Uncanny Reviews: Uncanny X-Force #1 and Uncanny Avengers #3

Posted: January 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

by Phil Gibson

Alex usually has a mountain of a pull list compared to mine, but I was super excited last Wednesday to see the new volume of Uncanny X-Force hit the shelves. I was even more excited that Uncanny Avengers #3 was finally out. I like both these books, but they are very different from one another.

Uncanny X-Force #1

I’ve never read anything by Humphries, but I generally like his writing style in this first book. He does use some degree of third party narration, which is a big departure from Remender’s style, so that threw me off for a bit. I got over it fairly quickly, however, and for the most part am pleased with the direction this story is going.

I’m a big Psylocke fan, as my post on the top five Marvel characters to watch attests. I loved where Remender left her at the end of his run, but Humprhies decided to completely upset my apple cart. Betsy Braddock is very unhappy and generally surly in this issue, which takes place six months after Final Execution wrapped up. Her romance with Fantomex has ended badly, and she is not adjusting to life as a school teacher very well. She is quick to pick the katana back up, which she had dramatically put away.

I wasn’t thrilled with the reversal of Braddock’s character development, but I understand why it was necessary. A happy Psylocke isn’t a very interesting Psylocke, so I am mostly ok with the move to swing her back towards the life clandestine. Her confrontation with Spiral is excellent, as is her dialogue with Storm. Ororo Monroe might be a contender to steal the show in this book, which I would be thrilled with.

The only thing that simply doesn’t work is the introduction of Bishop in this book. It would have made a better first page in issue #2, and unnecessarily breaks up the important action in issue #1.

It is very difficult to separate my feelings about Remender’s X-Force from Humphries’, but objectively, they are two different books with different feels. I’m happy to give this one a shot and will  be picking up issue #2.

Uncanny Avengers #3

The only negative thing I have to say about this book is that it took too long to come out. Cassaday is notorious for getting behind schedule, and that is definitely true on this book.

The schedule issue aside, I love the plot in this book. I never thought I’ dbe excited about Red Skull as a villain, but giving the most prejudiced villain in the Marvel U the powers of the greatest telepath in the Marvel U was a master stroke. As ridiculous as the premise of Red Skull mind controlling the whole world into killing mutants is, Remender pulls it off big time. It works so well that I almost can’t believe no one has done it before.

The best thing about this book is the scale. The Uncanny Avengers are taking on the biggest threats to mutant/mankind, and I hope to see this book continue that trend. It looks likely, as Apocalypse has already been revealed as the next major villain in the series (it’s not Rick Remender without En Sabah Nur…).

Some folks have given this issue poor reviews because the quality doesn’t justify the wait. That is an inappropriate way to evaluate a book, in my opinion. Should this series take 2 months between issues? Absolutely not, but that doesn’t mean the issue themselves are not good. Hopefully the delay issue will get worked out when Cassaday rolls off the series, and then we’ll get the release dates back on track.

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