The Red Skull has been augmented with the late Charles Xaviar’s brain, and he’s using it to whip the people of New York City into an anti-mutant frenzy. The worst case scenario has occurred in UNCANNY AVENGERS #4. Can this unlikely union of Avenger and X-Men turn the tide of this disaster? Will they be able to overcome the diabolical mental influence of this villain? Or will they help the Nazi turn America into a Reich Eternal?
For those just coming in, Avengers Vs X-Men opened the eyes of Captain America to the fact that his side never did much to help the mutant community. With a mutant resurgence resulting from AVX, he puts together a team of Avengers and X-Men in order to foster a feeling of unity between them and set an example for society at large. His group consists of himself, Havoc, Thor, Wolverine, the Scarlet Witch, and Rogue, with Havoc placed in the leader’s position.
Unfortunately, the Red Skull stole Professor X’s brain and grafted it to himself, putting the greatest telepathic power on the planet in the hands of a Nazi. I don’t need to tell you how not well this will end.
Red Skull used his new powers to exploit the losses suffered by the humans of Manhattan (losses he orchestrated by the way) and cause them to go on a mutant hunting rampage that’s torn their city apart. It does help that his power has bent Thor to his side, aided by Red Skull’s S-Men and the illusions of Honest John. Even Captain America finds it difficult to fight off the coercion.
Oh and Wolverine took Thor’s hammer to the face. Havoc isn’t looking too good either.
UNCANNY AVENGERS #4 marks the end of the first story arc, and it’s a very good one. When I first saw that Red Skull would be the initial villain to this book, I was somewhat skeptical. But time has shown him to be the perfect foe for what this book represents. What better bad guy can one get for a team that’s trying to mend the gap of prejudice and fear recently reopened…than a freaking Nazi?
Getting to see Captain America uppercutting Red Skull on a two page spread helps too.
There were some parts I didn’t much care for. Scarlet Witch going “full chaos” in her fight to subdue Thor. It’s one of those Dangerous Forbidden Techniques that, in this case, could drive her insane but probably never will. While we’re at it, the comic uses the word “chaos” and similar words in reference to the Scarlet Witch enough times that they lose all meaning and go into overblown territory. In fact, the narration in general often descends into flowery prose that, while fitting, would be just as well served if omitted and the strength of the images spoke for themselves. Some of the things the characters say, while waxing profound, seem forced and unfitting. However these are scattered through the dialogue, and don’t harm the story too much.
Am I going to keep on with UNCANNY AVENGERS after this? Probably. It’s great, not perfect. But then again, what piece of fiction is perfect? Leave a comment about a piece of fiction you think is perfect! I’ll respond by saying how it’s not the case.