Friday, November 14, 2014

Review # 154: "Uncanny Avengers - 'The Apocalypse Twins' and 'Ragnarok Now'"

The first volume of "Uncanny Avengers" played at having a mix between "Avengers" and Remender's previous "Uncanny X-Force." Now that mix is pretty much out the door: this is "Uncanny X-Force" with a new title.

And I am not complaining one bit.

The theme continues to be paying for one's sins and the Unity Squad in "The Apocalypse Twins" and "Ragnarok Now" is paying the price for Wolverine's over the course of his former team's Apocalypse debacle. Logan, however, is not the only character who is damned by past actions. Rogue has blood on her hands from the end of the first volume after accidentally killing Grim Reaper while Scarlet Witch is yet to be adequately punished for the events of "House of M."

And then there's Thor. We learn at the start of "The Apocalypse Twins" that he had battled the original model centuries ago and, aided by the mischief of Loki, crafted a weapon of great consequence. Odin warns that Thor's use of the giant axe Jarnbjorn will bring about the end of the world in the future. He does not listen. And, wouldn't you know it? The axe ends up in the hands of the time-meddling Kang, who adds it to his trophy case for all to see, including the abducted Death Seed-powered offspring of Archangel and Famine.

Manipulated for years by the Conqueror, the Apocalypse Twins arrive in present time and raise hell, deciding that it is not possible for humans and mutants to live on the same planet and that it's time for the mutants to leave... whether they like it or not. The Havok-led Unity Squad responds and is met with the frightening new Horsemen of Death: Banshee (who was killed by Alex's brother Vulcan,) Grim Reaper (who was killed by Rogue,) Daken (who was killed by his father Logan in the pages of "Uncanny X-Force,") and - the scariest return of all - Sentry (who was killed by Thor in "Siege.")

The new Horsemen are a formidable force, brainwashed into service and seemingly incapable of dying since they're already dead. While they occupy the separated Unity Squad (split up by Captain America, overturning supposed leader Havok,) Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man are taken before the Apocalypse Twins who convince Wanda to help them remove the mutants from Earth. Things are not what they seem, but as mistrust that had lingered from the start continues to fester among this group of Avengers and X-Men, the result is catastrophic... and has me waiting desperately for volume four.

These are great reads and easily recapture the sense of doom from "Uncanny X-Force." I'll be surprised if this series ends up hitting as big of a home run as "The Dark Angel Saga," but "Uncanny Avengers" continues to stack up nicely with "Uncanny X-Force" as a whole. That's pretty much what any X-Men fan wanted and we're getting it.

Rating(s): 8.5/10 ("The Apocalypse Twins,"), 9/10 ("Ragnarok Now.")

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