After months and months of crazy cosmic shit, Rick Remender boils things down to a race against time to stop Exitar The Executioner from destroying the Earth, and an awesome fight between Thor, Captain America and the Apocalypse Twins.
The issue actually begins in the future, with Immortus gathering his Infinity Watch, ready to head to the past and help out once the ‘Tachyon Dam’ is destroyed. Back in the present day, the ‘Geniuses Of Earth’ (including Doctor Doom, which is kind of weird. At first I thought it was Doombot from Avengers A.I., but nope the recap page says it’s the real deal) are trying to figure out what’s happening, and why, but not having much luck until Wasp fills them in. Thor is trying to get his Axe, Jarnbjorn back from the Twins and use it to either reason with Exitar… or kill him. As for Wasp, her job is to shut down the Tachyon Dam and allow Immortus’ reinforcements to arrive from the future. Man, this comic is kind of weird.
The Twins are gloating at the captive Captain America, but it’s short-lived, as Thor soon arrives to free his friend, and kick some ass. Realising that the Twins can only use their time-freezing powers when they are together, Cap tells Thor to separate them, as he deals with Eimin, and Thor with Uriel. Cap manages to evade Eimin’s attacks until he can reach the airlock button and suck her out to space, but the real meat here is Thor Vs Uriel, which is all kinds of awesome. Uriel rants and raves about how powerful he is, and how clever he was to manipulate Thor and the rest of the Avengers, but all Thor says is… ‘I care not’. It’s not quite as good as ‘Ultron, we would have words with thee’ but it’s close. In the midst of this fight, Thor comes across the dead body of Scarlet Witch, which is a nice, wordless page that sets things up very nicely for a brutal conclusion.
Back on Earth, a bunch of superheroes, including heavy-hitters like Doctor Strange, Hyperion and Captain Britain (he is a heavy-hitter, so there) are trying to take the fight to Exitar, but it looks like they have no hope. Steve McNiven’s art does a great job of showing the size difference between Exitar and the humans, and man, it’s a huge difference. As for Wasp, she makes her way to the Tachyon Dam, but runs into the Grim Reaper, who places her fist to his neck, and tells Wasp that the only way to stop him… is to kill him again. I can’t imagine the Wasp killing someone, so her moral dilemma is fascinating here, and, considering this book, sure to cause controversy.
Thor manages to defeat Uriel in the end, by opening up a portal and slamming him into it. Uriel is still ranting right until the end, but once again, all he gets in response is ‘I care not’. Bad-ass. In the aftermath of the explosion, Thor is left floating in space, with one arm burned to the bone, and about to grab Jarnbjorn. But who else is floating in space? Eimin of course, who gets to the Axe first and, with Exitar in the background, challenges Thor to come and take it back.
This was a smaller scale issue of Uncanny Avengers than the previous ones have been, but I think that was necessary, it kept the big cosmic stuff, but it also focused back in on the characters, particularly Captain America, Wasp and Thor. I still have no idea where Remender is going with this, and it’s hugely exciting. Steve McNiven’s art is a perfect fit for this widescreen epic, and, in general, this just continues to be a great series. It is a little weird how disconnected it feels to the rest of the Marvel Universe (Remender’s Cap aside), but that probably means it will stand the test of time really well. I certainly can’t wait to go back and re-read all of it. Hell, I might as well start with Uncanny X-Force!