Marvel NOW! Review: Uncanny Avengers #2 by Rick Remender & John Cassaday

Uncanny Avengers #2

Written by: Rick Remender
Artist by: John Cassaday
Coloring by Laura Martin
Lettering by: VC’s Chris Eliopoulos
Published by: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99

Note: This review is for the digital version of the comic available from Marvel Comics on Comixology

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

You know, while a lot of people are probably pissed that it’s been seven weeks since the first issue of this came out, but with the 4 dollar price tag, and so many of Marvel’s books coming out twice a month, I considered it a great relief. I would actually prefer this kind of delayed schedule, it lets me buy many more series!

It actually made it far easier to justify to myself to pick up this book. As opposed to All New X-Men, which is 4 bucks and came out this week AND comes out again next week…That said, I think I would have been FAR better off reading and reviewing All New X-Men…

Summary (contains spoilers): This comic starts much like the first issue did, with Wolverine still being mopey about Charles’ death. This is a strange side to see of Wolverine, and I can’t say I like it all that much. Leave the philosophy to Spider Jerusalem…bub.

We pull back to see the Avengers are dealing with the destruction caused by Avalanche in the last issue. Wolverine believes that Avalanche was reformed and didn’t see him doing this. Cap says that Avalanche’s eyes seemed vacant, something was off here. Thor considers this an act of war, with someone trying to pit humans against mutants.

Cap talks to Wolverine some about his idea about a joint team of Avengers and X-Men led by Havok. Wolverine has concerns about Havok as the leader, since his brother was the one who caused most of problems lately. Captain America admits that he needed someone who is media friendly. Wolverine dismissively mocks Cap about looking for pretty mutants.

Meanwhile, the media seems to be even more anti-mutant than ever. People are saying things like:

It is revealed that all these talking heads are just an illusion can by a Red Skull operative called Honest John. His powers allow him to appear as “their ideal leader” and he is able to inspire people to attack mutants, including friends and family members.

Meanwhile, Rogue is being held at the Xavier Institute by the bad guys who attacked her and Scarlet Witch last issue, including Avalanche’s daughter who is made of water. Rogue is able to cleverly use a cup of water to use her powers on the girl, and makes an escape, determined to find Scarlet witch before they can use her for their own agenda.

We discover that Wanda is being held by the Red Skull. He talks about their connection, during World War 2, he spared Magneto from the Holocaust, which is how Wanda would eventually be born…the final hope of mankind. He reveals that he is working on a school for gifted humans, which will be seeking to wage war on mutant kind. Red Skull uses the telepathy he borrowed from Xavier’s brain to manipulate Scarlet Witch into agreeing with him. He suggests that he can use humanity’s fear of mutants to:

He gets a call from his henchmen telling him that Rogue has escaped. Rogue pops out of a nearby water source and absorbs the now mind controlled Wanda’s powers, but she’s unable to use these powers. Wanda slams her through the ground, and the two of them find Charles’ now brainless body, which kicks Wanda out of the mind control. The issue ends with them standing against Red Skull and his henchmen.

Review: I was actually really disappointed in this comic. I loved the first issue, but this one really felt like it was spinning it’s wheels. Pretty much the whole comic was characters standing around brooding or monologuing. I did think some of the character moments with Cap, Wolvie, Thor, and Havok in the early part of the issue were good, but then these characters never show up again, so it almost felt wasted.

There were some good scenes, like Honest John’s manipulations of the public, but it seemed a little strange that “good propaganda” would cause a father to kill his son like that. Maybe Red Skull was using Xavier’s brain to boost the effect, but there is really no indication of that. I also thought some of the scenes with Rogue and Wanda had a lot of potential, but by relying on a cheap “mind control” plot, it just felt like a cop out instead of a chance to deal with some real emotions.

I also got tired of people referring to Rogue as “Magneto’s whore.” It’s been a while since I read X-Men, but comic writers seem to make a little too much of Magneto and Rogue’s time together in the Savage Land, like they are somehow destined to be together (thanks Age of Apocalypse for the start of this). It was like 20 years ago, and in it, Magneto says nothing happened because “he was pledged to another.”

Remender would have been better served by moving things forward more in this issue. A good team comic needs to have the team front and center, not just brooding in the beginning of the comic, with the villain chewing scenery for the rest of the comic. By the end of this comic, it just felt like we were in the same place we started. Heroes having no idea what’s going on, Wanda and Rogue facing off against Red Skull’s very generic henchmen.  I did find it amusing that Red Skull seemed to have stolen his plan from Sylar from Heroes.

Usually I like John Cassady’s art, but something was really off here. All the characters seemed to be emotionally flat. It really made for a strange read to me, with powerful emotional words coming from statues. I kept thinking that the characters were going over their lines in rehearsal and that the real emotion was coming later.

All in all, for a book that seems to be the flagship for the Marvel NOW! line, this issue had a lot of good ideas, but the execution just felt flat all around. It really just felt like filler, which is never good when a comic is only on it’s second issue. You can’t have a comic book be as late as this issue was and fail to execute like this one did.

Final Score: 6.5 – Emotionless art and 4 bucks for a comic that really just felt like a lot of characters standing around brooding. Definitely not what I was expecting.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,