Thursday, April 2, 2015

Scanned Thoughts: Uncanny Avengers #3

Every now and then, I go to a movie that I don’t understand or Google just to see if I can keep up. I guess I like to keep my fucked up tastes refined to some extent. Sometimes I find something really awesome. That’s how I saw the Matrix for the first time. That and a buddy of mine watched it stoned and swore it was the best thing ever, but that’s another story. But more often than not, I get halfway through the movie and wondering out loud, “Where the fuck is this going and why the fuck didn’t I sneak more beer in here?” Sometimes that gets me thrown out, but other times that makes a few new friends. That’s sort of how I feel about Uncanny Avengers right now.

This new series that spun out of the events of AXIS has been more chaotic than a field trip of pre-schoolers to a candy factory. It had a simple premise. The Maximoff twins wanted to hunt down the High Evolutionary to learn about who their real father was. It didn’t take too long for someone get drunk and drive completely off-road because it’s been tumbling and stumbling like a drunk who just stole a motorcycle. It’s still somewhat coherent, but it’s not very concise. I want to give it a chance to do something meaningful, but it’s getting to the point where even a lazy traffic cop would pull it over. I’m still going to give Uncanny Avengers #3 a fair shot, but I’m keeping my fucking seat belt on.

I probably should’ve worn looser pants as well because this issue involves what I can only describe as robot sex. And no, I’m not talking about the kind that involves the Terminator porn parody. Like everyone else in the Uncanny Avengers, Vision got separated from the team. But luckily for him, he ended up with a hot sexy robot version of himself. I guess it was love at first interface because they start hooking up in ways that I’m sure other robots would jerk off to if they had the right equipment. Vision describes it using romantic language that would give lonely housewives a pussy boner. I’m not sure if Marvel is trying to cash in on the 50 Shades of Grey crowd, but it’s a bit late to the party.

That’s not to say there’s more to this than inducing pussy boners. Vision has apparently completely forgotten about the team’s mission and the former lover he came to Counter-Earth to save. Now he’s busy making cute robot babies for the High Evolutionary. Never one to pass up a new potential life form, the High Evolutionary shrugs off the fact that Vision kept this from him and is probably in the process of screwing him over. But he got some robot poon out of it so he wins either way. It’s really not clear what this scene is intended to do other than appeal to those with a robot fetish. I won’t say it succeeds, but I can’t say it fails either.

The unanswered questions with Vision continue with more unanswered questions regarding Rogue. She’s still being kept prisoner by some creep old guy obsessed with her powers. He apparently thinks that her powers and sexy southern accent will help create the ultimate soldier. I’m not sure I get that logic unless all life has an inherent weakness for sexy southern accents and last I checked, the South lost the Civil War so I’m not buying it. All this creepy old guy does is keep Rogue from doing anything meaningful.

Between Vision shrugging off his old team in favor of a hot robot woman and Rogue being rendered useless by some creepy guy who looks like a vulture fucked a priest, there really isn’t much to go on here. The unanswered questions only help continue the overly choppy narrative that has plagued this series from the beginning. I get that the team got split up, but how the fuck is this supposed to move the story forward? If someone with ADHD read this, they would probably worry about upping their meds.

That’s not to say there isn’t a meaningful story to tell here. It’s just that pretty much every character in the Uncanny Avengers doesn’t do jack shit to advance it. The only ones who do help move it forward are Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Since they’re the ones that triggered this shit storm by going to Counter-Earth in the first place, that’s both understandable and appropriate. And they do actually uncover something meaningful.

After the High Evolutionary flexed his genocidal rage-boner, the Maximoff twins track down some of the creations that managed to escape his wrath. With help from a new ally who goes by the Low Evolutionary, he leads them to a refugee area where the High Evolutionary’s failures live like homeless crack addicts in downtown Detroit. It’s a sad sight, but one the Maximoff twins are familiar with so it strikes the right emotional chord. It gives them even more incentive to beat the answers about their parents out of the High Evolutionary, amongst other things.

As for the Low Evolutionary himself, he’s somewhat intriguing. However, he’s still poorly developed. He’s basically the High Evolutionary’s son who decided not to be the same dick-cheese as his father. He’s basically Eminem, minus the music. He doesn’t have his father’s charisma, brilliance, or respect. But he does have an incentive to help Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch so that makes him relevant. It just doesn’t make him much more than that. He wants to attack his father and channel his inner Luke Skywalker. Bug given what the High Evolutionary has shown thus far, he’ll probably lose more than a hand.

The Low Evolutionary still ends up contributing way more than the Uncanny Avengers, which is pretty fucking pathetic. Even so, it puts Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch on the right track. They just have to help the Low Evolutionary piss off his father, which isn’t as hard as it sounds. They’re tasked with taking out the High Evolutionary’s new tracking mechanism that’s being used to hunt them down. They’ve been pissing off authority figures for most of their existence. This should come naturally do them.

As they go about this mission, there is some discussion about Magneto and their family history. It’s still very light and very under-developed. The emotions surrounding this huge revelation about who they are and where they came from are basically shrugged off. They shrug it off the same way Snooki shrugs off an anal wart. I get that there’s an ongoing conflict involving the High Evolutionary and a bunch of innocent beings he’s trying to slaughter, but glossing over this part of the story is like glossing over Pamela Anderson’s tits in a photo shoot.

Callousness aside, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch do eventually find what they’re looking for. That tracking mechanism the Low Evolutionary mentioned is actually pretty familiar. It’s Sabretooth, who the High Evolutionary decided to mind-fuck into working for him. The saddest part is this is probably the most anyone in the Uncanny Avengers actually contributes to the story. That’s not saying much because Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch make quick work of him. He’s Sabretooth. He’s been getting his ass kicked by X-men and others like the X-men since the Reagan Administration. It still hasn’t gotten old though so I won’t deny I enjoyed it.

However, the next challenge they face is a lot trickier than pwning Wolverine’s old scratching post. Her name is Luminous and she was revealed in the last issue to be Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch’s long lost sibling. She’s got Quicksilver’s hair, the Scarlet Witch’s rack, and the High Evolutionary’s douche-bag attitude. Overall, that’s makes her a pretty daunting threat and she proves it.

She ends up being the most entertaining part of this issue with how she takes down Quicksilver and looks downright bored while doing it. He’s fast, but she’s able to counter him with some speed of her own. She barely even moves from where she’s standing. She just lets Quicksilver make an ass of himself and lets her fist do the rest. As much as I enjoy watching Sabretooth get his ass kicked, I admit I enjoy seeing Quicksilver get his ass kicked almost as much.

The battle against the Scarlet Witch is much more volatile. There’s a lot of firepower involved, but it’s the kind that stoners everywhere will appreciate. Luminous demonstrates that like the Scarlet Witch, she can wield chaos magic as well. But unlike the Scarlet Witch, she can actually control it in a way that won’t lead to mass genocide or inversions. I’m almost conflicted on who to root for because the Scarlet Witch has done a lot of bad shit over the past decade and somehow nobody really blames her for it. She’s not Quicksilver or Sabretooth, but I admit she’s due an ass-kicking and that’s what Luminous gives her.

The action here is fairly solid and I haven’t been able to say that very much about this series since it began. It’s been so choppy and disorganized that there hasn’t been many enjoyable battles that aren’t horribly one-sided and/or involve the High Evolutionary committing mass genocide. It still feels disorganized in that only the Maximoff twins get to do anything relevant. That doesn’t make the battle against Luminous any less solid. It’s probably the most enjoyable battle this series has offered to date, which isn’t saying much.

After the Maximoff twins are defeated, Luminous casually traps Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch so she can take them to the High Evolutionary. She even hints that he’s their real father. She also hints that the truth will destroy them. But then again, that could be subject to retcons as well. The only thing to take away from this moment is that Luminous is really badass and she’s got an awesome rack. She would’ve made an excellent bond girl in Goldfinger. Given how little effort she needed to take down the Maximoff twins, I don’t think James Bond’s dick would stand a chance.

And while Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are enjoying this family reunion with their sister, they fail to notice that Sabretooth recovered enough to do his job. He was then able to track down the Low Evolutionary’s headquarters like a good, obedient pet that only occasionally makes a mess on the carpet. So now the High Evolutionary has neutralized the Maximoff twins and he knows where to find what’s left of his failed experiments. By all accounts, he’s doing pretty damn good. He sends out his hit team to finish the job so he can prepare to make the Maximoff twins more miserable than they already are. Even if every other character has it rough in this series, it’s safe to say the High Evolutionary is really enjoying himself.

This series was already playing with a bad hand before it even began. The whole concept of retconning Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch’s lineage already kicked a shit storm whose stench this series could not escape. That alone made it hard to enjoy. But it sure as shit doesn’t help when the narrative remains disorganized and choppy. There are more than one sub-plots unfolding and only one of them gets any meaningful development. Granted, that development leads to a pretty meaningful battle that offers some tantalizing hints at what the Maximoff Twins are up against. But that’s really all it offers.

I guess the best thing this issue can offer is it didn’t make any of its lingering flaws any worse. Sure, that’s like saying someone didn’t shoot themselves more times than they already had, but it’s still a flawed and uneven narrative. It just isn’t any worse than it was before. There’s still a story worth telling here, but that story is slow as fuck and most of the characters in the Uncanny Avengers aren’t contributing jack shit to it. I won’t say this series did anything overly egregious. I won’t deny the battle between the Maximoff twins and their long lost sister wasn’t good. It just wasn’t much better than that. I give Uncanny Avengers #3 a 6 out of 10. It’s good, but it’s starting to drag. If someone doesn’t do something meaningful, they should just sit on the bench or run for Congress. That way everybody will be more comfortable. Nuff said!


  1. This is one of those titles that I won't be sorry to see be swept under the carpet come Secret Wars.

  2. I'll come straight out and say I'm a massive Rogue fan. This means that this whole series is like having jugger-monolith give me a kick up the ass. Unlike a certain deceased Canadian mutant, Rogue appears to only really be capable of featuring in one title at a time. So this series has taken out of the Marvel-616 universe in effect to have some creepy scientist-gnome-thing study her. For crying out loud, last issue she didn't even have a line! Not one line! I waited one month and that was my reward? How I miss legacy days.

    Saying that at least she appeArs to be doing better than Falcap or voodoo. I may have missed him but has anyone even seen Falcap since the tree incident of issue one???

  3. I can't believe I started reading comics again for this. I was hoping Rogue might get a better shake with the writing stick but so far its not happening. What a slow and disjointed story. I hope it picks up next issue.

    And why is Rogue not appearing in any X-Men titles as well? That makes zero sense.

    I miss Mike Carey.

    Love your blog, Jack!

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