Grade: ***[*] (Three stars out of four)
Suggestion: Pull it.
An imprisoned Cyclops, in his wake as the host of the Phoenix Force, has lost a war waged on humanity and Avengers, murdered Professor Charles Xavier and become the face of an militant mutant revolution [see Avengers Vs. X-Men]. With human/mutant relations in the crapper the only way Charles Xavier's dream can persevere is for heroes to set an example that both homo sapiens and homo superior can coexist. Realizing that, Captain America forms a new team of Avengers, one primarily consisting of mutants, lead by mutants. As a symbol of progression, Cyclops' younger brother, Havoc is chosen to lead the team. Of course, shit goes down, the Red Skull is back and digs up Xavier's corpse, steals his brain and uses it to try and spark a straight up human/mutant war.
The Red Shadow arc is a perfect set up for the Uncanny Avengers. It's pulpy, fantastical and absurd without being stupid. It has the kind of ridiculousness that you can only get from a great comic. On a moral level it has weight and depth, harkening that mutant struggles in the Marvel Universe have always been an allegory for equality and civil rights. What gives that well used concept fresh breath is that it's about human superheroes working with mutant superheroes. It's the first time in a while that the mutants aren't tagging along with the Avengers, it's the other way around.
Rick Remender's script doesn't have that Brian Bendis level dialogue that a lot of readers may have gotten used to with other Avengers titles, but, that's not a bad thing because this is a new type of Avengers. Though, as good and as fun as the story was, the box narration kind of detracted from the story. Comics have come a long way and readers don't need someone telling them what's happening, the images do that. Those yellow boxes need to go into Bendis and Fraction territory and replace the thought bubble.
John Cassaday's art is top notch. It's great seeing him pencil Wolverine post Astonishing X-Men. Considering the concept of Uncanny Avengers, it was a logical leap for Cassady to pencil because of his tenure on Astonishing X-Men. Though, as good as the art was, it wasn't living up to the brilliant 25 issue run he established with Joss Whedon on the aforementioned title.
Uncanny Avengers is a good read, and it's a recommended jumping point for new comic readers trying to get into the Marvel Universe. Aside from the massive Avengers Vs. X-Men backstory this pulls from, it's summed up in the first few pages. It's not anything mind blowing for existing Marvel junkies, but if they were on the fence about checking it out, it's a fun read and worth picking up.