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Mel’s Muses: Uncanny Avengers #1 and Batman #13

Better late than never I always say as I take a quick dive into last week’s most-hyped about comics from the Big Two, namely Uncanny Avengers #1 and Batman #13. Don’t fret if you can’t find them in your local comic book stores today cos there’s gonna be a ton of reprints headed your way over the next couple weeks.

Uncanny Avengers #1. First off, let me just say that that’s the most uninspiring 1st issue comic cover I have seen in a long time. Now John Cassaday’s inside art looks as brilliant as his previous work on Astonishing X-Men but that cover, where everyone seemed to share the same grim facial features, just looked rush and uneventful. Ok, just had to get that outta my system.

But once you turn that cover, the first page just blows you away. Familiar big bad guy doing what he does best; writer Rick Remender certainly knows the right words to bring out the chills in that opening page. Then cut to Wolverine and the rest of the mutants as we see them deal with the aftermath of the X-Men vs Avengers battle. Next we got the heroes coming together as expected but Remender has managed to give members like Havoc and Captain America a believable hook to stick around and possibly work as a team. I also like how he has kept this team to just six members so far cos that’s how I prefer my X-teams to be, a small tight lineup with a more focused storyline and deeper character development.

It’s interesting to see Scarlet Witch in this title too. After all, you could say she’s the one who got this whole crazy ball rolling with Avengers Disassembled a decade ago. Frankly I can’t think of a cooler writer than Remender to handle her future. His Secret Avengers and X-Force stories are some of the best things coming out of Marvel this year. If you want to see how she redeems herself, I guess this is the title to read.

Speaking of redemption, here’s something that crossed my mind while reading this issue. Looking at Cyclops’ fate kinda reminded me of what DC Comics did with Hal Jordan about two decades ago. Remember when he turned crazy bad and started killing his fellow Green Lantern Corps? The whole turning-a-hero-into-a-villain-then-back-into-a-hero can pay off big if done correctly. I’m just wondering how Marvel will pull it off here. I mean, bigger things are definitely in store for Scott Summers. I see redemption down the road, maybe even as soon as next year’s big summer event. What do you guys think?

All right back to Uncanny Avengers #1, I thought this was a fantastic way to kick off Marvel NOW!, a new era of Marvel comics where various big name titles get new directions and creative teams. With Bendis leaving the Avengers titles soon, I dare say that Cap, Wolvie and the rest are in pretty good hands with Remender and Cassaday on this one.

Batman #13. Now this is how I like my Joker to be. Not robbing banks or trying to take over some country. I like my Mister J. extracting some sweet revenge and going on a beautiful, bloody killing spree. My first Joker story was the classic ‘The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge’ by the legendary duo of Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams, and from that day onwards I became a fulltime resident of Gotham City.

Make no mistake about it; the regular team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo has delivered an extremely brutal Joker revenge story here in the first part of the ‘Death Of The Family’ storyline. When we last saw the Clown Prince of Crime, he was missing his face but now he’s back in Gotham (with his re-attached face) and he’s got a list of Gothamites that he wants to visit, for all the wrong reasons. It’s a violent but not a terribly gory issue. Sure there’s murder here but the horror and violence also play on a deeper psychological level. The Joker extracting his vengeance is a terrible yet beautiful sight, and with Capullo’s art depicting every dastardly deed, you just won’t be able to take your eyes off this issue.

But this is more than just a simple revenge story. According to Snyder, there is a reason why the Joker is gunning for the Bat family. In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Snyder said, “He’s very angry at Batman for essentially becoming more human. Joker believes Batman has gotten fat and weak and slow because of these allies he’s accumulated and this human contingent to the Bat family that he cares about. That really upsets the Joker.”

I’m sold! With ‘Death Of The Family’, Snyder and Capullo have created another compelling Bat saga that will definitely grab and drag you to a deeper and darker corner of Gotham City.

Cavalock

Melvin Yong has worked way too long in the media and advertising industry. He now spends his time with his family, writing short horror stories and playing lots of board games.

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