After a few issues that really knocked my socks off, this one was less good, but still a lot of fun.
I think my problem with this issue was that it started with a massive exposition dump from the Apocalypse Twins, as they explain their plans to Scarlet Witch. Now, a lot of this was useful, and it cleared up a lot of things about this title, as well as bringing in some very interesting parallels and links between the Twins and that other set of famous mutant twins, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (and where the heck is Quicksilver, has be even been around during Marvel Now?), but I think it was too much all at once. It did bring back Red Skull into the mix though, which was good, and I do like how Remender has given this series two big villains, but they are directly opposed to each other, and the Unity Squad are caught in the middle of Mutant and Human extremes. It’s the point of this series made manifest, and it’s effective. It was also cool to see that town that Archangel blew up in Uncanny X-Force again. Hmm, maybe I did like this scene after all? I dunno, maybe I should plan these out before I just start rambling on. Naaah.
Anyways, the best scenes in this issue where the interactions between the Avengers and the Four Horsemen, the personal relationships between them made these scenes really crackle. Grim Reaper really attacked Wonder Man verbally, and Remender does his best to make sense of one of Bendis’ worse ideas when he turned Simon against the Avengers. The meeting between Wolverine and Daken was also fantastic and packed with emotions, and man, Horseman Sentry is fucked up and scary.
I also really loved the scene between Rogue and Sunfire, as their past is brought back up, and I felt Remender did a really good job at making Sunfire interesting to me, and making him more than just a pompous jerk. Remender has gotten a lot of stick for his characterisation in this book, but that scene showed he’s really good at it.
In the end, it looks like the Apocalypse Twins have won, they announce their plans to the world (and it was useful to see the other Avenger and X-men characters here, this title has felt a little bit disconnected from what’s going on elsewhere, apart from when Kitty Pryde lectured everyone) to perform the ‘Mutant Rapture’, and that Scarlet Witch is going to help them do it. It’s a good cliffhanger, but no way is Wanda really helping them.
Daniel Acuna’s art is once again strong, with an artist like him who is really quite divisive, it’s hard to know what to say, I like him, but for people who don’t, this ain’t gonna change their minds. But for me, you have to be impressed, he’s not only drawing this title, but he’s colouring it too, and every page looks great to me. It looks like next issue is going to be a Kang-focus, which should be cool, he’s a great villain, and his role in this story needs to come more to the fore in my view.