UNCANNY AVENGERS #21
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Daniel Acuna
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: June 25, 2014
To say that Remender kicks things into high gear with Uncanny Avengers #21 would be misleading because he’s been raising the stakes with every issue of this almost 20-part story. The conclusion seems to be near as the Uncanny Avengers regroup back in present day and attempt to reverse their failure to stop the Apocalypse Twins the first time around.
With such an ambitious story, a lesser writer would have let the plot fizzle out by now but Remender is more than up for the task and this issue proves that he plans to keep the momentum on full throttle until the very, bitter end of this epic tale. Events continue in very Remender fashion as the team splits up to tackle this multi-layered conflict. Despite the plot being elaborate, it never feels convoluted because Remender focuses in on the character’s mindsets amidst the craziness going on around them. Rogue gets some well-deserved spotlight as she’s chosen to slow the Celestial Executioner’s descent while Thor prepares himself to deliver the final blow. Both character’s monologues during these scenes brim with character development because with Remender there’s no such thing as filler, every punch, blast, and slash means something.
However, the story does seem to be suffering under all the weight. One of the most talked about comic events of last year was Rogue’s murder of the Scarlet Witch so when their reunion is brushed away in the opening pages with an awkward hug, it completely falls flat. Instead, the story rushes to Rogue’s big moment and while the end result was fantastic, Rogue absorbing all of the Avengers and X-Men’s powers feels like a very heavy-handed way to deliver the book’s theme of unity. The story continues to spiral forward and when the issue ends with another death and betrayal, the reader may feel more exhausted than thrilled.
Daniel Acuña doesn’t slow down on either and delivers some gorgeous panel work that highlights the high-scale action. Some may argue that Acuña’s art isn’t the best fit for standard superhero work such as this but with detailed facial expressions throughout and distinct character models for the always-expanding cast, he’s perfect for the melodramatic superhero story Remender has crafted.
Remender is unquestionably one of today’s best comic writers. He understands the super hero genre and comic book medium like few others and this is another great installment in the grand tale he’s been telling for the past year. Even though the conclusion of the story would be more welcome at this point, it seems Remender has a few more twists and turns before he gets to the aftermath. Luckily, Remender has proven himself consistently so readers are definitely still along for the ride.
The Verdict: 7.0/10