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Reaching Past The Stars
on February 2, 2014
In the wake of the supposedly apocalyptic (no relation) events chronicled in AVENGERS VS X-MEN, the Avengers and several mutant camps decided that there needed to be some visible sort of unity squad, composed of Avengers and X-Men-associated mutants. And thus was born the UNCANNY AVENGERS.
Far more interesting to me than the volcanic mix of personalities on the unity squad is the way the writer, Rick Remender, tries to balance out the bad guys so that some are from Avengers lore and some are associated with the X-Men. For instance, in the first compilation, the Red Skull stole the brain of the late Charles "Professor X" Xavier, implanted the telepathic bits in his own brain and then began broadcasting the Nazi hate for which he is so justly reviled. That was a nice job combining the two elements.
This time around it's a bit more. . . odd. See, before penning the UNCANNY AVENGERS, Remender was best known for a long, intricate and very involved X-Force story that introduced the world to the Apocalypse Twins, the spawn of Apocalypse. Well, surprise surprise but they're back. This time, though, they've been aged and put through some difficulties by none other than that Temporal Terror, Kang the Warlord. Thus we have the Apocalypse Twins (sort of) from the X-Men and Kang from the Avengers.
Remender seems to like nothing more than writing a huge, epic struggle in which worlds end, heroes die, and bad guys do those things that make them bad guys. Which is to say that there is a LOT of stuff happening here in this first volume of the Apocalypse Twins. Yes, the first volume. The story does not conclude with the end of this compilation. Now, don't hold me to this, but I think the story still is ongoing in the periodicals with a vastly rising body count that has temporal reset button written all over it.
The story here is, as I said, from Remender and is, in fact, intricate, huge and involved. What it's not is fun. I found that, despite all the blood and (sometimes literal) thunder (hello, Thor), I had to work to keep myself involved with and interested in the story. Maybe it was the lack of subtlety in the characterization. We have characters announcing how they feel, rather than seeing it happen to them and watching them demonstrate their feelings.
Whatever the reason, this story sat on my to-read shelf for much longer than I thought it would. Remender reaches for the stars here, but I think he misses with this compilation. I might change my mind when I finally read the ending of the story. But, for now, three stars is the most I could give it.