Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Uncanny Avengers

I've been removed from comics now for a couple of years.  It was hard to walk away from all the great stories and characters that I had grown to love over 10+ years, but for several reasons I had to walk.  My brother got me into reading (Marvel) comics back in 1991.  He introduced me to two new comics at that time, New Warriors and the Guardians of the Galaxy.  I went on for several years reading both books until my interest eventually waned.  Even though my brother kept reading, I moved onto other things - like collecting baseball cards (apparent by my other blog - see side bar) and of course toys.

One of my first jobs was working at a local drug store.  Remember when you could walk into a drug store and buy comics of the magazine rack?  The store didn't carry a lot of comics, but we did carry the old Wizard magazine.  Any magazines that didn't sell I got to have in exchange for returning the covers of the unsold mags.  One of these Wizard magazines I kept contained a copy of Uncanny X-Men #320.  This was the first part of the Legion Quest story which would eventually lead into the whole Onslaught story with Professor X wiping Magneto's mind clean and as a result creating the epic entity known as Onslaught.  Marvel Comics would go on to end a lot of their core titles at the time including the Avengers, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four and Captain America.  These characters would end up in a pocket universe created by Franklin Richards, son of Reed Richards and Sue Storm of FF fame.  I mention all of this because this one story is what brought me back into comics.

While I enjoyed reading the various X-Men related titles, I jumped on board with Captain America and the Avengers at those titles originally ended.  I enjoyed the whole Heroes Return stuff, but as I grew older and I was working on graduating college I eventually strayed again from comics.  As the 3rd volume of the Avengers was collected by Marvel and released in oversized hardcovers I started my entry back into comics for a 3rd time.  Again it took a big storyline to draw me back in - this time it being Avengers Disassembled.  This time around though I wasn't just reading a few books, I was reading just about all of the non-mutant titles Marvel released.  Over the years I have really enjoyed a lot of the summer blockbuster stories such as Secret Invasion, Civil War and Siege.  However as Siege was wrapping up and the Fear Itself story was on the horizon my family life was changing yet again.  I bought a larger house and moved to South Carolina.  I was now a daddy.  My wife quit her job to be a stay at home mom and raise my new daughter.  I was laid off.  Money was tight.  This brings me full circle to where I began this post.

I didn't completely walk away from comics this time, though I had to really scale things back.  I was reading so many Marvel books some titles had to be cut in order to get down to my now much lower comic book budget.  One of the books I had started to read was the new Guardians of the Galaxy.  I mentioned this title was one of the first books I ever read so I was intrigued about this new cast of Guardians.  I was already a minor fan of Marvel's cosmic characters (thanks in large part of the New Warriors' Nova character) and this new GotG book just took my interest in the cosmic stuff to a new level.  I loved the whole War of Kings and Realm of Kings stories.  However I wasn't able to maintain my comic budget for much longer and I decided to quit cold turkey.

As with my previous hibernation from comics my older brother continued to read.  He would be my source of updates and information about what was happening in the Marvel Universe.  When he told me about the Avengers vs. X-Men event I was so intrigued.  Part of me wanted to pick up the series, but I was already barely affording one book a month (that being the excellent Thunderbolts).  So I passed on buying the books or really seeking out what was happening.  Several months ago I was kind brought up to speed about the AvX events thanks in part to my brother and the Facebook Avengers Alliance social media game.  I was told all about the new Uncanny Avengers book that would be spinning out of the AvX events.  My brother has been using a online comic book service for awhile now and they offer all sorts of discounts, especially on new books.  I got the first issue of Uncanny Avengers for something like 99 cents.  It's been sitting in my office at work for several weeks now, but I took some time at lunch the other day and finally sat down to read the first issue.  I enjoyed it so much that I stopped by this little shop down the road from work and picked up issue 2.

If you don't follow Marvel Comics I can sum up this new Avengers book pretty easily.  After the events of AvX the mutant population is without a leader.  Scott Summers (Cyclops) killed Professor Charles Xavier in a fit of rage let's call it after being consumed by the Phoenix force.  Captain America realizes that he and his non-mutant heroes haven't done enough to protect Xavier's dream of peaceful co-exhistance between homosapien and homosuperior.  In response to this Captain America decides to build a new team consisting of both Avengers and X-Men and asks Cyclops' younger brother, Havok to lead the team.

All the while Rogue and the Scarlet Witch are about to have it out at the foot of Xavier's tomb when they are attacked by a unknown group of individuals.  Both are taken hostage along w/ the body of Xavier.  It is revealed at the end of issue one that the culprit behind all of this is none other than the Red Skull.  His intentions are to remove the brain of Charles Xavier and meld it with his own to eradicate the mutant population.  Sounds eerily similar to Hitler and his dislike of the Jews.

The new book is written by Rick Remender with art by John Cassaday.  With only 2 issues in I'm already hooked and I feel that I'll be contacting my brother to order future issues for me.  While I'm still in the dark about a lot of things, I've kept up with enough to have a pretty good grasp on the overall story.  Marvel also has done a good job with their new Augmented Reality (AR) thing they have implemented.  Now that I have a smart phone I can scan the pages that feature the AR logo and I'm given all sorts of cool little nuggets of info.  I guess this is kind of the new footnote thing in comics.  I can't wait to see how this story continues to develop as it has really caught my attention with just two issues.  While I may not be "back into comics" per se, Marvel will be getting a few bucks from me each month assuming this title continues to captivate me and hold my attention.

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