This is it, the first issue of the first official Marvel Now book. Uncanny Avengers is pretty much the new flagship book of the main Marvel Universe. It’s a team in which half the members are Avengers, and half are X-Men. Havok, Cyclops’s brother, is meant to be the official team leader as they mean to improve human/mutant relations for the future. Is this issue any good though? Is it worthy of kick-starting Marvel Now?
For the most part, this is a good issue. It’s mostly setting up for UA while it doubles as an aftermath of Avengers vs. X-Men. Charles Xavier’s funeral takes place in the first half of this issue, and that scene was very well done. The Red Skull begins his plans, and the cliff-hanger is dark and kind of awesome. There is a lot happening in this issue and most of it is good.
Charles Xavier’s dream is discussed a lot in this book, and it’s filtered through each of the six members of the team. For example, the Scarlet Witch feels guilty in thinking that she ruined his dream, while Rogue is angry at her for similar reasons. Each of these filters fit their respective characters perfectly, and it’s a great focus for the first book in Uncanny Avengers.
Because a lot happens in this issue though, several scenes feel a bit rushed. Havok confronts Cyclops in a high security prison. Havok comes across as a bit harsh toward his brother, and Cyclops isn’t given enough time to respond – although what Havok says isn’t entirely inappropriate. Avalanche, who has been, well … modified by Red Skull, attacks a city. That action scene is resolved before the real fight even begins.
The argument between Rogue and the Scarlet Witch feels a bit clunky. It almost feels like half of their dialogue is missing and logical steps are skipped. The Scarlet Witch’s line about more mutants being born feels out of place – she basically questions if more mutants is a good thing. It’s understandable that Rogue is angry though. Rick Remender’s writing is usually much tighter than this scene.
The art is excellent throughout. John Cassaday returns from semi-retirement, and his art is well worth the wait. Every panel looks simple and smooth, yet there’s plenty of character and environmental detail when you look closely. Character expressions are handled very well. I’ve read some complaints about Captain America’s scale-covered uniform, but it doesn’t bother me.
While this issue could have been better, it’s still a good start for Uncanny Avengers. It feels like a natural progression from AVX’s ending. Personally I hope that this book’s existence won’t mean that the X-Men and the Avengers will work together all the time, and that the two franchises can still function on their own. If you like either the X-Men or the Avengers, and the two teaming up for the long term doesn’t bother you, this is an easy recommendation.