Uncanny Avengers #3

The team can't quite come together yet in "Uncanny Avengers" #3 as our heroes remain scattered and separated across Counter-Earth. Rick Remender's script grows disjointed as it jumps between their individual and unrelated storylines, and it sometimes feels that the plot is slipping out of control. However, while the jumps may not serve the plot, they do give artist Daniel Acuña chance after chance to wow the reader with cool alien creatures and sci-fi settings. A late-issue action scene and Acuña's talents keep "Uncanny Avengers" #3 engaging, but it will need to tighten up its story to keep the coming issues from getting too messy.

Daniel Acuña and Counter-Earth are a match made in comic book heaven. His eye for spectacle and world building was put to great use in issues #1 and #2, and it's just as fun and effective here. He accomplishes all the tricky tasks in front of him, from making the Vision seem erotic to making Quicksilver look slow. I get preliminarily excited when someone summons a group of soldiers, because it means I'll get to see what Acuña's created. His colors also add to the issue's science fiction feel, especially when he goes full '70s-lite. At times, the book looks like an old cover of "Asimov's Science Fiction" magazine, and it totally feels like an alien world.

In addition, the character design for Luminous, the Maximoff twins' alleged sister, is gloriously old sci-fi. While I generally look for more practical costumes in 2015, Luminous fits right in on a planet that's populated by human-animal hybrids, and she does look like a combination of Wanda and Pietro. When she's in attack mode at the issue's end, all orange and turquoise, it makes for spectacular action.

Rick Remender's script doesn't have any boring moments, but it doesn't necessarily add up to a moving story as a whole. The Vision's plot moves incredibly rapidly, Sam barely appears in-panel and, while Rogue's interactions with the Master Scientist are given page space, they mostly rehash the same conversations. This prioritization doesn't seem to reflect the characters' importance to the larger plot and, though I can appreciate the quick pace, it does mean that many of the moments don't have much time to land.

As a result, the longer action scene with Luminous and the Maximoff twins is the most effective piece of the issue. It works in part because it has space to breathe, but it also gets the payoff from Remender's narration. He builds a creeping sense of dread and need in Wanda's thoughts. She looks at Pietro and wonders, "Is he my brother? Yes. Of course he is. Right?" Later, she says, "We came here to discover who we are...and I fear that knowledge is going to destroy us." Seeing Wanda project her fear of herself onto a fear of her lineage is interesting, and it anchors her quest emotionally.

"Uncanny Avengers" #3 offers plenty of creativity and activity, but it's close to a tipping point. As long as things neaten up in the next few issues, it'll continue to be a good read.

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