While I wasn’t impressed with his recent ‘AXIS‘ story arc at all, I’ve always been a huge fan of Rick Remender and look forward to what he’s got up his sleeve for the upcoming changes to the ‘Uncanny Avengers.’ With the Unity Squad in tatters, Remender has to have a compelling story to bring a new team together from the ashes of the old and what we’re actually going to be given is an alternate Earth that our heroes must investigate.
Only who brings them all together appears to be just as surprising as the mysteries that are in store for them. While some of the premise does sound interesting we’re still a bit light on these Avengers assembling though we do have quite a bit more to work off of as you can read below.
Popping up on January 28th, 2015 is a new soft reboot of the ‘Uncanny Avengers’ with a new team being formed of heroes and one recent villain in tow as well. How was the team put together, you ask? Well according to Remender:
“The way teams normally fall together is like fantasy football, negotiating and trading. One thing that was important to Tom was having Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch together, and it’s nice to have them together. Some interesting things for Vision, I’ve got a lot of love for Doctor Voodoo, Sabretooth is big coming out of AXIS, Rogue stays from the last team, and you’ve got to have a Captain America… You see what characters fit the mandate, the story you want to tell, and how each can have a role.”
It is interesting to note that Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Vision, and the original Captain America will also be in this summer’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron‘ for Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. All of that being said, it’s fun to point out some shared history among the new teammates:
“Most of the characters being former villains is not something that was planned. At this point, almost every character in the Marvel Universe has been bad at some point. Rogue and Scarlet Witch have earned a sisterhood and each other’s trust. They’ve gone through hell, so they’re the lynchpins of the Unity Squad. Their conflict leading to their friendship was a big arc. They’re co-leaders as we open. They didn’t put together the perfect team, they’re going to war with who’s available.”
While Rogue and Scarlet Witch didn’t end up at odds as they had been for quite awhile now, I really didn’t get a sisterly vibe coming from them out of the last couple of events. The choice for these two to having decided to make a team almost makes me feel that recent events are somehow related to them staying together. Honestly, I’m curious as to what exactly will lead into the new series.
As mentioned above we also have quite a few villains turned hero on the team but the most interesting might be Sabretooth:
“Sabretooth remembers all the horrible things that he did, but his moral compass has been flipped, and he has to deal with his memories and that nobody trusts him. The Avengers don’t know what to do with him or how far to trust him. You’ve got a serial killer who put his life on the line to save the world, but he’s still a serial killer. They bring him along on the first mission because they have to.”
Editor Tom Brevoort adds in that “It’s not as simple as saying ‘Sabretooth is the new Wolverine.” as stemming from the events of AXIS we know that “Something has happened to cause Sabretooth to be this way. It’s not natural.”
Remender goes into more detail on the siblings as well. While I’m still not sold that this had to be retconned again, we’ll see how it plays out when they once again find out who their real father is and how it related to Counter-Earth.
“When the series begins, you have Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch on a frantic search to learn the truth about their past and where this great lie came from. I think Counter Earth is one of the most interesting concepts at Marvel and it has been underutilized for too long. The reveal of the new Counter Earth, the villain behind it all, and how it connects to Wanda and Pietro is what got me excited about the story.”
That being said I’m still curious as to how this plays out if we’ll see them as mutant (ahem how Cerebro identifies them), Inhuman, or from “Counter-Earth” somehow. Of course Brevoort adds in a bit more about the retcon that I’m personally not overly happy with the last bit here:
“Wanda and Pietro’s parentage will play a significant role in the story. When we’re done, not every single question will be completely answered. We’re at the beginning of that journey.”
Of course one of the big problems may be a bit of the relational upset as Vision and Wanda haven’t been around each other in some time. Wanda’s heart now belongs to Simon (who is stuck in Rogue’s head) and this could prove for some interesting issues cropping up down the line. Of course, while not officially announced on the team, if Simon is still in Rogue’s head when this begins he will be there too, willing or not.
“When we open, Vision hasn’t really forgiven her and things are a bit uneven between them. Vision and Scarlet Witch have a complex emotional history. One of the things we revealed in ‘Uncanny Avengers’ was that Wanda was attracted Vision as Simon Williams without any of the risk. She’s still very fond of Simon, who’s trapped in Rogue’s head, which makes that confusing. It’s not complete animosity; Vision is still going to try to aid her and protect her, but he’s vocally mistrusting of her.”
Brevoort also threw in that “The characters are different, but the mission statement of the Unity Squad remains the same.”
Another returning character that is about to pop up just did a horribly boring arc in ‘New Warriors.” However, when used properly this villain can be really fun to see on page and Remender agrees.
“One of the things that attracted me to this assignment was that the High Evolutionary is an aspect of this story.”
While not specifically saying that this team will end up that way, Remender does have something he happened to throw out there which may be doable with this team by having both Scarlet Witch and Brother Voodoo together that could very well be aiming to head in the direction he’s looking for. “My goal before I’m washed up,” reveals Remander, “is to do a legitimate and wonderful Avengers of the Supernatural.” Doctor Strange anyone?
When asked about another fallout from AXIS, Havok was brought up as was Magneto. Here’s what Brevoort said about those two:
“Given enough time, you can expect Havok in the book for sure. As for where you might see him next, we put a pretty big arrow on that at the end of AXIS. There effectively is no chapter one to this story. As the first issue starts, stuff is already happening. The issue where Rogue spends a lot of time on the phone, we skipped that one. At some point Magneto is going to have to show up.”
Remender said that there wouldn’t just be AXIS follow up as threads from ‘Rage of Ultron’ and ‘Secret Avengers’ will be found in ‘Uncanny Avengers.’
For those wondering which characters to brush up on, Brevoort advises that “It would not be a bad idea to dig up that Doctor Voodoo trade paperback before reading this…” Which is actually one I have not read and might just have to do. Remender stressed that “I think Doctor Voodoo is a wonderful character with a great origin who is unique in the Marvel Universe.”
I’m curious how this will play into his ongoing series while the twins are spending so much time with the “Counter-Earth” story line. There is a lot of potentially good story telling to be told here and I look forward to what is coming up next for the team. I’m just a little bitter that it has so many clear ties to AXIS which I’m pretty sure my feelings on are quite clear. Still, I’m willing to give Remender another chance with how brilliantly his take on ‘Uncanny X-Force’ was.
Are you looking forward to the new take on the Unity Squad of Avengers when ‘Uncanny Avengers’ drops later this month? What are you excited about or wish wasn’t happening in the new series? Share your thoughts below True Believers!
Below is the previously released promotional art for the first issue.