Marvel’s comic universe relaunch has so much to be excited about for loyal Marvel fans. New teams, new costumes, new stories, new characters, a fresh start in the wake of the epic Secret Wars event (which isn’t even over). The Uncanny Avengers team gets a new roster featuring old man Steve Rogers, Rogue, Deadpool, Spider-Man, Quicksilver, Brother Voodoo, Human Torch, and the Inhuman Synapse. Pretty promising group of characters, right?
Uncanny Avengers #1 opens up introducing an uninspired character: an old man who dies only to be reborn with special gifts. With these new gifts he travels the world trying to save mother Earth and ends up despising humanity and plots his revenge. Readers have heard this unimpressive premise for a villain too many times before, but will push on to get to the new team. They can salvage this book, right?
We meet our heroes in the middle of battling a Super-Adaptoid on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. A risky but effective effort from Deadpool defeats their enemy, but his handling of the situation gets under Spider-Man’s skin. Steve confronts Spidey about this and ten pages into the issue Spider-Man quits the team. It’s a cheap ‘bait and switch’ tactic from Marvel to get people to buy into a team involving the new Spider-Man, only to be left with this dull mess.
Gerry Duggan’s dialogue between characters that have such a long history between them is so amateurish and out of character that it immediately ruins the foundation of this new team. Most Marvel comics are written with such love and passion for their characters – there is none of that here. Deadpool is the focus in this issue, much to the annoyance of Marvel fans tired of him being everywhere. Having assembled such an eclectic team, continuing to push Deadpool front and center is exhausting and feels like mandated product placement.
However, the rest of the team is a drowning mess struggling to find even the slightest bit of chemistry. Aside from one quick Brother Voodoo moment, nothing exciting or interesting happens in this entire issue. The characterization is so far off from what has been established throughout the Marvel universe and it remains extremely inconsistent. Even Rogue’s accent suffers from inconsistency – switching from “I” to “Ah” back to “I” from one page to the next. It’s very clear the only character Dugan has any experience with before this story was Deadpool, and like the rest of the team readers will grow tired of him immediately.
Usually, my reviews don’t contain spoilers, but this book is so disappointing I’m discussing the final page given how lame it has. The new villain they introduce, that is mad at humanity and has some new gifts connected to mother Earth, is called The Shredded Man. He has spawning powers with bumble bees and dog creatures that look like nothing more than Ghostbusters rip-offs. This may only be the first issue featuring this character and story, but it’s so uninspired from the get-go that readers won’t care to indulge in the second issue.
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Aside from the god awful story and poor use of what could be a great team of characters, the art doesn’t do Uncanny Avengers #1 any favors either. The sleek new Spider-Man costume looks terrible in this issue, as do the new designs for Human Torch and Quicksilver. It’s likely there are fans of this drug induced, vomit-shaped artwork, but this reviewer is not one of them. There are other comics where this art style would have been great, comics where the story allows for unusual proportions and offbeat coloring, but that is not the case here. The artwork must have been inspired by the script because they are both hand in hand boring and gross.
What was a promising looking group of heroes in the “unity squad”, turned out to be nothing worth anybody’s while. Wasted opportunities, overloaded with unnecessary elements, and drenched in uninspired characterization, this series will be a tough sell to die-hard Marvel fans who read this entry. Hopefully, they can turn it around going forward, but they are certainly off to a terrible start.