Uncanny Avengers, Volume 3: Ragnarok Nowby Rick Remender, Salvador Larroca, Daniel Acuña, John Cassaday, Steve McNiven Published 15 Apr 2014
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It's the dark origin of the Apocalypse Twins, as Kang's true motives are revealed! A secret pact between Ahab and the Red Skull will bring horror to all mutants. But against his masters' orders, a deranged and vengeful Sentry kills an Uncanny Avenger! It's no hoax, no dream...and only the first casualty of many! To allow reinforcements from other eras, the Wasp must find and destroy the Twins' tachyon transmitter, but first she'll have to defeat the Grim Reaper. Meanwhile, the Scarlet Witch makes an impossible choice that will define her forever. And Sunfire and Rogue, without backup, must defeat the combined might of both Apocalypse Twins - or watch the end of our world! Bring on the bad guys, because Ragnarök is now!
Collecting: Uncanny Avengers 12-17
"Uncanny Avengers, Volume 3: Ragnarok Now" Reviews
My reaction when I finished this last night:
My reaction when I thought about it again this morning:
Ok. I'm not going to spoil the plot for you, but in order to even talk about this one, there will have to be some spoilage.
You whiner babies have been warned, ok?
The Apocalypse Twins have seemingly thought of everything, and no matter what our guys do, it turns to shit.
To be fair, the chick can see the future, so she has a bit of an edge...
Regardless, Earth's heroes band together and try to stop the coming destruction.
And by destruction, I'm mean a these looney siblings have unleashed a Celestial on the planet. The grand plan includes loading all of the mutants onto an ark, and then terraforming Jupiter.
Just like this!
Only with mutants instead of animals. And a spaceship instead of a boat.
And, you know, not a plastic play set...
But, otherwise? Exactly like that.
Anyway, the Unity team can't stop fighting with each other, because of the mutant vs human thing going on.
So there's a lot of "Why can't we all just get along?!" stuff getting thrown into the dialogue. If you're not a fan of preachy comics, consider yourself warned. If you are a fan of graphic novels pointing out that the world is burning while we bicker over nonsense, then you will probably enjoy the way Remender drives his point home.
Alrighty, the thing is...at the end of this?
DEATH! DEATH! DEATH!
And not just one or even two major characters bite it.
No, it's mass destruction.
When the first major character got killed, I was all GASP!
When the second died? I did a smaller Gasp! .
By the end? Well, let's just say that I knew THAT couldn't actually be the 'real ending', and Remender was going to have to resort to some Dr Who antics to fix that shit.
Which kind of takes a bit away from some of the things that happened when you have such massive collateral damage, you know?
It's like...Well, Marvel can't let Remender blow up their entire fucking universe, because Disney would probably sue them over all the lost merchandising sales. Not to mention, Marvel doesn't even own the damn rights to the X-men movies anymore, so what the hell is their production company going to do with all that equipment, now that the mutants are (almost) the only ones who survived this shit?
Oh well, I guess they can keep churning out movies with Thor...
This series has fallen off since a really good volume 1.
Time for a haiku review, because HAIKUS.
Remender goes wild
Epic stuff, wacky and fun
The art is pretty
This book on its own is pretty dang near flawless. I loved every minute of every page. The story, as I've said before, has been building now for 10 volumes across 2 different titles, and the magnitude really shows. This is more satisfying than most event books that I've read in the last several years and really delivers on every level. The characters have multiple levels and the story is both deep and flashy. You get everything from a dinner scene to an intense space battle with a Celestial. Remender deftly balances this overall story line with the individual paths of the characters. Janet and Havok have great beats, and Janet even has her own nice moments. Wolverine and Rogue, Simon and Wanda. They all have their own stories and motivations.
Then there are the villains. Eimin and Uriel are wickedly smart. I love the whole manipulation aspect, yet with the same Apocalypse mantra of putting the needs of mutants above those of mankind as a whole. Kang is in the background, too, trying to secure his rule over the world, and Immortus has something going on. Plus the Four Horsemen of Death have turned out to be way more interesting than I expected. They're all pawns, but have their own motivations and are really digging in to make an impact. Add onto that how much just HAPPENS in this book, and it's well worth the price of admission. I can't believe how this book has changed the status quo and how much is STILL looming on the horizon. Better yet, despite the sheer volume of stuff going on, this doesn't feel rushed! It's constantly moving, but it's an organic pace so you don't feel like you're missing anything.
It's a visual treat, too. Larroca, McNiven, and Acuna all bring a slight variation on the same visual style in their own great way. Acuna is a bit grittier and edgier than the others, while Larroca and McNiven are a little brighter and crisper. It all just works so well, and the colors add even more value to it. The character designs, too, are fantastic. I'm amazed how much I've grown to like the look of the Apocalypse Twins, and the Horsemen are so cool looking with their new color palettes and all that Kirby Krackle. It really is great all around.
If I had to criticize something, it would be that the book is not new-reader friendly (you need to at least read Volume 2 first, probably Volume 1, and reading all of Remender's Uncanny X-Force run is highly recommended). There's also an editorial issue that I picked up on. I mean, do they REALLY think it's remotely believable that the events of this book can be happening at the same time as what's going on in New Avengers? And how does it fit in with Infinity timing-wise? It's really nothing against this book, but as a company, Marvel really needs to get it together a little better.
Anyway, this book is absolutely epic in scale and is an engrossing story. If you've even thought about picking up the book, or if you have an interest in any of these characters, you've got to start reading it.
Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man plotted to double-cross the Apocalypse Twins. Captain America, Havok and Wasp continued their quest to take out the tachyon dam. In the future, Kang panicked to realize that time was unraveling. A groggy Wolverine urged Rogue to stop the Witch; Rogue absorbed his powers and set out to kill her. Kang jumped through time and recruited some powerful allies. Rogue and Sunfire arrived as the Witch and Wonder Man started her spell. Unaware of the duo’s plan, Rogue killed the Witch, but too late to stop her spell. Plus, the Twins had anticipated the Witch’s treachery. The Grim Reaper then killed Rogue and Wonder Man seemingly died in an ill-fated attempt to save the Witch. The Witch’s spell accidentally imprisoned Havok, Sunfire and Wolverine in the Twins’ ship at an inopportune time. Wasp, Cap and Thor attempted to thwart the Twins’ plan, but had bigger problems when the Celestials’ executioner arrived to destroy Earth. Cap and Eimin both died in the fierce fighting. Ultimately, Wasp and Thor were unable to prevent the executioner from destroying Earth.
The plot Rick Remender had been building throughout the first year of Uncanny Avengers exploded in this arc, with devastating consequences. Given the time travel element in the plot, fans surely expected that the destruction of the Earth and deaths of several major characters were temporary, but it was still shocking to see it all unfold. It’s also an example of how, though the series was firmly “in continuity,” it benefitted from being left alone in its own sandbox to tell its story. And for all the big screen pyrotechnics, the emotional heft of the events and the failures of the Unity Squad to come together were the real impact here. Remender did a great job with all the cast, even making the Twins somewhat tragic and not just evil for its own sake. Daniel Acuña contributed another issue, continuing his strong work from earlier installments, and veteran Salvador Larroca did some classic, evocative work in another issue. Steve McNiven came aboard for the rest of the arc, clearly at home with epic, action-intensive sequences. Working with color ace Laura Martin, they produced some stunning, big ticket comic book scenes. The major spreads included Rogue spearing the Witch, the arrival of the Celestial executioner, Thor and Uriel’s space confrontation in the executioner’s presence and the Earth’s explosion. The earlier volumes of Uncanny Avengers are necessary pre-reading, but once you’ve gone through those, Ragnarok Now is big, bold and daring comic book storytelling that demands close attention.
A version of this review originally appeared on www.thunderalleybcp.com
How good is this book? It's so good that I'm really thinking about buying it monthly, rather than in trades. I haven't done that since Brian Michael Bendis was writing Daredevil. Yeah, it's been that long. So when I tell you this book good, you know I really mean it.
There is not a character on this team that doesn't interest me. With team books you might get a few characters that for you are just there. You read the parts with them to get back to the people you really want to see. Here, it's not the case. Thor, Captain America, Wolverine, everyone is great. They are all in places I really like. I would say this is the best team line up in comics right now.
I really don't want to give anything anyway, so it's hard to review this book. All the best parts would just be huge spoilers. I'll do my best though.
One great thing about this book is the constant one upping. Every character thinks they are the mastermind, until you find out they are just another puppet. It almost reads like an espionage thriller. You never know who's on what side or what plan they have planned. You're just holding on to your seat trying not to get whiplash!
The art on this book is great. I've been a fan of Acuna since I first saw his work in Wizard magazine (yep, that long ago) so to see his work in this book is great. I love how he does colors. He only draws one issue in the collection, but the other artist, Larroca and Mcniven, are equally good. It's just really well written and well drawn.
For me, this is the best series right now.