‘Uncanny Avengers’ #3 Review
Remender's story gets bigger and crazier, and my faith is (mostly) restored.
This Marvel NOW! flagship title has had its share of delays, but Rick Remender gives us an “Uncanny Avengers” #3 worth waiting for.
(Missed the catch up post on AVX and the Uncanny Avengers? Never fear! Links are here!)
What’s the comic book equivalent of a fair weather fan? Because I think I might have that tendency. At the very least I am overly lenient with stories and characters I particularly enjoy. Running a little late? Departing from the main plot line for an introspective one-shot? Trying out a stylistically different new artist? Chances are all (okay, some) is forgiven once the issue arrives in my hands. Now, the catch is, the process by which a title or character gets invited to be part of my inner circle is a bit more involved. There may even be a physical challenge. In issue #3, “Uncanny Avengers” makes a solid case for potential future inclusion. I finished the book in a good mood, excited to see what happens next and no longer annoyed at the embarrassing delay. Hopefully the majority of readers have the same reaction as this series gets back on track, because writer Rick Remender has made some very bold choices for this team.
Not going to lie, I think the Red Skull‘s evil with Charles Xavier‘s telepathic powers is a very scary combination, indeed. This is not going to be a situation the Avengers get out of easily, and Remender sets up some big threats and consequences throughout “Uncanny Avengers” #3. Red Skull sort of scary-brilliantly expands the mind control we saw him hold over Wanda in #2. His strategy for taking over New York City is to turn its citizens against themselves, and he does so with brutal efficiency. We meet a number of individual mutants right before their untimely demise at the hands of friends, neighbors and lawmen, again echoing “Uncanny Avengers” #2. It’s pretty hopeless.
Havok, Captain America and Wolverine arrive in time to save one young mutant, and despite Cap’s front and center placement on the cover of “Uncanny Avengers” #3 and most of the panels he shares with Alex, it is Havok giving the orders. There is some great tension here, as Alex and Steve figure out how the whole balance of power will ultimately work. It reminded me a little of classic leadership conversations between Steve and Clint Barton, but so far Havok is more confident and less confrontational than Hawkeye can be. Cap battles the Red Skull’s mental influence throughout much of “Uncanny Avengers” #3, going so far as to tell Havoc, “You’re no Avenger.” But Alex doesn’t take Cap’s manipulated guff, which is awesome. Pretty sure my reaction to Captain America telling me I suck would not be to tell him to get a hold of himself. Point, Havok.
Thor is able to get the drop on the Red Skull enough to temporarily dislodge Xavier’s power, freeing the Scarlet Witch and Rogue from their mindless martyrdom. Unfortunately, he gets sucked in by Honest John shortly after because these Avengers can’t catch a break.
Apparently our pal Logan has been on his best behavior since Chuck’s funeral, but when Wanda and Rogue tell him the sick details of what Red Skull is up to, he goes straight to “foaming at the mouth” without first “mak[ing] a plan”. Definitely a bad move with Thor playing for the other team and all, man.
So the Red Skull wins. Seriously. He takes New York and Thor and (maybe) (probably) Wolverine and I don’t know, guys. Things don’t look great for the Avengers at all. Steve Rogers formed this new team of mutants and humans to protect both after the events of AvX, but “Uncanny Avengers” #3 shows us how little effect they have on the impossible threat of a telepathic Red Skull. Some more big guns are coming in future issues (Wonder Man, Wasp and Sunfire, specifically) (no, I don’t consider Wasp to be a “big gun” either, but give her a break. She’s been missing in a pocket universe for a decade) to hopefully tip the balance in the Avengers’ favor.
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