Marvel NOW! is, well, now, with the launch of the you-got-your-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter comic Uncanny Avengers last Wednesday. The first issue, by Rick Remender, John Cassaday, Laura Martin and Chris Eliopoulos, follows up on the conclusion of Avengers vs. X-Men as Captain America forms a new team that brings together members from those previously competing rivals.
Is the mix-and-match strategy oil and water, or a yummy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup? Here are a few thoughts from around the web:
Alex Evans, Weekly Comic Book Review: “For those familiar with Rick Remender’s work, this title is very different from anything we’ve seen from him prior. With John Cassaday’s slick, polished artwork, this is the big, flagship Marvel Comic sort of book. Rest assured, however, that Remender nonetheless nails it, giving us an issue that almost feels like an issue from an event. That said, while Remender’s usual weirdness takes a backseat, it’s still very much there, giving the book a real edge to it.”
Don MacPherson, Eye on Comics: “One could really see this as Avengers Vs. X-Men #13, only retitled to remove the “versus” part. I wasn’t interested in the AvX event, but the promise of a new start for both the Avengers and X-Men franchises, along with art by John Cassaday, was enough to draw me in. It’s also nice to see the new flagship Avengers book in the hands of someone other than Brian Michael Bendis, who had a solid run but has probably been attached to it for too long. Remender’s story boasts some of the more over-the-top, intense elements for which he’s known, but I don’t know they really fit into what is, at its heart, a traditional super-hero team book. Cassaday’s art really only seemed to pop in the nastier, harsher moments of the story, and since I didn’t care for those moments, the art never really grabbed me. Uncanny Avengers seems to fit in nicely with Marvel’s publishing approach in the 21st century, but it remains a short-sighted one that focuses on immediate payoffs rather than long-term sustainability and growth.”
Doug Zawisza, Comic Book Resources: “John Cassaday’s über-detailed work makes the world in this comic believably real and brings tangibility through texture and emotion. This is most evident in the discussion between Rogue and Wanda, another scene Remender uses to define these characters, relying on his artist to drive the point home, which Cassaday does quite powerfully. That said, the extreme detail of Cassaday’s work does tend to render some things silly, like the chain-mail of Captain America’s uniform. It looks more like a dancer’s outfit for an experimental off-Broadway performance than a versatile uniform designed for agile combat. I find it odd that Cassaday would choose to pronounce the scales so decisively while making the helmet more sleek and closer to the depiction of Cap’s helmet from “The Avengers” movie. Some of Cassaday’s other costuming choices make more sense, like Rogue actually zipping up and Scarlet Witch sporting a more modest uniform. Laura Martin and Chris Eliopoulos round out the visuals, contributing nicely to Cassaday’s more traditional layouts without becoming burdensome or overbearing.”
Jacob Dodd, Comics Con Queso: “Remender’s scripting is equally impressive. The man knows how to launch a book. We’re coming right out of the fallout of AvX and while that series was one of meandering quality, what has been birthed from its loins is anything but mediocre. Remender gives us a look at Alex Summers at a crossroad in his life and at a crucial time in his development. He’s approached by Cap and Thor who want to bridge the camps of the Avengers and the X-Men and put hostility behind them. Of course, this is a Marvel comic so at the appropriate time the shiz hits the blades and chaos resumes at its regularly scheduled pace.”
Chris Sims, ComicsAlliance: “It’s very well-done, but it’s also fairly standard stuff for a comic like this, even if Page 1 features a mutant terrorist’s skull being opened up. Then, about halfway through, that edge that makes Remender’s work on titles like Uncanny X-Force and Secret Avengers so enjoyable starts to creep in, building to a climax that reminds you that Rick Remender is not a dude who has time for comics that don’t go big. That’s exactly what he does, bringing in a huge, unexpected twist in one of those moments that’s so good that I couldn’t stop laughing about it even when I finished the issue.”
David Pepose, Newsarama: “Remender ends the book on a cliffhanger that’s both shocking and ingenious, and one that goes a long way towards helping explain the lingering question of Uncanny Avengers: Why do Marvel’s Mighty Mutants need to huddle underneath the Avengers umbrella, anyway? Out of the entire cast, Cap and Thor are the least defined of the bunch (aside from a latte joke that falls kind of flat), although they certainly help contribute to the action fireworks. The team-up possibilities do feel tantalizing, but they don’t feel 100 percent earned. At least, not yet.”