kicking ass and then Captain Universe sort of tops it off with the ultimate power. That and the panel of her destroying the bad guy at a molecular/cellular level by Opena is impeccable.

  13. It’s funny how much I love & enjoy everything Hickman does his main Avengers book does feel at times hugely disjointed with so many new concepts & probably too many characters to play with, which can lack cohesion but no-matter what I do seem to like that cold distant feel. Almost a purely professional only attitude to being an Avenger, & then there’s New Avengers which is perfect for Hickman slow big story with plenty of character depth, almost a more less whacky Manhattan Projects for Marvel.

    Uncanny Avengers on the other hand is starting to turn more & more into another Uncanny X-Force especially with that foreboding sense of dread & imminent danger, that this is all so much bigger than what the rest of the Marvel Universe can handle accept for these few heroes/anti-heroes. I also really like the way Remender is so mean to his protagonists where he puts them in positions that they almost know they could die any moment. So is this the best Avengers book on the market I would say yes but then again I don’t read Young Avengers, Secret Avengers, Avengers Arena & Avengers Assemble & any of those titles too many others could be the dogs bollocks but for me I love Hickman & his amazing craft of ideas but Remender just adds that little extra that I crave so much more.

    Basically definitely pick of the week!

  14. I really do love this book.