WRITTEN BY Rick Remender
ART BY John Cassaday
COLORS BY Laura Martin
LETTERS BY Chris Eliopoulos
COVER BY Daniel Acuña, Neal Adams, Mark Brooks plus others.
PUBLISHER Marvel Comics
I knew going into this week it was going to be hard. I have to say that I’ve not seen a week this crazy in quite sometime. It was like all the comic book companies knew that they each had fantastic books hitting the shelves this week, it could be the three-month hype of Marvel NOW which has been hitting the online press, newspapers and even Joe Quesada made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on the eve of Uncanny Avengers #1. To say this was a big deal would be an understatement but even with its debut this week Uncanny Avengers had to fight off Joker to make it to Comic of the Week and in doing so it made me realise that Marvel NOW has been dubbed as Marvel’s answer to the relaunch that DC did back in September 2011. You can sit there and most likely pick holes in both companies for how they’ve handled this, DC chose to keep so much of their continuity and inject new events and simply remove others while Marvel have promised that this isn’t a reboot and continuity wouldn’t be ignored and Joe Quesada previously mentioned in an interview with Newsarama that “If you’ve held back because you’re afraid of what may be a daunting continuity, and you just want a clean starting point then yeah, there is that.”. In regards to Marvel NOW.
Well that brings us to this weeks first issue of the brand new Uncanny Avengers #1, before I get into the story and creators I wanted to say that this is an excellent place to start and I appreciate what Marvel are doing allowing us (the reader) to be able to get into Marvel NOW over a period of months rather than over one month and new issue one’s will be making their way onto the shelves from now until January. I smiled as I read this comic as it was clearly a way back in or a good place to pick up the story but I like that continuity hasn’t been ignored – it’s been embraced and to a good writer it should be there to be enjoyed rather than be a constraint.
Uncanny Avengers #1 kicks off right after the events of Avengers Vs X-Men which I am glad I picked up as it did allow me to fully understand what had happened before the first page however Rick Remender has written this so well that even a new reader who happened to miss any spoilers from Avengers Vs X-Men will easily be able to insert themselves into this book. A lot of new superhero series’ like to kick off with some sort of fight and the second and third page can be a double spread fight scene, what I like about what Rick has done is ease us into the story, a voiceover from an unseen character while they are removing a body part of an unknown person describes how the mutant race was almost extinct and then the story moves to a nostalgic Wolverine who wanders the halls of The Jean Grey School for Higher Learning and gazes at a picture of Charles Xavier while remembering the man and then goes to give his eulogy while at the same time Havok (Alex Summers) is talking to his brother the man who killed Charles Xavier – Scott Summers. It’s a great opening which switches from the funeral to the man who killed him and was very well-played out.
It isn’t until page ten that Captain America and Thor make an appearance, it goes to show that this is well and truly the world that Charles Xavier was trying to build. I also loved how Thor cracked a one-liner although I’m sure he wasn’t trying to be funny but it made me laugh. This book although it may be called Uncanny Avengers on the front cover inside the Marvel Universe it will simply be called Avengers. This goes to show that this book will be a brand new beginning for mutant kind as they’re well and truly inserted into the human and hero world. Could you ever imagine Havok leading the Avengers? Or an Avengers team at least. Neither could I. Marvel are definitely doing something different here and they didn’t have to create a parallel universe to do so or alter reality. Captain America asks Havok to be the leader of this new team and to be the face of the X-Men – that’s just awesome. How far this character has come since leading the government sponsored X-Factor and living in his brothers shadow. Throughout the rest of the book we see a good mix of hero and mutant and by the end of the book the team still hasn’t been formed but I’m happy with that, a lot happen storywise in this book and it would have been a shame to have rushed it.
Throughout the book I couldn’t help but be reminded of the time Astonishing X-Men launched after Grant Morrison’s successful run, this book kept making me think of that incredible first issue but the main reason for that feeling was simply down the beautiful artwork from John Cassaday who was the right man to kick off Marvel NOW. I love his style and realism, he makes a truly wonderful artist.
First issues, renumbering, reboots, relaunches – you name it. Both Marvel and DC have been known for their share of all of these and some have failed and some of succeeded but right now with this issue fresh off the shelves I can say with much delight that this has been a success and I hope that the many Marvel NOW titles to come keep up the good standard that this title has. If you’ve never read a Marvel title before or have been looking for a way back in or maybe you’ve never read a comic – this is it, this is your way in.