Uncanny Avengers #1
Of all of the Avengers titles in All New All Different Marvel’s line up, Uncanny Avengers was the one that piqued my interest the most. A diverse team, including Spider-Man? Check. Written by Gerry Duggan and drawn by Ryan Stegman? Another check. Deadpool’s in it too? If it’s anything like his tenure on Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force, it should be a blast. There’s a lot of goodwill toward this series in my eyes, but unfortunately all of these different pieces don’t add up to a satisfying debut issue.
Uncanny Avengers features the latest incarnation of Steve Roger’s “Unity Squad”. This time their ranks have expanded to include Inhumans, with new Inhuman Synapse joining the ranks along with former mutant, now inhuman Quicksilver. While Steve Rogers tries to present a unified and strong team to the media, when the cameras are off a majority of the team are at each other’s throats. Rogue doesn’t trust any of her Inhuman teammates since the Terrigen Mists were released, causing many mutants to flee the planet. Brother Voodoo is constantly plagued by visions of ghosts, and Spider-man constantly argues with Rogers over Deadpool’s placement on the team. With all this infighting, it’s the perfect time for a new threat to arise in Boston.
Gerry Duggan does a good job of getting into the personalities of these different Avengers, but he has trouble balancing out the team in the book. Rogers and Rogue get a decent amount of focus in the book, but Spider-Man bails on the team after four pages. That’s pretty bad for him being prominently featured on the cover. If you were expecting Deadpool to take a bit of a backseat in this, you’ll be disappointed as well, even though I did find the way that he helps out the team financially to be pretty funny, if a bit too on the nose.
Duggan focuses so much time on the infighting and certain members of the team that he neglects to properly set up the new big bad as well. The ending of the issue kind of comes out of nowhere, and while this new villain looks pretty cool, there’s no real definition of his powers. He seems to be able to control plant life and vegetation, but said plant life also can sprout small black demon creatures. For no real reason at all.
When it comes to the art, all I can say is this: what the hell happened to Ryan Stegman? As one of my favorite Marvel artists, I was really looking forward to his work on this, but it looks really bad. Faces are smooshed, the action is a little wonky, and everyone has the weirdest fore arms and legs I’ve ever seen. For someone who made a big splash on books like Superior Spider-Man and Wolverine, it’s a shame to see this stuff associated with Stegman’s name. If this is his new “style” he needs to go back to the old one fast.
I was looking forward to Uncanny Avengers, but the weird art, oddly paced storytelling, and having Spidey ditch the team in the first four pages has really turned me off on the whole series. I’ll probably give it a few more issues before I completely jump ship, but unfortunately it looks like this isn’t going to be one of the better All New All Different Marvel titles.