Thursday, April 11, 2013

Uncanny Avengers #6 - Demigod Brawls of Awesome

If the movie Fight Club has taught us anything, it’s that men are constantly obsessed with who would kick whose ass in a fight and that trying to be as awesome as Brad Pitt is a losing battle. Admit it, you’ve entertained the notion of who would win in a fight between Superman and Hulk, Superman and Thing, Superman and Goku, or Superman and pretty much anyone. Hell, some people go to pretty elaborate lengths to determine the winner of those fights, as indicated by anyone who has watched Death Battle on Screw Attack. But sometimes who wins that fight isn’t as important as just wanting to see two powerful fighters beat the shit out of each other.

It’s like going to a Boxing match and not even knowing the names of the fighters. It’s like going to a NASCAR race and not knowing any of the drivers. You don’t go to see who would win. You go to see someone get the piss beat out of them or see some shit blow up. That’s entertainment at its finest and anyone who claims otherwise is lying, high, or a registered Republican. Comics have always given us some pretty amazing fights. I still haven’t grown tired of seeing Cyclops and Wolverine kick each other’s ass over who deserves to touch Jean Grey’s boobs more. And in the pages of Uncanny Avengers, another amazing fight is brewing that has the potential to be as destructive as a fart from Galactus.

Lost in the bullshit controversy of Havok wanting to piss all over free speech so people wouldn’t use the word mutant anymore, Uncanny Avengers #5 reintroduced a plot that Rick Remender began during his Uncanny X-Force run. At some point during the Dark Angel Saga, Arcangel forgot to wrap his tool and knocked up one of Apocalypse’s female henchmen. Now that henchmen has shat out not one but two new baby Apocalypses and at a time when the Avengers and X-men are trying to build some semblance of peace no less. And if anyone here claims they don’t want to see Captain America, Thor, or Havok fight a couple of baby Apocalypses you’re either lying or high. If it’s the latter, then get a new dealer.

It probably won’t help that Uncanny Avengers #5 ended with this new uncanny team fucking up their first efforts at better PR. Granted, when a villain named the Grim Reaper crashes a press conference, it’s bound to end in disaster and it’s also likely to get whoever was in charge of security fired. But the shit that was captured on camera was enough to make even a former Rutgers basketball coach cringe. In short, the world doesn’t have a lot of reason to trust in Alex Summers and not just because he’s a whiney little bitch. It was supposed to be an uphill battle to begin with, but the Uncanny Avengers fell flat on their asses and Rick Remender found a way to make it awesome.  

Remender begins Uncanny Avengers #6 the same way every bachelor party I’ve ever attended ends, with a bar fight. Only this bar fight is between demigods and not just guys who are so drunk that think they’re demigods. It takes place in the past when people actually believed that gods could take human form and get drunk with them. Thor is showing off his drinking skills to a group of lowly mortals. Then Apocalypse comes in, knocks him out of his drunken stupor, and presumably says under his breath “whose lowly now, motherfucker?” Now what does this have to do with the PR disaster in Uncanny Avengers #5? Jack shit and in fact that’s not even mentioned. But it’s hard to be too disappointed in this lack of transitional material when you get to watch an entertaining bar fight between demigods.

Since this takes place in the past and Thor is drunk off his ass, he’s not in a position to take down Apocalypse and he’s also not in a position to call for backup from his fellow Avengers. He’s just one demigod on a drinking bender. It sounds dangerous, but not as much as you would think. He’s not armed with his magic hammer that fanboys never shut up about at comic conventions either. He’s just got a badass axe, which I guess is just as intimidating. But it lacks the thunderous touch of Mjolnir so Apocalypse doesn’t have much trouble roughing him up. And like any good drunk in a bar fight, Thor knows that he can’t measure up until he sobers up.

But why the hell is Apocalypse attacking Thor in the first place? Where the fuck did this come from? Was he just overly bored at this point in history and didn’t have the quality booze the Asgardians had access to? Well there actually is a reason and sadly, it doesn’t involve beer. It involves the future that is currently unfolding in the pages of Uncanny Avengers. Apocalypse was told that Thor was going to fuck up his plans in the future. Who told him? Well, the guy he confronts is called Rama-Tut, but considering how Kang the Conqueror showed up in the previous issue it’s not too much of a stretch to think he’s involved somehow. Apocalypse’s bullshit detector even seemed mildly sparked by this revelation and he calls Tut out on it, but for some reason he believes him when he says his future will be fucked if he doesn’t use the Back to the Future method to fix his problems, minus the incest.

Thor is just as pissed, but probably because someone interrupted his drinking bender. So like your typical college frat boy, he goes whining to his daddy and demands that he do something to deal with the mean old super mutant that gave him a boo-boo. Odin, being the loving father he is, calmly explains to Thor that Apocalypse is packing hardware from the Celestials and the Asgardians are obligated not to fuck with Celestials. And also like a whiney college frat boy, Thor pitches a hissy fit. To him, binding agreements between god and space gods is not as important as roughing up the guy who gave him a boo-boo.

Since his father won’t help him avenge a lost bar fight, he turns to his adopted brother, Loki. Because who better to help you than the self-proclaimed God of Mischief? He might as well have gotten a loan from Tony Soprano and put his balls down as collateral. Like a Brett Ratner movie, you just know this shit isn’t going to end well. But he does it anyway, trusting Loki as he helps him sneak into Odin’s library so he could cast an enchantment on his axe that will allow it to pierce Celestial armor. Even though this is before Loki and Thor were at each other’s throats like Amanda Bynes on a bag of weed, you just know it’s not going to end well. However, Remender does throw in a bit of a twist.

As we saw earlier with Rama Tut, someone has apparently been pulling the strings to make Thor and Apocalypse fight each other and believe it or not, it’s not Don King looking to sell it on pay-per-view. Most Marvel fans would readily accept Loki helping Thor just to fuck with him. However, this time it isn’t Loki that’s tricking Thor with all this mischief. It’s Kang. It’s revealed that he was actually impersonating Loki and helping equip him to fight Apocalypse. It not only adds a more dramatic element to the story, but helps to further tie in the Kang plot that began in the previous issue. And those kinds of connections are part of what makes good comics awesome.

And since Thor ran off, Kang decides it would be more productive if he tricked Apocalypse into fucking with another character that would have future implications. He convinces Apocalypse to unleash his Horsemen on London where one of Wolverine’s ancestors happens to be stationed. And wouldn’t you know it? Wolverine’s ancestor was also a hard-drinking, womanizing, pagan. You know it’s probably going to fuck up the time stream even more, but you still don’t feel too bad to see Apocalypse’s forces rough him up. It makes for another spectacle that’s a bit more elaborate than a bar fight and probably more coordinated as well.

But before the space time continuum is fucked to the point that it can’t be unfucked, Thor shows up again armed with his enchanted axe (which unlike his hammer, is much harder to turn into a dick joke). He starts by roughing up Apocalypse’s horsemen and saving Wolverine’s ancestor so that he can carry on with his life and propagate generations of womanizing, ill-mannered brutes. Gee, thanks Thor! Your benevolence as a god knows no bounds. Even without the aid of hindsight, Apocalypse is pissed and Kang ditches him before he can whine about it. But this doesn’t stop Apocalypse from throwing the full force of his outrage against medieval London. I think somewhere out there, some old men from Northern Ireland just teared up a little.

What started in the bar finally ends in the streets of London. This time, a sober Thor proves to be far more of a match. It’s an eventful, well-coordinated fight. It’s basically the opposite of any bachelor party I’ve ever attended. And this time Apocalypse is the one left hung over and hunched over a toilet. Using the axe that Loki/Kang enchanted, he’s able to wound Apocalypse and blow up his ship. And all because he interrupted his drinking bender. I guess that’s a lesson that even demigods must learn. Never interrupt a man’s quest to become shit-faced drunk. Your house/car/space ship may get blown the fuck up as a result.

While Thor chalks this up as a victory and celebrates by getting drunk again, his father is once again pissed. He informs his son in as gently a way a father can (relatively speaking) that using that axe will fuck a lot of shit up in the future. Thor doesn’t buy it. Like many arrogant youths, they take no heed of the future. Things like using a cursed axe or taking out a student loan that they know they’ll never pay back just doesn’t make them hesitate for some reason. Just as some bankrupt frat boys I know, Thor is destined to find out the hard way that good fathers have a good reason for pissing you off.

Flash forward to the future (for the first time in this whole damn issue) and Kang is taking full advantage of his latest act of sodomizing Father Time. He appears in a tomb in Brazil where the axe Thor used to defeat Apocalypse centuries ago is now embedded in the head of Baron Mordo. Rather than go through the trouble of stealing it from Thor, he just takes it from the tomb. That’s working smart and not hard at its finest. The comic ends with an ominous hint as to what he’s going to use the axe for. But ominous or not, it still doesn’t explain the shit we saw in the previous issue with the Apocalypse twins or show the aftermath of the Uncanny Avengers PR disaster. But hey, we got to see Thor fight Apocalypse in a way that was pretty damn awesome. So you can’t say the comic ends on an unsatisfying note.

Now I enjoy a good epic brawl between demigods as much as the next guy who isn’t a card carrying member of the Christian Right, but this whole issue just seemed a bit out of place in the grand scheme of things. Granted, it makes sense that at some point in the past Thor got drunk and picked a fight with Apocalypse. It also makes sense that Apocalypse’s history has some ties to Asgard because when you have god-like power, I guess you’re automatically on their mailing list. But even if the brawl was dark, destructive, and gritty in all the right ways, it didn’t really move the plot forward that much and completely ignored the impact of the previous issue.

But I’ll repeat this again because it bears repeating. The brawl between Apocalypse and Thor was awesome. You’ve got one of the X-men’s most powerful villains fighting one of the most powerful Avengers. In that sense it fits nicely with the theme in Uncanny Avengers of mixing the world of X-men and Avengers. We already saw it begin in the previous issue when Kang the Conqueror paid a visit to a couple of creepy newborn Apocalypse babies. But it would have fit even better if we just knew what the fuck this has to do with what transpired in the previous issue.

And that’s the biggest flaw of this issue. If you didn’t read the previous issue of Uncanny Avengers, or any issue for that matter, this book feels completely disconnected from any other plot and could probably pass for an issue in another series like the Thor ongoing. Granted, there were some tie-ins, such as Kang showing up in the background of this battle along with what I assume is Wolverine’s ancestor. But it’s too subtle and lacks the connections that Remender is usually so good at putting in his books.

This book will entertain you with his basic premise of heroic demigod vs. evil demigod, but if you’re hoping to see some of the aftermath from Uncanny Avengers #5 you’ll be disappointed. This issue still sets up an enticing plot between Apocalypse and Kang, but it really didn’t move it forward that much. Perhaps the next issue will help put it into a better context, but on its own this issue was just flat. I give Uncanny Avengers #6 a 3.5 out of 5. Want a big-time brawl but are too cheap to pay for WWE pay-per-view? This comic should suffice. Want to know the future of the Uncanny Avengers? Well, you’ll have to do what I do and stay drunk until the next issue comes out. Fair warning though, you may wake up in strange areas with strange fluids staining your shirt. Nuff said!


  1. Replies
    1. On a very basic level, I agree. It was. Two demigods duking it out while a time travel fucks with them...hell, it's practically a hit reality show on Fox that doesn't suck (and is just as unlikely to happen in real life)!

  2. Will you do a review on "The Apocalypse Twins?" If so, please keep me informed. Thanks!