As New York City recovers from the Red Skull induced riot, the Avengers Unity Division struggles to repair a further tarnished public image for both mutants and their own new group. UNCANNY AVENGERS #5 bolsters the new team with some old blood, some parts of which unsure of their own place in the world. Who are the new additions? Will their inclusion only add to the baggage this team carries? And who the hell is Wonder Man?
To get people up to speed: the Avengers and X-Men had a huge fight last year in comics. When that was over, Captain America decided the mutant world needed the support of the rest of the superhero community – something they never bothered to give before. And thus the Unity Division of the Avengers was born (henceforth just called the UNCANNY AVENGERS), intent on fostering cooperation between humans and mutants with a team composed of both. Plus Thor.
Then Red Skull attacked and tried to whip humanity into an anti-mutant frenzy.
In UNCANNY AVENGERS #5, before we get in any way to the actual Avengers stuff, we take a diversion to watch Kang the Conqueror (a time-traveling villain) plotting some business with Apocalypse Twins.
It’s here I realize I have no way of broaching this subject because my own experience with Apocalypse is so limited.
Apocalypse is the closest thing the X-Men have to a Big Bad, next to the Phoenix Force itself. He’s this really powerful mutant that wants to further evolution or something, and he’s been killed a number of times. In the relative recent past, his followers brought together a new set of Four Horsemen, and they fought the X-Force while trying to groom his clone or something to be the next Apocalypse. He died, and that’s basically the extent of what I know about all that business. The point is that Apocalypse is bad news, and one of the horsemen (horsewoman?) gave birth to twin children who might be Apocalypse reborn. Or something.
If you can’t tell, “or something” is the default posture my brain takes when confronted with the asinine minutia of the X-Men books. I never claimed to be any kind of expert. All you need to know is Kang is doing something with those children at some point in history, and this will probably pan out sometime later.
The real meat of UNCANNY AVENGERS #5 is the Wasp and Wonder Man being called in by Captain America to act as PR for the new team. The Wasp is – shocking revelation – the Wasp. Wonder Man is a tougher nut to crack. He’s a supervillain turned superhero who spent a lot of his history dying and coming back to life. He also has a brother, which becomes important later. In lieu of going to the trouble of actually researching yet another obscure character – Lord knows I’ve done enough of that to fill my head to bursting – I’ll just work with what I can glean from this issue. He’s been dead before, and his current incarnation is thanks to the Scarlet Witch resurrecting him as a techno zombie. Or something.
There’s that phrase again. I assure you it’s much less complicated than I’m making this out to be. If there’s one thing this book does well its introduce characters succinctly enough so new readers (or readers with little knowledge of esoteric Marvel lore) can grasp them with little difficulty. It’s trying to transplant that into a brief text description here that defies explanation.
In a thankfully easier task of explaining, Wolverine goes to Japan to recruit the last new addition to the team: Sunfire. An atomic superhero of Japan, he’s a mutant who was recruited to Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen. After that happened, he felt so guilty and depressed that he took to drink, and it takes Wolverine and the memory of Professor X to shake the man out of his stupor. From there, Sunfire’s character bits are done for this issue, as he just appears in the team later when they have a press conference.
I could also comment on Havok’s call for the abolishment of the divisional word “mutant” when it comes to human/mutant relations, but other people have talked at length of such things already. I’m about done here. Go and read this book, because it’s still pretty darned good.