Graphic Novel Review: Uncanny Avengers: Ragnarok Now

11:16 23 May 2014

Uncanny Avengers: Ragnarok Now

Uncanny Avengers: Ragnarok Now

Archant

The Avengers always win, don’t they? Not this time...

(Panini Books)

This is not a book to go into cold. Building on plots dating back to writer Rick Remender’s run on Uncanny X-Force, it is a perfect example of multi-layered comics fiction the likes of which you’re unlikely to find in any other genre.

To recap a few essential details then… In the wake of the devastating Avengers vs X-Men event, Captain America has formed a new Unity Squad of Avengers made up of representatives from both factions, with the aim of promoting harmony between homo superior and homo sapiens.

The Apocalypse Twins are the offspring of original X-Man Warren Worthington and Pestilence of Apocalypse’s Final Horsemen, kidnapped shortly after their birth by the time-travelling warmonger Kang the Conquerer,

Now adults, and armed with the enchanted Asgardian axe Jarnbjorn, they have already slain a Celestial and resurrected various dead heroes and villains to become their new Horsemen of Death, but that’s only the start of their plan…

The Twins are striving to persuade the Scarlet Witch to rapture all of Earth’s mutants into their colossal space ark, which will be used to ferry them to an off-world paradise, before the Celestials return to take vengeance on humanity for apparently killing their kinsman.

While an alliance of superheroes and villains battles to protect the planet from the Celestial executioner, the Unity Squad is torn apart by the revelation of past secrets…

Remender’s epic storyline will probably read best when collected in its entirety, as the shocking conclusion of this latest volume will leave you aching to find out what happens next.

But it is in between the shocks and explosions that his writing really shines, with touches of humour to break up the drama, subplots for all of his cast, and a phenomenal grasp of characterisation for everyone, even those characters who have little more than a cameo appearance.

Coming in the wake of the recent Infinity crossover event, it’s tempting to draw comparisons, but this is an Avengers story the likes of which we’ve never seen before, and could end up being referred to alongside the team’s greatest ever adventures in years to come. A remarkable achievement, and it’s not over yet…

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