About four months ago, we got a preview of ‘Uncanny Avengers’ #6 featuring Apocalypse and Thor crossing paths and battling one another. Since the beginning of this series, we’ve known that we’d see a ton of crossover with Avengers and X-Men characters, but who knew that this one would come to be in such a way that would greatly impact the state of the Marvel Universe.
In the last issue, the team’s roster was completed after adding the Wasp, Wonder Man, and Sunfire to the team. Following the terror of the Red Skull and his S-Men was subdued for the time being, the new Avengers’ Unity Division prepared for their first press conference as a team. However, when the party was crashed by an unexpected guest, the team didn’t exactly end up with the best PR following that battle when Rogue went a bit too far with her attack.
Now, in the new issue, we time jump again to a time long, long ago in Marvel’s history. We find a very young Thor with his Asgardian comrades as they come to blows with the mighty Apocalypse. Their battle spills out into the streets of London where the outcome greatly angers Odin because of the ramifications of Thor’s actions. But little did the rulers of Asgard know, someone was playing tricks in order to manipulate the God of Thunder into doing his bidding. And it surprisingly wasn’t Loki this time!
There’s an awful lot of time travel going on in the Marvel Universe today. After thinking about it for a minute, most of the books that I’m picking up on a weekly basis involve traveling through time or crossing over into other dimensions. This really can’t be a coincidence, so Marvel has got to have something epic up their sleeves and I’m extremely anxious to see what emerges.
Not that I’m complaining about the stories that are spinning out of these storytelling devices, mind you. Seeing Apocalypse fight a young Thor was interesting because you get to see just how much he’s changed over the years. And when I say a young Thor, I mean that this is even before he started using Mjolnir and he still traveled by flying chariot, so he was quite a youngster when this issue took place. He was a lot more brash and aggressive back then because he depended on medieval weaponry and brute force rather than thunder and strategy, and that sort of stuff is just fun to see sometimes. Just like in the most recent issue of ‘Indestructible Hulk’, it’s pretty cool to see a retro Thor in today’s modern comics.
No matter which Thor is shining in the spotlight, I’m glad that ‘Uncanny Avengers’ decided to focus on the Asgardian Avenger. In the first arc of the story, he was rarely featured even though he was meant to be an integral member of the team. I understand that this is supposed to be a team book featuring members of the X-Men and the Avengers working together, but you can really see that this issue is setting up for something big to happen down the line. Now, I’m just wondering if this will eventually tie back into the Onslaught/Red Skull stuff from ‘Uncanny Avengers’ #4.
Lastly, I wanted to address the artistic change up in this issue. I was really enjoying Oliver Coipel’s work in the last issue and I was looking forward to seeing him run with the Uncanny Avengers, but he’s tagged out in favor of Daniel Acuña. In terms of Marvel, the artist is mostly known for his work with various X-Men titles and now he joins one of the most prominent titles in the lineup. His style fits pretty perfectly with Thor’s personality in this book. It’s not as gritty as someone like Leinil Yu, but it’s definitely not as smooth as a Jim Chueng. I think I’d describe his style as battered and battle-ready, which is totally what this version of Thor needs. As much as I like Coipel, Acuña’s style totally fits in this story.
Considering who’s causing trouble right now for the Uncanny Avengers, I know that the time travel angle isn’t close to over yet, and since we have sort of an idea where it’s going, I’m definitely staying on board, especially since the things happening in this book look as if they could have huge implications for all the inhabitants of the Marvel Universe. But looking at this issue by itself, things were just okay. I mean, taking on Apocalypse is no small feat and Thor proved to be a formidable opponent, but after some of the other things that were happening in this series, this issue didn’t quite match up completely. Still good, but just not all the way there.
UNCANNY AVENGERS #6
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Daniel Acuña
Cover by John Cassaday & Laura Martin