Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artists: Ryan Stegman, Carlos Pacheco, & Pepe Larraz
Inkers: David Meikis & Mariano Taibo
Colorist: Richard Isanove
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
I was hesitant when I heard that the post Secret Wars Marvel Universe would include an Uncanny Avengers book not written by Rick Remender. To me Rick Remender was Uncanny Avengers. Marvel had launched the book in the wake of their ambitious but to drawn out and overhyped Avengers vs. X-Men (AVX). The premise was that Captain America created a Unity Squad of the Avengers comprised of both Mutant and Human to help heal the rift created by the conflict detailed in AVX. Although a member of the team Cap gives command to Alex Summers, Havok, and filled the team with an A list roster which also included Wolverine, Rogue, the Scarlet Witch and Thor. Sunfire and Wonder Man later joined the team but the cast morphed throughout the run as outside factors influenced the membership, such as the Death of Wolverine and the Old Man Cap storyline. But the book was a roller coaster ride and went a long way to creating a team from two separate properties.
The first volume was a wild ride as the team dealt with the Red Skull who is currently enhanced with Professor X’s mutant abilities due to a partial brain transplant. Uncanny Avengers also picked up hanging plot threads from Remender’s equally excellent Uncanny X-Force as the team dealt with Apocalypse’s offspring and later tangled with Kang. Yet the book ended with the Axis event and had a brief volume two with Remender and Daniel Acuna for a brief trip to NuEarth to deal with the High Evolutionary. But then Secret Wars occurred and the book came to a quick end. It seemed over as Rick Remender decided to focus on his independent books and as the guiding force of the title I assumed Marvel would let it go away.
But Marvel is not known for letting a successful title slip by the wayside so they repurposed the team in the post Secret Wars world. Rather then the team being a bridge between just Humans and Mutants it now includes Inhumans as well. Remender was out and Gerry Duggan was in. I wasn’t sure what to think as I had read very little Duggan and the team seemed centered around Deadpool and I do not like Deadpool. Yes, I know I may be the only person in the world to admit that but he has never appealed to me. But I had enjoyed him in Uncanny X-Force so I decided to give the book a shot and I am glad that I did. I love this book. It is by far my favorite Avengers comic on the stands today and it may be the best Avengers book currently being published.
Uncanny Avengers is a great read. The book is fun and enjoyable. Gerry Duggan thankfully doesn’t try to mimic Remender’s tone for the title. Remender mined some dark territory during his time on the book but Duggan has a brighter and is more humorous with his stories. That does not mean that the scope or gravitas is any lighter. The book is still dark and does not shy away from epic events and has a broad scope to its stories. Uncanny Avengers deals with the ramifications of the M-Pox those carriers of the X-Gen can develop if exposed to the Inhuman Terrigen Mist. The team is still hunting and dealing with the Red Skull who has seemingly mastered Professor X’s power-set and giving the team the run around. They also were pulled into the Pleasant Hill Standoff which saw the return of young Cap.The two greatest arcs so far have dealt with the return of Ultron and the current Civil War II crossover with a rampaging Hulk resurrected by the Hand.
The lineup of this book is really a mixture of the Marvel Universe with popular heroes like Deadpool and Captain America as well as heavy hitters like the Human Torch, Rogue, Wasp, and Cable with Brother Voodo, Synapse, and Quicksilver along for the ride. Even though it is obviously more then a quartet this book reminds me of when all of the A list characters left the Avengers and Captain America was left with Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and the Scarlett Witch as the quirky quartet. If you told me this cast of characters would be a great combination I would have thought you were crazy but month after month I am craving more. I even like Deadpool in the book, and that is saying a lot for me. Originally brought onto the team for his marketability to help fund the Unity Squad his monthly quest to impress Captain America and his constant need to rise to the occasion is actually quite enjoyable. Not enjoyable enough I’m going to buy the thousands of books he stars in each month but I’ll stick with Uncanny Avengers for as long as this team sticks around.
Joining Duggan are some top-notch artists. The regular artists is the rotating combination of Ryan Stegman and Pepe Larraz. I enjoy Stegman’s art. It’s dynamic and action packed but I have fallen in love with Pepe Larraz’s artwork. I first noticed him on Kanan: the Last Padawan and was thankful when he became the rotating artist on Uncanny Avengers and he has been the artist for the best two storylines in this book, the return of Ultron and the current Hand resurrected Hulk tie in to Civil War II. His art is beautiful with expression and wonderfully detailed. I expect great things from him but hope he doesn’t get stolen from this book anytime soon. Even fill in artists are superb as Carlos Pacheco lent his classically realistic pencils to issues #5 and #6 for a great two issue tale.
If you are not reading this book then you should be. When the solicitations were released for the post Secret Wars comics I was positive that the Mark Waid written flagship Avengers book would be my must read. I had no doubt that Al Ewing’s the Ultimates would be a close second and I picked up Uncanny Avengers on a whim since I liked the line up of characters and the history of the title. Uncanny Avengers is by far my favorite Avengers book and it if it continues with its current excellence it may go down as one of my favorite team books of all time. Do yourself a favor and buy this book. You will not be disappointed.