Review: Uncanny Avengers # 20: Trust In Kang

Pacing is an undervalued trait in comic books. There are very few writers who can make the readers forget that Marvel and DC dropped their page counts to 20 a few years back. Consequently, a lot of individual issues feel slight or incomplete. 
That’s not a problem that Rick Remender has with Uncanny Avengers. In just 20 pages, Remender fills the book with action while also giving several characters a chance to shine before leaving the story on an impressive visual and a great cliffhanger. That’s a lot of ground to cover in a single issue and Remender made it look easy. 
Five years from now in an alternate timeline, all of the mutants are living on Planet X following the destruction of Earth during the last Uncanny Avengers story. While Havok, Wasp and their surviving teammates want to change the past, Magneto’s X-Force and even the X-Men themselves are standing in their way. The only hope that anyone has lies with Kang and his Chronos Corps. Kang has a way to send the surviving Avengers’ minds back in time so they can finally come together as a team and save the Earth. 
Artist Daniel Acuna delivers several great action scenes that also reveal more about the characters, including a very short and entertaining duel between Wolverine and his son Daken, as well as a fight between the two Psylockes. Even Sunfire and Banshee have a brief interaction that ties all the way back to their time in the X-Men.
The heart of this issue belongs to Havok and Cyclops, the Summers brothers. In the present of Marvel Now, adult Cyclops and Havok haven’t seen eye-to-eye since Avengers vs. X-Men. But on Planet X, Cyclops demonstrates enough faith in his brother to let him go through with the plan to restore the Earth. It’s a small scene that basically allows the X-Men to be the X-Men and stand up to Magneto one last time. 
Part of the reason that I enjoyed this issue so much was that Remender uses the history of these characters to influence their behavior. That’s why it’s very satisfying to see the Wasp take out her anger on Kang and Wolverine to insist that they be able to save Rogue or else he’ll sabotage the plan. I wasn’t quite as sold on the previous characterization of Rogue and Scarlet Witch that led to their respective deaths, but Remender has a good take on the rest of the characters. And both Rogue and Scarlet Witch should be restored to life fairly soon, if the Avengers succeed in changing the past.
Thor gets the big rallying speech, but even Kang and his team aren’t sure if they’ve destroyed reality or successfully saved the universe they once knew. We all know that the Marvel continuity will be back in time for Axis, but there’s still some genuine tension in this ending. There’s even a chance that someone from Planet X may be sticking around when the world is restored, which would be a pretty big status quo for two of the Avengers.
Uncanny Avengers is one of those rare comics that I just can’t wait for the next issue, much less the trade. This is one of Marvel’s best books at the moment and it’s at the top of my reading list when it comes out. 
In short, buy it!