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Spoiler Returns To Marvel Comics Today In Uncanny Avengers #4

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Spoilers follow for today’s issue of Uncanny Avengers #4…

 

Yesterday saw Marvel Comics release a “Dead No More” teaser, and while the following may not be related, a character does return.

Last March saw Marvel publish the Rage Of Ultron original graphic novel, which saw Hank Pym merge with Ultron.

Now Hank Pym is back in the pages of Uncanny Avengers #4, and he’s not alone.

Check out the reveal of Pym who states he brought Ultron with him.

Regarding the validity of the “Dead No More” teaser, did Han Pym technically “die” in Rage Of Ultron? It’s guessed the two are more than likely unrelated.

(via reddit)

 

#Geeking out! #hankpym (the true ) #antman #giantman is alive! And he’s subdued #ultron ……hopefully

A photo posted by Alfredo Wilson (@realalf7) on

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Review: Uncanny Avengers #17

I would’ve really enjoyed Uncanny Avengers #17 much more had I not read Uncanny Avengers #16. Probably an instant Marvel classic, issue #16 will be remembered as the quintessential book of this Remender run, I believe, in days to come.

Issue #17? A fantastic issue, just not as fantastic as issue #16. It will take its place with the issue of Avengers following the Kree/Skrull War, the issue of FF following the Galactus Trilogy and that immortal follow-up in Howard the Duck after the Star Waugh arc, “What do you do, where do you go the day after you save the Universe?” (Brilliant Gerber!)

Oh, there is a lot of good here in #17. For once, instead of seemingly isolated from the Marvel Universe (something that, at least for this book, I approve of), other Avengers and superheroes were involved in the all-out action of a planet fighting for its life against the judgment of an awesome Celestial. (Watch that thumb, Thor!) Another was the simply fantastic use of both the Wasp — who is blossoming as a woman, leader and character for the first time since Roger Stern left Avengers — and the Grim Reaper, who seemed to have gotten the Horsemen short shaft until this issue.

Remender’s characters are ones who, like us, have lived through the events of the Marvel Universe, all of them, unified. This latest plot within a plot within a plot has brought them alive, and the writer has shown us how you can make our favorite Thunder God royal and godly and powerful and yet tragic, human and emotional at the same time. Simply a great rendition of this Lee/Kirby creation, all the more special because he is in part responsible for the current dilemma with his history with Jarnbjorn. This is Thor at his finest, and Remender at his finest.

I will welcome back Daniel Acuna to these pages because he helped establish its real mood after a lackluster effort by John Cassady. But despite what I wrote in days past about Steve McGiven and his tragic barely one-issue involvement with the new Guardians of the Galaxy mag (talk about lackluster, and those new uniforms …!) he has been batting it out of the park here in Uncanny Avengers, especially with portrayals of Exitar, Kang and the Apocalypse Twins. Simply cosmic, and that is the highest compliment we writers of CBN are allowed to bestow.

Definitely pick this issue up for some fantastic art and reading, but put that UA #16 in a poly-bag for the future. 

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Review: Uncanny Avengers #16

Thor is in da house in Uncanny Avengers #16, and so is the breathtaking art of Steve McNiven!

For a book that has blossomed on the strength of writer Rick Remender’s great storytelling ability, grasp of character voice and control of Marvel U.continuity, few examples of such are available in #16.

Nor are they needed.

No, the star of this issue is the cosmic-level action and the emotional closeness created by the lines of the fantastic McNiven. I have oft heard Remender talking about writing to artists’ strengths, and herein is certainly a textbook example (hate that phrase) of such as McNiven’s Thunder God takes it to the Apocalypse Twins while the dread danger of Exitar the Celestial Executioner looms.

Many measure the talent of a writer from his words (mention Stan Lee and his bombastic captions come up; say Brian Bendis and talking heads emerge), but that is not often the case. A writers’s lack of words, when used creatively via his own plot, also screams volumes with its silence. That is what we have here from Remender.

Who will ever forget the moment when Thor closes the eyes of his longtime Avengers associate, the dead Wanda Maximoff? So reverent, so painful. Instant classic.

This is definitely one of the best books each and every month, and the fact that it does not get even more recognition than it does is unfathomable. This is the All-New, All-Different X-Men of our time!

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Review: Uncanny Avengers #15

Intense!

If this book got more nerve-wracking, more gut-wrenching, more daring in its telling of a triangular tale, I don’t think my ever-lovin’ blue eyes could stand it.

Under the pen of writer Rick Remender, Uncanny Avengers is a virtual rollercoaster of angst, characterization, continuity and unbelievable adventure. And death (or at least its believable semblance). Gone are Rogue, Wonder Man and the Scarlet Witch, and the Unity Squad is about as un-unified as the Avengers who started it all, maybe more.

I really do not know where to turn in my admiration for Remender. Issue #15’s tale picks right up after the shocking ending (this book has had more than a few of those, y’know) of last ish and spins our Assemblers every which way, with the Apocalypse Twins and the very interesting machinations of Kang in the backgrouond.

Where this is headed, I cannot guess, but I am loving it!

Remender takes past Marvel continuity and replants it in seeds along this book’s way, letting them reach fruition right when it matters. And it is that method #15 celebrates most.

Of course, a lot of praise also to Steve McNiven, his Greek chorus of inkers and the ever-talented palette of Laura Martin for keeping up with Remender’s powerful script. And how!

If I want to get a friend interested in comics again, all I have to do is show them a copy of Uncanny Avengers #15 (and do a little ‘splainin’). Great read! 

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Review #2: Uncanny Avengers #13

With all the craziness in the Marvel universe including Infinity and Battle of the Atom it’s nice to sit down with the Uncanny Avengers and their simple battle against the apocalypse twins, Uriel and Eimin. All they have to do is prevent the rapture of all mutants by a now abducted Scarlet Witch at the hands of dead X-Man Banshee. It’s as easy as a walk in the park with the Four Horseman of Death. OK, not so simple but far less complicated than most of the other Marvel events.

Writer Rick Remender has crafted one of the finer books in the slew of X-Men and Avenger titles, and the Apocalypse twins are quickly becoming one of the better villains to threaten all mutant-kind in some time. The power to kill a Celestial moves them to the head of the villainous class. Scarlet Witch has been manipulated, and once again, becomes the lynch pin, but unlike previous events, she has learned something from her past betrayals which ultimately may be the only way to actual save everyone.

Remender’s battles are not only rich in character but deep in emotion. Havok and Wasp’s relationship drives much of the action in their fight with Captain America against Banshee, and it doesn’t get more emotionally scarring than what Wolverine is enduring at the hands of reborn horseman, Daken. Wolverine is the most vulnerable as he’s ever been, as he faces the son he murdered, and there is a real fear that his recovery is anything but inevitable this time. Daniel Acuna’s art is fantastic as usual! He handles the different realms of existence on Uriel and Eimin’s ship with ease. He also balances the contrast between regal elegance and violent rage in a way that feels organic and natural to such supernatural plot devices.

We find out the true nature of Scarlet Witch’s plan for the rapture, but how Rogue and Sunfire interpret it sets-up a violent confrontation that should once and for all settle the score between Scarlet Witch and Rouge. Remender is crafting these twists and turns into a volatile mixture ready to explode in an instant much to the reader’s delight. Uncanny Avengers is the Marvel title X-Men and Avengers fans will find rises to the top and sets the bar as high as Remender did with his last run on Uncanny X-Force. This book is at the top of my pile each month and rarely fails to entertain. A must read for all X-Men and Avenger fans.

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Review: Uncanny Avengers #13

I love old radio comedy. I also have a very good friend who works for the Kentucky Department of Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The two merged in Uncanny Avengers #13 in a great bit of levity writer Rick Remender adds to an otherwise stark and sober book.

Cap’s hearing goes awry, and he is constantly shouting at his teammates at the worst of times. Old yes, but that does not mean it is not funny, which it is. I can see some readers seeing this as sacrilege: humor in one of our dark comics?! It didn’t used to be called a “funny book” for nothing! Hear … er uh, here, the humor works.

What is not so funny is being Wolverine in a Remender book. It is not that he writes the character badly, quite to the contrary. But what life is tossing at Logan here is not the best of times. Indeed, former Dark Avengers/dead son/new Horseman Daken fairly beats the absolute $#@& out of Daddy Dearest, and this forms – as in Uncanny X-Force – the emotional linchpin about which the rest of the characters and their adventures revolve. Logan is shredded body and soul, as his legendary resilience and resolve shatters. Remender is totally taking the mutant apart, hopefully to build him back stronger than ever? We’ll see; no spoilers here.

Long-time Avengers fans may or may not like what happens with Simon and Wanda this issue. The Scarlet Witch is supposed to be at the heart of solving the problem of the Apocalypse Twins, but she and Wonder Man are definitely NOT spell-building in part of this tale. Whatever happened to passionate embraces or warm, romantic looks? No copy, just eyes?

Daniel Acuna takes a brilliant bow here as we prepare for a new artist, and he does so in style. He has set the tone for this book for awhile, and will be sorely missed by this reviewer.

What about the coming artist? All I can remember is he was touted as the “new look” of a certain Marvel Cosmic team returning to publication and barely did a full issue when all was said and done. What will we see here?

As you will read elsewhere on the web, almost nothing solicited about this issue by Marvel months ago happened. The good news is that Remender and Acuna deliver one hell of an issue, as has been the standard for this Marvel NOW flagship mag.

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Review: Uncanny Avengers #12

I love continuity. It was a foundation element Merry Marvel was first built upon and continues to be important to give superhero stories weight, at least to my mind.
 
That said, a tool normally well used by writer Rick Remender mindlessly runs amok here as Uncanny Avengers #12 soon morphs from a terrorizing look at the terrifying madness of the Red Skull into a solid information dump and plot thread sewing kit.
 
Writer Chris Claremont was often guilty of this during his hay day with John Burns on Uncanny X Men. Sometimes you might as well have been doing an interview with the scribe as his characters mapped out past and future.
 
Here too, Remender seems to lose track of his characters voices, one of his best features as a writer, in order to shore up those continuity strings to adventures past. And while I applaud this effort to remind us these are characters who have lived lives and have a history, this issues is just too much IMHO.
 
There are some excellent moments, especially in the beginning. I certainly got chills during those terrible death camp scenes, having been a fan emotionally affected by Days of Future Past. And the Wanda/Simon scene tugs at history, but overall something seems missing.
 
Certainly missed was artist Daniel Acuna who had been blowing things out of the water on this book. Salvador Larroca does a competent job but Acuna had established a feel on this book and that was most definitely missing.
 
Uncanny Avengers #12 is a mediocre issue of a great comic. That is just the judgment for this month.
 
More excitement looms ahead, I am sure.
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Review: Uncanny Avengers #10

Our Avengers Unity Team has split, Captain America being upset for Wolverine’s X-Force being involved in the death of Kid Apocalypse.
 
So now we have Logan leading former X-Men Rogue and Sunfire along with Thor, while Havok’s team (still the official team, I guess) has Alex and Wanda together and old-timers Cap and Jan out in the field while Simon is being a pacifist back at the Mansion.
 
It is to writer Rick Remender’s credit that he not only takes his own X-Force continuity but that of other Marvel writers for these characters and weaves it into a tapestry that brings back fond X-Men memories but with that classic Avengers feel. Incredible!
 
In #10, four fallen friends from the past –ones with grudges — take a turn as the new Four Horsemen.
 
It’s painful to see  Banshee risen and taking vengeance on the brother (Havok) of the man who killed him. Sean was a big part of the “All-New, All-Different” and his death at the hands of Vulcan still hurts.
 
More welcome was the return of Sentry. Not that I have any love for the character, but I relish the rematch from Siege between he and Thor.
 
Anyone who has read Avengers for awhile know the deep history between Simon and brother Grim Reaper (and sometimes the Vision). This also was a welcome return, and I wonder how long Wonder Man will remain pacifist with scythe energy blasting him.
 
And sins of the father: Wolverine comes eye to eye with the fourth Horseman, his own son!
 
Great angst, super action and king continuity that gives this book great weight are all present in this Remender’s adventure.
 
Matching this greatness is the wonderfully powerful art of Daniel Acuna, who handles inks and colors as well. A wonderful palette and great character moments visualized between Rogue and Thor, Alex and Wanda, and Cap and Jan. Bonus points for him showing many of Simon’s old costumes in the Mansion.
 
All that was missing is Jarvis. Come home!
 
Although the unity team is no longer united, Uncanny Avengers is still the best book on the shelves for either franchise. Superb!
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Review: Uncanny Avengers #9

This is one of those stories that you love to read, that bring back memories of great comics summer annuals and worrying about your fave Marvel characters that things actually happened to.

Rick Remender must remember (wow, try to type that fast) those times, because, reader of his brilliant X-Force or not, you immediately get the feel from Wolverine’s delusion of heavy guilt and doom to come.

Remender does my favorite thing in Uncanny Avengers #9: he uses continuity not as a crutch or as a burden of limitation but as the natural order of things it should be, as a springboard for new stories. And that is just what these threads from his X-Force days are becoming here, much to my delight.

But don’t worry, Avengerophiles, we have the great juggler Remender not only tossing the X-ball up and down right from its great Claremont lineage, but also the Thomas/Stern/Busiek A-ball of the classic “classic” Avengers as Jan and Cap, Thor and Cap, Rogue and Wanda, and Logan and everybody argue to the point that it seems the team is split! (Anyone remember this is the Unity Squad??)

Then we have the great M-Word debate continuing in the training room as Wanda and Rogue go hot and heavy over what Alex said or didn’t say, meant or didn’t mean. Classic Claremont X-Men.

And this is the time Wonder Man fans have awaited! Pacifist or not, Simon’s arrival to “save” Cap at the hands of HYDRA and also his brief but very welcome discourse with the Beast are the best things to happen to the character since the Englehart/Milgrom West Coast Avengers days! Wonder-ful!

All writing signs are go! Did Marvel let some weak artist mess up the perfect comic? Nope! Daniel Acuna delivers on all fronts: masses of characters, facial expressions, busy backgrounds, cosmic scope, vile villains, powerful heroes, wondrous color palettes … All this and I haven’t even touched on Kang (always in the background) and the Apocalypse Twins.  (whew!)

I rarely do this, but however you want to say it – 5 stars, 10 out of 10 – Uncanny Avengers is THE perfect comic and, for me and many others, the new flagship of Marvel NOW!

Buy it!

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The “DOC’s” Top Of The Pile for 5/8/2013

 

The Top of the Pile

By: Chris “DOC” Bushley

 

This is the weekly “quick pick” of the best 5 comics to hit the shelves! Whether they are riddled with action, have the best dramatic sequences, blast you with a bevy of shock and awe or make you feel like a child again, these are the books EVERYONE should be reading! This “DOC’s” prescription for having the best week possible — begins with these Top 5 books! (In no particular order!)

 

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1.  Uncanny Avengers #8 (Marvel):  Rick Remender is a repeat performer and a constant member of The Top of the Pile, and for a good reason! His amalgam team of Avengers and X-Men are not only at odds with the biggest threats to the world, but are at odds with each other as well. The deception and secrets has made these heroes question the integrity of everyone, leaving the reader with an aura of continual awe and merriment. Plus, who gets to kill a Celestial? Rick Remender — that’s who!

 

 

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2. Batman and Red Hood #20 (DC):  Peter J. Tomasi may be leaving Green Lantern Corps after this weeks issue, but you NEED to check out what he is doing for the Batman mythos as well! Since the death of Damian Wayne, Bruce has been lost, swimming in despair and rage. So, he calls upon the first Robin to have died and they take out their pain on the snipers that attacked Damian on that fateful day! But, what seems to be a reconciliation between Bats and Red Hood may end up destroying their partnership forever! A great look at the emotional side of two great characters that will never be the same again!

 

 

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3. Harbinger #12 (Valiant): The third chapter of the epic Harbinger Wars crossover, this issue shows just how brutal children with massive powers can be! Especially, since these powerhouses have been tortured, belittled and separated from the rest of humanity all their lives! This is a fantastic character piece that showcases the perfect balance of emotion and action on many levels. Stunning!

 

 

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4. X #1 (Dark Horse):  Duane Swierczynski has not only revamped the killing machine, Bloodshot, for Valiant Comics, now he has brought back the most brutal vigilante to ever grace the pages of Dark Horse as well! X is a non-stop menagerie of brutality that will ensnare you in the filthy underground world of Arcadia. Now, with a journalist on his trail, will X let up on his reign of terror he has placed on the worst criminals of the city? Hell No! Great stuff!

 

 

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5. Justice League of America #3 (DC): Geoff Johns has taken a motley crew of “heroes” and made them into one of the most interesting reads every month. This issue sees the truth behind Green Arrow’s attackers come to light and the “team” set up one of their own! Plus, Stargirl gets a dose of reality from Amanda Waller and Catwoman gets a little too close for comfort with Martian Manhunter in a great back-up story by the acclaimed writer of Mind MGMT — Matt Kindt! Two amazing writers for one low price! Who could ask for anything more?

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C2E2: The Sentry Returns: Will see Rematch With Thor

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:7276:]]Today at the C2E2, Marvel Comics announced the return of The Sentry.

Coming to Rick Remender’s Uncanny Avengers, The Sentry will return as an Apocalypse Horseman of Death along with Banshee, the Grim Reaper and Daken in the “Four Deaths” storyline.

And it’s said we will see a rematch between the man with the power of a million suns and the Asgardian thunder god.

In addition, Daken will take on Wolverine, Banshee vs. Alex Summers and Grim Reaper vs. Rogue.

Series writer Rick Remender stated:

We’re trying to grow the Apocalypse mythology. Uncanny Avengers is the big world-shaking threats. The Apocalypse Twins, the children of Warren Worthington and Pestilence, grown up in the future, raised by Kang, and they’re doing things differently.

They have taken 4 death seeds from 4 celestials, and they are tough characters. You have the Sentry, you’ll have a big Sentry – Thor rematch.

We have Grim Reaper vs. Rogue. We have Daken vs. Wolverine. We have Banshee vs. Alex Summers

There’s probably bad blood between Daken and his dad, since he drowned him in a puddle.

What the Apocalypse twins have done is create the Four Horsemen of Death…this sounds like I’m sitting in my house playing D&D by myself. Each one of them have context with our cast. You’re going to see a big Sentry/Thor knockdown fight.

Last we saw of The Sentry, The Void and Robert Reynolds, was during Siege when Thor was forced to strike him down with a lightning bolt

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Review: Uncanny Avengers #7

 

I can truly say I have not enjoyed Avengers so much since Black Panther and the Vision were the “new guys.”

Uncanny Avengers professes to be the blended result of Avengers vs. X-Men, but under continuity king Rick Remender issue #7 shows how this book has risen way, way above that “event” mish-mash.

While Jonathan Hickman is playing his long game with sci-fi plots and a toy chest of tin soldiers who barely acknowledge each other, Remender takes a taught group of Avengers (some of whom happen to be Homo Superior) and is as cosmic as you can get in #7’s opening pages while then handling the minutia of characters and continuity in the familiar confines of Avengers Mansion.

As Jan said in #5, it might not have Jarvis any longer, but it IS home.

The scenes between the characters, the inclusion of Starcore and SWORD and the beautiful connection to Aaron’s Thor make longtime readers feel comfort in the adventures while those often-sought commodities, “new readers,” should still be able to catch up and hang on.

The Avengers were battling Kang when I first started reading the Roy Thomas-written comic and I did not know much of what was going on … but I liked it!. And here I am, all these decades later, still a Merry Marching Marvelite, a QNS and delighted when writers like Remender use history as a tool and not see it as so much baggage.

These characters have lived! Let them have memories of their lives, even if we kind of sideswipe time’s passage a tad.

What can I say about the beautiful art work of Daniel Acuna? Welcome, sir, and please stay as long as possible.

Character. Cosmic. Continuity. Mr. Remender certainly passes my Three-C test.

How about yours?

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The “DOC’s” Top Of The Pile for 4/24/2013

 

The Top of the Pile

By: Chris “DOC” Bushley

 

This is a “quick pick” look at the Top 5 comics that EVERYONE should be reading this week! Whether it’s rife with astounding visuals, has top notch characterization, is filled with emotional strife, has a bevy of high octane battle sequences or is just a plain ol’ great read — these books belong at the “Top Of The Pile!” (In no particular order!)

 

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1. Uncanny Avengers #7 (Marvel): Rick Remender has crafted a series that has fans debating, completely awestruck and overtly excited! This week he melds a storyline from Jason Aaron’s amazing Thor: God of Thunder into his own tale and the payoffs are incredible! Tensions flare between our “mutant” and “non-mutant” heroes but that isn’t the main draw of this book. If you are a cosmic fan, this issue will give you something you have never seen before! What could make a Celestial ever feel sadness? You have to read it to believe it!

 

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2. Jupiter’s Legacy #1 (Image): Frank Quitely brings his artistic talents to Image Comics to render a book that will become an instant classic! Written by fan favorite Mark Millar, Jupiter’s Legacy, is an up close and personal look at the lives of the children of the world’s greatest super heroes. But, how can they truly become their own heroes when they will always be in the shadows of their astounding parents? For that matter, why would they want to spend their days slugging it out with world conquering villains when they can just relax and let the “old folks” save the day! A very poignant look at the perils of youth, blind obedience and the failing economic climate of the modern world. Fantastic stuff form a fantastic team!

 

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3. Joe Hill’s Terrifyingly Tragic Treasury Edition (IDW): This over-sized extravaganza of horror laced tales by Stephen King’s son, is just the thing to keep you up at night. This $10 book may seem like a steep price tag for reprints of four previously released tales but, believe me, it is well worth it! Inside you will find the “Kodiak” one shot, that will have you never wanting to go in the woods again, the Eisner Award winning tale “The Cape” about a man that chooses to use his power of flight to right a wrong, the Locke and Key short “Open the Moon” and the final off-beat tale of Seth Fisher in “Freddie Wertham Goes to Hell.” Creepy and thought-provoking stuff that will whet your appetite for the release of Joe Hill’s new novel, NOS4A2, about a child abductor that comes out April 30th!

 

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4. B.P.R.D.: Vampire #2 (Dark Horse): Thematically reminiscent of Herman Melville’s classic Moby-Dick, this tale of longing and revenge is turning out to be an instant classic in and of itself! Beautifully horrific art by brothers Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba helps to solidify Mike Mignola’s tale as a pure masterpiece of cryptic wonderment. Haunted characters, vampire cults and plenty of witchcraft will make you second guess those shadows looming in the corners!

 

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5. Avengers Arena #8 (Marvel): Let’s begin with talking about an ending, shall we? Why would we start at the end you might ask? Because that’s what EVERYONE will be talking about after today! Some fans will cheer, some fans will protest but all fans will get involved with the discussion about the end! Especially, since some endings are actually new beginnings — cryptic enough for ya? Dennis Hopeless has created an outstanding series that is character driven, shocking and enthralling. Plus, there still is that ending that hangs over our heads!

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Review: Uncanny Avengers #6

 

If you have been reading the Marvel NOWThor, you will get additional enjoyment out of this time-traveling issue of Uncanny Avengers.

If not, you’re still bound to love it!

For a hero who could have been portrayed by a cardboard cutout last issue, the God of Thunder (even without his Uru hammer) comes on mightily here in a younger incarnation wherein humility (and Don Blake) were yet to be discovered.

The initial battle between Apocalypse and young Thor was a brief one, but after Thor utilizes a weapon very seldom used by Asgardians — a book! — he is able to transform his ax into apparently THE mightiest weapon in the Nine Worlds and parts of Britain!

Once again, Rick Remender proves to be the Kontinuity King and deserves nothing but praise as All-Father Odin tells Thor about the pact between the Skyfathers and Celestials from the beautiful issue of Thor by Mark Gruenwald and Ralph Maccio which ended Roy Thomas’ brilliant arc “Celestials Saga.” Smart!

The manoeuvres of Loki (?), Kang, his younger self Rama-Tut and Apocalypse fill this Thor-centric adventure with a sophistication reminiscent of classic Avengers tales.

And welcome to new artist Daniel Acuna, whose images and colors brought Remender’s great action to life, from long-ago Scandinaviato a breath-taking view of Asgard and  Bifrost ( and Heimdall!). Hope your stay is a long one, sir.

Uncanny Avengersis quickly becoming the book carrying on the classic voices of Lee/Kirby, Thomas/Buscema, Stern/Milgrom etc., mutants (sorry, Alex) regardless.

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Uncanny Avengers #5: Call Me Alex: The Controversy Of Being Human

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I was surprised. Really.

I thought sure the internet scuttlebutt on the forums after the release of Uncanny Avengers #5 would be about either Jan’s dispute with Rogue over the placement of Professor X’s portrait in Avengers Mansion vs. a picture of the original Avengers, or (more likely) Rogue’s killing of longtime Avengers villain (and Wonder Man’s brother) the Grim Reaper– and on TV, in public if you will.

So what to my wondering eyes did appear on the boards but diverse opinions on diversity, on Alex’s press conference speech about the derogatory (in Havok’s opinion) term “mutant,” of more especially how the label seems to remove those with the X-gene from the human race.

Now anyone who has read any X-book for any length of time (and especially during the golden Chris Claremont years with stories like “Days of Future Past”) knows how the mutants (sorry, Alex) have suffered as a separate society in America and all over the globe, although I do agree with Wolverine’s earlier statement that there is no such thing as a mutant “community” in the Marvel Universe.

Xavier’s Dream is for “mutants” to live peacefully alongside the other diverse forms of humanity in peace.

And yet, on the boards, Alex’s statements have taken him from Scott’s poor (maybe obscure) little brother to being termed everything from Superman to Hitler.

As a fellow reviewer said, I cannot speak to individual readers’ opinions on diversity because I am a straight male Caucasian, but I can speak to what Havok was saying because I have known the character since he was created.

In our world, most “minorities” (another offending M word, IMO) have been looked down upon by the extant majority, whether it be in the modern day U.S.or in Africa, where indeed those humans of dark skin also made slaves of neighboring tribesmen of the same skin hue.

In the Marvel Universe, those humans with the X-gene have really not been looked “down upon” so much as looked “up” to, feared and hated because those without said gene may be, like the Kree, at evolution’s end, on the way out as a species.

Or just plain feared and hated.

I think really only Magneto (and maybe the Toad in the early days, lol) believed that “Homo superior” was indeed a separate, superior species. And it may have been just propaganda to Eric himself.

What Alex was saying to the public at large is that he is human and you are human, no matter your genetics, your skin hue or if you open your egg from the bottom or the top.

I am human. You are human.

Don’t call me a straight male Caucasian.

Hey, call me Byron.

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Review: Uncanny Avengers #5

With the threat of the Red Skull and his S-Men at least temporarily driven from the public eye, scribe Rick Remender turns in a very effective “Roy Thomas issue” in Uncanny Avengers #5, one that at times pulls on the heartstrings of longtime X-Men readers … and also raises a bit of unexpected controversy.

The group really comes to life as a team this issue as things are settled — the picture of the original Avengers still belongs in the main lobby, Professor X goes in the entry hall — and three new teammates (Wonder Man, Wasp and Sunfire) arrive, bringing dozens of potential future story threads with them.

Alex, even nervous as he is at manning the helm of such a public entity as the Avengers Unity Division, makes it clear at the obligatory “large table” team meeting and at a later press conference (see an upcoming What the D’ast? column on CBN about this) that he’s team leader.

Rogue is correct when she whispers to Alex that the Prof would be proud of him.

Unlike other writers who shun continuity to attract new readers without needless life-luggage to their characters, Remender embraces the pasts of his characters, reminding us who they are and how they got here. This issue, it is not only true with Wolverine and Sunfire but Alex and Rogue as well.

And speaking of Thomas, his Avengers feel was surely here during scenes with Cap and Wanda as well as Roy’s old Simon/Grim Reaper brothers plotline.

Remender takes these items and others unmentioned (you as a reader should have some fun of discovery!) and brews one hell of an Avengers tale that is also a great reflection of Xavier’s Dream.

I really loved the Coipel/Morales art this time around and, while the action was great, the clear lines, character work and especially facial expressions were perfect for this kind of set-up issue. Havok meeting Wasp and Wonder Man was hilarious, and Logan’s heartfelt discussion with Sunfire was gut-wrenching because of the art as well as the script. Bravo!

The book that launched Marvel NOWis keeping its place as the flagship mag in a very appreciated Marvel manner.

Other NOWseries creators could learn a few things from Remender & Co.

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The “DOC’s” Top Of The Pile for 3/27/2013

 

The Top of the Pile

By: Chris “DOC” Bushley

 

This is a “quick pick” look at the Top 5 comics that EVERYONE should be reading this week! Whether it’s rife with characterization, filled with emotional strife, has a bevy of high octane battle sequences or is just a plain ol’ great read — these books belong at the “Top Of The Pile!” (In no particular order!)

 

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1. Uncanny Avengers #5 (Marvel):  If you have EVER been a fan of the X-Men or Avengers — this is the book for you! Rick Remender is a master of bringing such intricate details from past storylines into current and future tales, that it should almost be illegal! Familiar characters from his Uncanny X-Force run emerge, babies are born, the line-up expands, major Avengers villains return and Havok yells, “Avengers Assemble!” What else do you need in a comic? NOTHING!

 

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2. Teen Titans #18 (DC):  Something isn’t quite right with Tim Drake after the events of “Death of the Family.” Now, after Robin’s death, it is even more apparent that there are some dark secrets tugging at Tim, ones that will put him on a path with the Suicide Squad! Great character build-up and the return of Superboy (at least for now!) help this one land on the Top of the Pile!

 

 

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3. B.P.R.D.:Vampire #1(of 3) (Dark Horse):  Directly following the events of the critically acclaimed mini-series, B.P.R.D.:1947, Mike Mignola brings a tale of revenge and blood back to the stands this week. But, he didn’t come alone! Fan favorites, Gabriel Ba’ and Fabio Moon return as well to tell the tale of Agent Anders and his loss of humanity at the hands of vampires! Great stuff!

 

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4. Red Team #2 (Dynamite): Garth Ennis’ tale of a quartet of police officers that cross the line in order to ensure another bad guy doesn’t “slip through the cracks of Justice,” continues this week and it’s a doozy! This book has perfect characterization and will make you question all you ever thought of what’s right and what’s wrong. This is a fantastic morality play and is well worth the $3.50!

 

 

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5. Uncanny X-Force #3 (Marvel): Yes, it’s another “Uncanny” title, but they are just so good! Stan Humphries does X-Men history stories almost as well as Rick Remender and it’s astounding! We get a short origin of Psylocke, some triple Fantomex action and we finally get to see Bishop unleash his inner beast! Now that I wrote it, that does sound a little strange on paper but, believe me, it’s even stranger when you read it! A very cool story that leaves you wanting the next thirty days to fly by!

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The “DOC’s” Top Of The Pile for 2/27/2013

The Top Of The Pile

By: Chris “DOC” Bushley

 

This is a “quick pick” look at the Top 5 comics that EVERYONE should be reading this week! Whether it’s rife with characterization, filled with emotional strife, has a bevy of high octane battle sequences or is just a plain ol’ great read — these books belong at the “Top Of The Pile!”

 

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1. Teen Titans #17 (DC): In the aftermath of “The Death of the Family” storyline, these young heroes try to see the silver lining of everyday life. Unfortunately, the “Bat” family may not be the only one that is left broken. Things become more difficult as something is amiss with the Titans, plus, we see the return of the New 52 version of Raven — straight from the pages of Phantom Stranger! Great art and a solid read

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3. The Answer #2 (Dark Horse): This quirky, smart and original story will leave you asking more questions with every passing page! It is a book that doesn’t fall into the trappings of the “superhero” genre but expands upon it exponentially through fantastic ideas and whirlwind action. Just when you think you know what lies before you, you are spun into another direction entirely. If you are looking for something that is overtly fun and intriguing — The Answer is your answer!

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4. Uncanny Avengers #4 (Marvel): Rick Remender knows how to write on hell of an engaging story. From hostile social climates and intense political views, all the way down to classic fisticuffs that rock the page — this book is THE pinnacle of “superhero” books. Remender has such a deep knowledge of X-Men history that literally, every issue has some sort of nostalgic nuance to it. But Avenger fans need not fear, there are plenty of Cap shield wielding, Thor hammering and Scarlett Witch chaos magic to make you all happy! This is the best Avengers book on the shelves and you have Rick Remender to thank for it!

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5. Batman Incorporated #8 (DC): Yes, this issue is the death of Robin issue that everyone has been talking about! It deserves a place on your pull list, not only for the death of a great character but because of the general story as well. Full of “little” moments between the “Bat” characters, this issue builds up the emotional dial to eleven before the grand finale! Morrison may be wrapping things up for poor Damian Wayne, but he won’t let him go down without a fight! Cheers to one of the best characters created in the past decade, we’re gonna miss ya!

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Uncanny Avengers #4 Reveals the Deaths of The Future! And More!

While all the hype this week might be surrounding Grant Morrison’s Batman Incorporated #8, there just may be another issue that might top it.

Rick Remender’s Uncanny Avengers is becoming a huge fan-favorite.

As we saw at the end of issue #1, the Red Skull had aquired Professor Xavier’s brain!

Now check out some pics from today’s Uncanny Avengers #4 which features a possible future that takes place three months from now!

We see that not only has Red Skull become Onslaught as he melds with Xavier’s brain, but the deaths of a bunch of Marvel heroes are teased as well!

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Review: Uncanny Avengers #2

 

Rick Remender and John Cassady keep hitting old X-Men fans like myself in the emotional gut as they create a brave, new world and dedication to Xavier’s Dream.

Anyone who has followed the career of Rogue as a character since her first appearance in Avengers Annual #10 (1981, and as a villain yet!) will be undoubtedly rewarded with the saga presented in Uncanny Avengers #2 as the Southern belle helps free Wanda from the clutches of the mad Red Skull, now new and improved with Professor X’s brain.

Even imagining writing this kind of tale has this old-school fanboy shaking and quaking in his Merry Marvel Marching boots, much less seeing same on the printed page! Anyone who does not feel some type of emotion when Rogue and the Scarlet Witch find the lobotomized remains of Charles Xavier on a cold steel table was never a True Believer in the first place.

Remender has said the “X” portion of the first few issues (when and if they arrive at my LCS) would be heavy, but he would also be offering up the great Roger Stern feel of Avengers eventually and that in itself is reason enough to stick around at least until another few of the old gang (Wonder Man and the return of the Winsome Wasp!) comes about in #5.

The artwork on this issue is — what can I say? — uncanny. Cassady really has the feel for what makes a book look good and what makes characters feel the emotions Remender wants them to feel. Again, I return to the scene with Rogue and Wanda, certainly one that will be an X-classic for years to come. I also liked the way Cassady visually and Remender storywise handled Rogue’s escape. And the convo between Logan and Cap regarding Havok and his new role was the cherry on top of the sundae.

I know this book is not everyone’s cup of tea. Avengers fans like classic, X-Men fans love complications. But at least we have a team, independent of the U.S. government, living in Avengers Mansion again. So the big question now: Who gets Jarvis?

Get on board this rock-solid foundation of Marvel NOW while you can. And if you aren’t a True Believer or Quite Nuff Sayer … well, you soon will be.

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