UNCANNY AVENGERS #4
Written by Rick Remender
Art by John Cassaday
Release Date: February 27, 2013
Publisher: Marvel Comics
A powerhouse of an issue and the best so far in the young series. Uncanny Avengers featured everything you look for in a team comic with over the top action, strong character interaction, and a terrifying villain. Focused mainly in the city wide battle against Red Skull, the issue dynamically moves from different spots of the action and back again to create a fluidity with the panels and pages. It is jam packed full of great moments from a whole myriad of characters, but no one character stole the spotlight. The one aspect Uncanny Avengers showed off so well was power. The battles showed how dangerous and amazing the characters on this team can be. The dialogue kept with the power theme and was intense and inspired. Every line carried so much weight and helped define some of the characters who were having trouble finding their place in the series so far. Havok, a character who has been hit or miss for me in the series and in my time with comics in general, completely took over in this issue with great dialogue to back him up. With the city in ashes, his words to the people of New York were perfect.
For how well Remender does battle scemes and action, the aftermath is where he truly shines. Instead of focusing on the whole team together with one line here or there by different characters that goes on for a 5 or so pages, Remender focuses on smaller character interaction, usually 2 or 3 people, with a few panels or a page dedicated to that certain conversation. Having that singular focus, even with such a short amount of screen time, boosts the personalities of the characters ten fold. The Thor and Wolverine scene showcases how effective the set up can be. In only 7 panels, the concentrated conversation from those two goes from funny, to tragic, to inspiring. How Remender is approaching character development and the story, Uncanny Avengers is starting to feel like his previous Uncanny work in Uncanny X-Force. Not a slight by any means, as his style of storytelling fit perfectly with the title and I can see the level of success translating over to Avengers as well if he decides to keep going in this direction.
The final page reveal was a huge hit and a huge miss for me. For the miss, it showed how continuity intensive this title is. Most of the book hit on the emotions they were trying to convey, but some scenes with certain characters (Havok, Scarlet Witch, and Wolverine) I don’t think would have the same level of impact unless I was familiar with the characters and their backstories. The issues before did a better job of balancing introduction for new readers and continuity. For the hit, it is the perfect reveal. Seriously. It’s completely out of right field, but makes sense in the grand scheme of things. Everything you want from the final page of a comic to make you count down the days until next month.
Uncanny Avengers has finally become the top tier book Marvel has been waiting for it to become. If issue #4 is any indication, the series shows no signs of slowing down either.