First X review of the week is the second issue of the flagship Avengers title, Uncanny Avengers. The first issue gave us the Red Skull reveal, what will issue #2 give us?
Uncanny Avengers #2
Summary: This issue kicks off with Captain America, Thor and Havok cleaning up after Avalanche's attack on Manhattan last issue. Wolverine saunters over and is told by Cap that Havok would be leading a group of Avengers, which would hopefully ease the increasing human/mutant tensions. Wolvie isn't pleased with this idea, but seems like he'll go along with it. Meanwhile, Rogue manages to break free and escape two of the Red Skull's goons. While Rogue is sneaking around Skull's base, the Skull is talking to the recently awakened Scarlet Witch. The Skull claims that he only wants to talk to Wanda and says that the two of them share the same goal, the eradication of mutantkind. Wanda refutes that and says she was pretty much crazy when she decimated mutantkind before, but the Skull uses telepathy on Wanda to force her into agreeing to help the Skull with his plans. It's then the Skull learns Rogue had escaped and leaves Wanda behind. Rogue pops up and absorbs Wanda's powers, but is unable to figure out how to make them work. Mind-controlled Wanda has no such trouble and blasts Rogue through the ground where the two women come across the body of Professor Xavier... With his brain removed. That infuriates Rogue, who remembers when the Prof brought her onto the X-Men, and snaps Wanda out of the Skull's mental thrall. However, the Skull and his henchmen enter the room and the Skull tells the two women that he had bonded his brain with Xavier's, and was now one of the most powerful telepaths on the planet!
Thoughts: This was a very, very good comic. I can easily see it becoming my favorite monthly title if it keeps up like this. We learned where the Skull came from(he was apparently another clone of the Red Skull who woke up recently), and found out that he had managed to steal Xavier's telepathy. This issue pretty much did everything right. It continued to slowly put together the Uncanny Avengers team, gave us some animosity between Wolverine and Havok going forwrd, gave us a sensible reason Cap chose Havok to lead the Uncanny Avengers, made Rogue likable(which is something I always found her lacking), and explained what the Red Skull was doing here. All that was really missing was some explanation as to what the Skull's henchmen were. So yeah, all in all, this was a nearly perfect comic. Needless to say, I wish Rick Remender was writing all of the Avengers books!
Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.
Telepathic Red Skull has that whole Joker smile thing going on, doesn't he?