Professor Xavier has died, but Captain America searches for someone who won’t let his ideals die with him in starting point for Marvel NOW! – Uncanny Avengers #1.
Uncanny Avengers #1
While Wolverine prepares his eulogy for Charles Xavier, an unseen villain is playing with the brain of a mutant. Meanwhile, Alex Summers, aka Havoc, visits his brother in prison searching for answers. When Alex leaves, Captain America and Thor wait for him and ask him to come back to Avengers Mansion with them. There, Cap explains the he feels Alex is the best person to take up the cause to help lead the mutant race back on the path of Xavier’s vision of a better world for them. Alex doesn’t have a chance to decline until the previously dissected mutant, Avalanche attacks New York. At Xavier’s statue, Scarlet Witch tries to pay her respects but Rogue arrives to ask her to leave. They are soon to be attacked by a strange team of mutants who subdue the ladies and steal Xavier’s body for their leader – the Red Skull.
Rick Remender and John Cassaday kick off Marvel NOW! in a fairly good way. It’s measured and safe, but not in bad ways. With this being more of a relaunch, as opposed to DC’s ambitious New 52 reboot (or “not reboot” depending on who you ask), this new beginning has to step back and take a look what led to this title in particular. Yes, half this book is dedicated to Xavier’s funeral, but I think it’s handled quite well. Between that and Alex visiting to say what’s on his mind to Scott, Cap’s decision to combine the Avengers and X-Men melds nicely.
What makes this interesting is that Cap isn’t quite all that innocent in his request to have Havoc lead this team. Yes, he may honestly believe this is the right move to help dispel the fear of mutants, especially now there are a whole bunch more running about on the planet, there are plenty of ulterior motives to this decision. Let’s face it, people may be scared out of their minds over seeing what the mutants did when the Phoenix was here, but people who can see beyond that fear could see that things were made a little worse by the Avengers. Cap’s probably thinking a little bit about how to make the Avengers look less like conquerors and more like people willing to reach out across the aisle to help the mutants find peace and safety in the world that fears them even more. Surely, the fact that Havoc is Cyclops’ brother probably plays into this idea a little bit. Also, Havoc is a government man. There are lots of pieces here that may seem to be perfect. I doubt it will be, but that’s what’s going to be interesting to see unfold. There are personalities on this team that may not necessary foster a great deal of trust or friendliness between all the members.
That’s one of the things I like the most about this book. This is a potentially volatile team busting at the seams. Through that, this really feels like a brand new book. Think back to when the Avengers first came together. They weren’t like the Fantastic Four, which was basically a family, or the X-Men who were all students learning how to use their powers for good no matter how those they were saving felt about them. The Avengers were a team that had disparate personalities that were somewhat unruly until Cap came along. This same idea is presented in these six individuals on this new team. We know all these people, but it really has a new, fresh idea again. It’s not a group of X-Men forming some new teams with people that have been on those teams for practically ever. It’s not a bunch of Avengers that we would expect to see on the team. It’s a bit of a new concept… With a story purpose which makes it that much better.
Honestly, I couldn’t be happier about Cassaday taking on art duties on this book. He’s got such a great, clean style that fits superhero comics so damn well. While we only get a couple teases at what he can do in action sequences, can you imagine what he’ll be able to do when he cuts loose? Plus, his last page reveal of Red Skull holding the brain of Professor Xavier was the perfect mix of gross and iconic and classic.
Marvel NOW! and Uncanny Avengers is off to the right start. I can’t wait to see what Remender and Cassaday has for us down the line!
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Safe, but very solid debut issue. Nice use of characters and some nice action thrown in. Love the last page.||Not going to say anything negative. Just a great start to a new era.|