First Impressions – UNCANNY AVENGERS #1

So begins Marvel NOW! The war between the Avengers and the X-Men is finished, ushering a new age of cooperation between the two. Such is UNCANNY AVENGERS #1.

And yes, I got the Marvel Babies variant cover.

As simultaneously stated at the end of AVX and AVX: Consequences, Captain America thinks that the entire conflict could have been avoided had the Avengers aided what remained of the mutant race in its time of need. With the titanic war for the world over and new mutants popping up, Cap is willing to do what it takes to foster cooperation between the two groups.

The logical first step? Bring in mutants and X-Men into the Avengers, allowing the team to become just a little more…uncanny.

More like Uncanny Valley, am I right? No? Tough crowd.

All the promotional stuff and alternate covers and the scenes contained here gives the group line-up for this book as follows: Captain America, Thor, and possibly Wolverine for the regular Avengers (Wolverine has been a long-time member of that team), and Rogue, the Scarlet Witch, and Cyclops’ brother Havoc of the X-Men. As such, all of the characters are introduced in this first issue, along with a set of super powered villains that will act as the first arc antagonists.

Well, and their boss. But I wouldn’t want to spoil a pretty neat (and morbid) reveal. All I will say is their plan involves Professor Xaviar’s brain.

This was a nice first issue. All the principle characters got scenes establishing them and the dynamic they share with each other. The choice of including Rogue kind of surprised me. Not saying she’s a bad character, it’s just she – and Havoc now that I think of it – had barely anything to do with the main thrust of AVX. Which is not a slam against them or a comment that a character can’t be a part of a big team if they didn’t act in the major event. I just think Marvel kind of lost an opportunity by not giving the two a bigger role in the event comic leading up to this new series. If there’s ever a time when editorial mandates work, it’s here.

Artistically it’s a solid work. So many of Marvel’s books in the past veered into realism that they lost the symbolic quality I enjoy in comics. This issue goes more realistic than symbolic when compared to series like Amazing Spiderman or The Defenders, but ironically doesn’t evoke the aforementioned uncanny valley like some series are wont to do. This is a difficult quality to describe without pictorial evidence, but it’s something I feel requires mentioning. That and it being a kind of graphic comic at times. As I said, we see some brains here. On the first page in fact. Not for the squeamish.

Of course Cyclops himself makes his obligatory cameo. As if I haven’t seen enough of him or his prison red crystal helmet. Here’s hoping Havoc gets more panel time of his own.

Which is also not to say I’ll be watching all that closely. We have yet another new series, which is the last thing I need right now. My attempts to cut back on the comics I buy are thwarted by great books time and again. Whether I truly continue with UNCANNY AVENGERS is up in the air at this point, though I may just have to put my foot down.

What do you think? Should I keep discussing UA from here on? And if I do, what series regularly featured here would you most like to see dropped? What are your thoughts on the lineup for the book? And was this even a good idea in the first place? Leave your comments below.

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