When we last left the Uncanny Avengers, the team consisting of Havok, Captain America, Wolverine, and Thor subdued Avalanche, a henchman sent by the Red Skull to induce fear of mutants among the human population. Meanwhile, during a visit to Charles Xavier’s tomb, the Scarlet Witch and Rogue were taken prisoner by the Red Skull who fused his brain with Xavier’s to create the most powerful incarnation of the villain we’ve seen yet.
Now in issue three of the flagship title of the Marvel NOW! initiative, the Skull is in New York City together with his S-Men as they are inciting riots fueled by mutant hate that he’s inserting into the public’s brains with his all-powerful telekinetic powers. Havok, Cap, and their crew are all doing their best to overcome the attack, but things aren’t exactly working out in their favor.
Like I’ve said previously in my other reviews of this title, ‘Uncanny Avengers’ is one of the darkest Avengers titles available right now. This Red Skull is full of hate and he’s just coming up with all these crazy new ways to try to spread pain and panic throughout the Marvel Universe. From what he did to the body of Professor X in issue one to what he does to Wolverine in issue three, the Skull isn’t holding anything back. Yet, while he’s so evil, he manages to find the lamest henchmen I’ve seen in quite some time. Yes, the S-Men are strong and effective, but I couldn’t help but chuckle when I found out their names. Dangerous Jinn, the Tortoise Man, the Living Propaganda, and the Goat-Faced Girl seriously do not sound as threatening and menacing as they are in the book. Though I’m reading and enjoying this book, I tend to laugh when I see these poorly named villains manhandling our heroes. Maybe that adds insult to injury when the Goat-Faced Girl defeats the Uncanny Avengers.
Beyond the name issue, I really liked the latest installment of Rick Remender’s Avengers/X-Men hybrid team. Not everyone can be Doctor Doom, I guess. Also, it is a comic book, so corny villains come up every once in a while, but very rarely do these corny villains dispatch such wrath upon the heroes. Additionally, because of the Red Skull’s new powers, he’s able to control the team’s own members and pit them against each other. Not only do they have to deal with the angry mob, the S-Men, and the Red Skull right now, but they have to deal with each other as well.
What I’ve come to appreciate about this book the most is that the writer isn’t making it too easy for the heroes to win. I’m hoping that when the inevitable victory is delivered to us, that notion of it being a hard-fought victory carries through. If so, this will easily sit up there with the best titles Marvel is putting out today.
UNCANNY AVENGERS #3
Written by RICK REMENDER
Art by JOHN CASSADAY & LAURA MARTIN