In my review of ‘Uncanny Avengers’ #1, I touched on how dark things were in this series. As things progressed, they just got darker and darker and darker. The Red Skull is more powerful than ever now that he has the powers of Professor X, but issues #1-3 were just the beginning. Issue #4 is really when Rick Remender makes the sh*t hit the fan.
When we last left Havok’s hybrid Avengers/X-Men team, they were dealing with Red Skull’s S-Men as they terrorized New York City and incited an epic riot targeted at mutants. They were able to do this because of the villain’s new telepathic powers, which inserted such hate into the minds of the surrounding humans that they attacked any and every mutant in the area.
In the new issue, Red Skull sets his sights on Captain America and Thor in an attempt to turn them on their teammates, Rogue, Scarlet Witch, and Havok. Cap does his best to fight the control of his long-time nemesis, but Thor’s mind doesn’t appear to be as strong as his partner’s since he goes hard against Wanda and Alex. Even though they try their best to focus the attack on their common enemy, the Uncanny Avengers have their hands full fighting against each other for most of the issue.
There are a lot of great moments in this book. Not only has Remender provided us with some of his most interesting writing in the whole series thus far, but John Cassaday brings it all to life with such beautiful artwork. For example, when Havok and Scarlet Witch are fighting Thor, there’s some great dialogue there to lighten the mood a bit, but also I like the way that their powers intertwine with each other as they work together. Another example of awesomeness in this issue is the ‘Days of Future Past’ homage. With the film beginning production very soon, I’m not surprised to see allusions to that classic storyline in the comics in order to remind the fans that it exists. Not that it’s forgettable or anything, but it’s not such a bad thing that they’re trying to keep it fresh in the readers’ heads, despite throwing a new spin on it.
Not only is the art spot on in this issue, but the colors by Laura Martin and Larry Molinar especially pop in this issue as well. One small moment where I noticed it was the blue in Captain America’s eyes as he was fighting the Red Skull. It was such a pure blue, much like the pure soul of Steve Rogers. A larger moment that better illustrates my point is when Wanda is looking to deliver her finishing blow to the God of Thunder. The deep purples and reds conveyed so much emotion and they looked gorgeous.
Finally, the ending was such a swerve. The book got to a place where traditionally a series would end up at the end of it’s first major arc. Normally, that’s where it would stop, but ‘Uncanny Avengers’ kept going. In my no holds barred spoiler filled article from earlier this week, I touch on the ending of this issue, but I’ll be sure to steer clear of spoilers here. I will say though that there are definitely some super messed up things ahead. Defiling Xavier’s body to acquire his powers is one thing, but the Red Skull just took it to a whole other level. Just when you think his plan can’t get any more gruesome, he goes and does this. I don’t even know what to expect in the next issue!
When I started reading ‘Uncanny Avengers’ #4, I got a sense that this series was slipping into the middle of my list of favorite books on my pull list. By the time I got to the end, it pretty much cemented itself in the upper half. There are some exciting things ahead. Not only are we seeking answers from the final page of the issue, but there’s still a sense of dysfunction among some members of the team and the public that they’re meant to protect, so I’m looking forward to seeing that play out. Good things (but more likely more bad things) are on their way and you shouldn’t miss out on them by not picking up this series.
UNCANNY AVENGERS #4
Written by RICK REMENDER
Art by JOHN CASSADAY, LAURA MARTIN, & LARRY MOLINAR