Uncanny Avengers has a secret weapon under its belt, and that weapon is Daniel Acuna. Of all of Rick Remender’s stories on the previous volumes, my favorite ones came to life with Acuna’s art, so having him on the ground floor of the new era is a huge plus. That being said, coming out of AXIS, the book has been shaken up quite a bit, the cast being the most obvious change of course. Some time ago, Remender while fielding criticism of the lack of diversity on a team meant to embody it jokingly referred to it as “Crackerfest 2012”, and it’s easy to see where that criticism has taken us. Instead of the heavy hitters that seem to be on every other team, we have Sam Wilson (ok he is on every other team), Doctor Voodoo, Quicksilver, the Vision, and an inverted Sabretooth for the new entries into the roster.
In addition, one of the bigger aftershocks from AXIS is the apparent retcon of Magneto no longer being the father of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. While the favored odds are that it’s to disconnect the two from the X-Men franchise permanently, the bearing it has here is as the primarily plot driver for the Unity Division to reform. Thankfully, Remender skips past a “forming of the team” introductory issue, or the fracturing of the previous team and cuts straight to the action, which serves it well compared to the glacial pace a modern team book can have in forming.
This helps put the team dynamic into place fairly quickly and gets to work exploring the motivations of everyone involved. And thankfully, Remender devotes a fair amount of time to the Avengers who are the most out of circulation or stand as outliers such as Doctor Voodoo, Vision, and Sabretooth. The last one in particular is still controversial for obvious reasons, but Remender doesn’t treat it as a sudden segue into trust, which helps smooths Sabretooth’s dubious transformation to an Avenger.
However, the story isn’t without its bumps. While it’s less of a problem in his creator owned books, Remender’s tendency to over dialogue is in full force with entire captions of thought that do little more than block the art at times. While Remender’s ear for dialogue is part of his style, it can sometimes be a hindrance to the flow of the story, and the art. That said, it’s still a well-plotted comic despite the bumps in getting there.
And I would be remiss not to mention Daniel Acuna again. His art sells the sci-fi redesign of Counter-Earth and of the characters therein. Acuna is able to take what Remender can dish out and then some making gorgeous and creepy locales along with the characters running through them a reality. It’s nice to see these two paired up, and I hope it’s it’s a pair that stays for a long time.
5 out of 5 mystic leashes