When faced with fascism what’s the appropriate response? How far should we go in self-defense against those who would see us dead? Uncanny Avengers has an answer for that vital question, in response to fascists you use any means necessary. Uncanny Avengers delivers buckets of fascist blood and a compelling mystery to boot.
After the devastating events of this year’s Hellfire Gala, the anti-Mutant organization Orchis has won. Mutants are scattered across the globe and beyond. Krakoa has fallen and the remaining Mutants are being deported to the Mutant world of Arakko, itself in the midst of a Civil War in part orchestrated by Orchis. In response to all this Captain America once again assembles a new Avengers Unity Squad to fight back against Orchis. The team is heavily stacked with Mutants like Rogue, Psylocke, and Monet while also comprising the X adjacent characters of Quicksilver and Deadpool, and of course Captain America himself. It’s a fitting ensemble full of heroes who don’t pull their punches in the fight against fascism. Opposing the Unity Squad is the New Mutant Liberation Front, a false flag operation by Orchis to turn public sentiment against Mutants. The new MLF is led by a mysterious figure who has dawned the Captain Krakoa armor once worn by Cyclops earlier during Duggan’s run of X-Men. He’s joined by the bloodthirsty Wildside, A duped Blob, and the Nazi incest siblings themselves, the Fenris twins. The mystery of the identity of the new Captain Krakoa has been much talked about in the leadup to this book, while this issue doesn’t answer that alluring question it does very much play into the reader’s curiosity of who’s behind the mask.
The highlight of Uncanny Avengers #1 for me is certainly when our heroes unleash bloody violence on Orchis soldiers, it’s gory and glorious. Now one might worry that the moral paragon of Captain America might have a liberal tendency to be opposed to killing fascists. You’d be wrong, Captain America is arguably comics’ most famous anti-fascist, from the cover of his first appearance he’s been punching nazis. So it’s refreshing and true to the character to see him hold no grudges against his teammates for slicing and dicing.
Gerry Duggan’s writing is slick and compulsively readable. Duggan is putting in a lot of work for the Fall Of X event doing Uncanny Avengers, Invincible Iron Man, X-Men, and of course, he kicked the event off with this year’s Hellfire Gala. One of the subjects Duggan has been tackling through his various works is fascism through the lens of Orchis. I was dubious at first if Orchis meant the criteria for an academic definition of Fascism but as Professor Steven Attewell recently pointed out on his blog Orchis fits within the framework and rhetoric of recent neo nazi talking points like for example the great replacement conspiracy theory. Duggan demonstrates this very fact in the rhetoric of the villains with phrases like “America has gone downhill” and the fake Captain Krakoa’s praise for nazis of old. Orchis’s fascist tendencies have never been more explicit than in Uncanny Avengers.
The art by Javier Garron, colored by Morry Hollowell is action-packed and fabulous. There’s some action here that took my breath away. The colors are bright and heavy and the page layouts smart and dynamic. If I had one complaint it would be the fact that Garron tends to draw everyone very young. It’s a little bit jarring when older characters like the Blob or reporter Ben Urich look like fresh-faced twenty-somethings. Overall though the art more than delivers great action and stunning visuals.
Uncanny Avengers #1 is a great first issue to the limited series. It has action, mystery, and oh so many dead fascists, what more could you want?
Story: Gerry Duggan Art: Javier Garron
Color: Morry Hollowell Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review