There was a huge bomb dropped in ‘Uncanny Avengers’ #4. After Havok and his team sent Red Skull and his S-Men packing, the Avengers Unity Division were able to celebrate their first win. Then, towards the end of the book, we jumped forward in time to see a ‘Days of Future Past’-esque era where, on the last page, Sunfire, Havok, and Scarlet Witch were met with an all-new Onslaught that appeared to be spliced with the Red Skull, and with him was the brainless, zombified body of Charles Xavier. Huge, right?
But now, in ‘Uncanny Avengers’ #5, we return to the present day. Damn cliffhanger endings! But despite not picking up right after that confrontation from the last issue, Rick Remender continues to provide his readers with interesting and incredibly dark stories from this brand new team of Avengers. Instead of going immediately where the fans would have liked him to go, we begin the build to that future world that was presented in #4 and we’re shown the Uncanny Avengers’ first major press conference. As expected, it doesn’t exactly go the way they’d like as someone decides to crash the party and cause a little trouble for this newly formed team that happens to be coming off a victory against the Red Skull.
The first thing that I have to address is the diversity of this book. The whole premise of this book is that Avengers and X-Men should be able to coexist as one team since they’re all heroes at the end of the day. This is a great message to send to the Marvel audience. Heroes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and they can all work together to accomplish the same goal. Now more than ever, I’m seeing a variety of people on these Avengers teams. In this issue, Wolverine seeks out Sunfire, a former X-Man from Japan, to join the new team. On top of the addition of Shang-Chi to the main Avengers team, I’m so glad to see more Asian superheroes join the ranks of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. That was something that I never really saw when I was growing up, so it makes me excited to see these characters step into the spotlight alongside the likes of Wolverine and Captain America. Across the entire roster of Marvel Comics on sale today, there’s a variety of characters from various different cultures and colors being represented in the pages, and that is most definitely a good thing.
Next, speaking of Sunfire, I liked the section where Logan went to track him down in Japan. Wolverine has a rich history in the Land of the Rising Sun, and with ‘The Wolverine’ coming to theaters soon, it was quite smart of Marvel to remind their readers of his time spent there. But with Sunfire joining the team, that’s another hero in dire need of a second chance. Now he can get one with this ragtag team that seems to keep getting met with unfortunate accidents and bad PR incidents. With Wonder Man and the Wasp joining the team to spearhead their PR efforts, they certainly have their work cut out for them.
Then, before I get to my last point, I have to mention that I absolutely love seeing Alex Summers step up to his true potential. He’s no longer Cyclops’ younger brother. He’s Havok and he’s the leader of an Avengers team and he’s doing one hell of a job so far.
Finally, the end of the book was yet another grim shocker. For those of you who have read the book already, no pun intended. Anyway, this issue is keeping up with the excellent story quality that we’ve been getting from the start. There are swerves and surprises with every turn of the page. It’s almost like Remender is playing with the tropes of a superhero team book and when it gets to the point where it’s like, “Oh that would never happen…”, it actually happens and you have nothing left to say except, “Are you kidding me?!”. When I got to the last page, my exact words were, “Are you serious, bro?!”. (I’m a big WWE fan and Zack Ryder’s catchphrase has embedded itself in my vernacular). It’s a good thing that no one was home when I was reading this book because I practically yelled it.
Needless to say, I’m enjoying this book immensely. It hasn’t really let me down yet and it’s a joy to read whenever I take it home from the shop. I’m very curious to see what happens next, especially after that nightmare of a press conference.
UNCANNY AVENGERS #5
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales, Laura Martin, & Larry Molinar
Cover by John Cassaday & Laura Martin