Uncanny Avengers #9

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What’s the best part of birthdays? Birthday presents! One of my coworkers gave me the recent Uncanny Avengers #9 which comes at a perfect time, since I just got through the first collected volume of the series.

The series is still following the same main plot points from before. The Apocalypse Twins are now shown as adults who seem to have some sort of plan to destroy everything, and it’s up to this group of Avengers to save everything.

To make matters more confusing, it turns out that a lot of these current problems are the result of Kang the Conqueror and Immortus’ influence on the time streams. I know they are the same person, but the fact that both of them have independently messed things up has to count for something.

There’s also a lot of division on the team, between the mutants that make up the group and Thor being on one side, and the traditional Avengers on the other. There’s a lot of yelling when it’s revealed that Wolverine lead the covert mission to kill the young child Apocalypse.

The book ends with the Apocalypse Twins revealing their new Four Horsemen: Banshee, Daken, Grim Reaper and Sentry. Things can’t be going to well for the Uncanny Avengers.

Rick Remender does a great job carrying plot points from not only earlier in this series, but going back to his work on Uncanny X-Force. And on the visual side of things, David Acuna is great in how he creates a very unique take on these classic characters.

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FF #3

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I’ve gotten through so much of my to read pile that I actually get to blog about something in the recent past! FF #3 continues the fun look at the other Fantastic team in the Marvel Universe.

There is a lot of stuff going on in this issue. Darla Deering is still very uneasy about  being the super hero Miss Thing, let along being an active reserve member of the Fantastic Four and babysitting the Future Foundation. It’s also becoming more clear to her that Scott Lang (Ant Man) has a crush on her. He keeps sending her flowers and has shrunken himself to his ant size to judge her reaction. Before he can find out, the Yancy Street Gang take it upon themselves to throw pies at her. it’s their goal to torment the poor Thing, and since he’s elsewhere occupied she will have to do.

The team and the Future Foundation are still trying to deal with the Johnny Storm from the future. He’s traveled back in time to prevent a future alliance between Kang the Conqueror, Doctor Doom and Annihilus. They still don’t exactly believe him, but are a little less hesitant when Wyatt Wingfoot tells them that he believes that this is the really Johnny. This one was able to answer a question that only the two of them would know.

At this Johnny’s urging, the team is getting ready to find out how to deal with this newest threat. There’s also something going on with the Moloids in the Future Foundation as they go visit Mole Man. The issue ends with Scott and Darla celebrating New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

This is really what comics should be. Matt Fraction’s story is complex but lighthearted at the same time. The art team of Mike and Laura Allred is superb. This is one of the best books out there and I can’t wait to fill in the rest of the issues I’ve missed.

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade Review

The 2000s were a terrible decade for the Scarlet Witch. She finally gas a nervous breakdown from when the children she had during her marriage with the synthezoid VIsion (having babies from your robot husband would be enough for most people); finally taking out her rage on her Avengers pal and later reshaping reality in a way that would make her father the villainous Magneto proud. Avengers: The Children’s Crusade is her chance at redemption.

It turns out that the Young Avengers Speed and Wiccan really are the reincarnated souls of her sons William and Tommy. They never really explain how this happened; I guess the writer Allen Heinberg had more interesting things to work on. With them believing that the Scarlet Witch is their mother, they set out with the rest of their team and an oddly helpful Magneto to find her. Obviously, the Avengers proper see this as a threat, especially with them not wanting her or the similarly reality-bending powered Wiccan to recreate the events of Avengers Disassembled. The X-Men have an interest in finding the Scarlet Witch too, as Cyclops in particular wants her punished for her forever changing the lives of mutants, when she was able to wish away most of their mutations.

Eventually, the young heroes find an amnesic Scarlet Witch about to get married to Doctor Doom, who has been protecting her and giving her refuge  the last few years. When I read that, it was a double take moment…he was doing the right thing.

Unfortunately, nothing that Doctor Doom ever does is for purely nice reasons. He caused her to have the crazy destroy everything nervous breakdown, and pretty much is the root of all evil in the Marvel universe the last few years. After he steals her powers, it is up to the Avengers young and old alongside the X-Men to stop him. And along the way, Iron Lad returns briefly (engineering some plot that will be revealed in the future when he returns as Kang the Conqueror) and there is a switch with the living and dead members of the Lang family–they are able to resurrect the father Scott (better known as Ant Man) but his daughter Stature is killed defeating Doom.

Children’s Crusade unfortunately has an ending that I still don’t completely understand. If you remember, the following people were after Scarlet Witch:

  • The Avengers wanted her in custody so she could never cause an Avengers Disassembled like crisis. Wolverine takes it one step further, wanting to kill her and letting this never be an issue again.
  • The X-Men want her tried (and implied her death) as punishment for her wishing away the overwhelming amount of the mutant community.
  • X-Factor even gets in the act, with her reappearance leading to a bounty being placed on her head.

So what happens? Scarlet Witch winds up going on a journey of self exploration–they let her go. Really? REALLY? Since then, Scarlet Witch hasn’t made a peep in comics.

Ending aside, I really enjoyed this. At its heart, it’s a family story with a boy and his grandfather teaming up to save his mother. It’s very heartfelt, everyone from Quicksilver to Captain America, all play their part very well. And the art by Jim Cheung was killer.