So, the Avengers have had a bit of a rough time. They saved the world (and mutant-kind) from Kang the Conqueror and a supremely pissed off Celestial. It cost them dearly. Details (and spoilers) below.
Half the Uncanny Avengers in this timeline are now possessed by older, sadder-but-wiser versions of themselves from a darker future. (Namely Thor, Wolverine, Sunfire, Havok, and Wasp.) Permanently, I guess. Havok and Wasp still remember getting married, and having a daughter— who no longer exists, thanks to Kang.
Sunfire doesn't exactly have a corporeal body anymore, Kang burned half Havok's face off, and Rogue... well. She's got Wonder Man stuck in her head. Literally. Scarlet Witch and Wasp went on retreat while four of their colleagues spent that time in recuperative tanks.
Scarlet Witch tries to help Rogue extract Wonder Man, which is where problems kick in. Scarlet Witch simply touches Rogue, triggering a complete meltdown. While it's not 100% clear, it seems that SW is responsible for breaking Rogue's powers.
If it weren't bad enough that Scarlet Witch's powers went on the fritz for the umpteenth time, Rogue has automatically lost god knows how much character development. A few issues ago, Rogue was independent, strong, fearless. She was the linchpin to saving the world. And now she's flying down the street, crying.
I'll be blunt: this isn't Sanford Greene's best work. Check out his DeviantArt work, the guy's got chops. I just don't think it's showcased well here. There's something off about the faces.
Back at the Avengers' mansion, Janet and Alex commiserate over the loss of their daughter. Cue Immortus, materializing at random. He's been visiting the future, which is currently a chaotic mess. That's not good for anyone, so he's keen to help the Avengers get what they want, if it'll help him get what he wants.
At which point, he makes the creepiest offer I've seen in a long, long time. Rather than fetch their daughter (who still exists somewhere out there, thanks to Kang), Immortus promises to tell Havok and Wasp when they need to conceive in order to replace her. As in, with the same sperm and egg that conceived her in the first place, in the cancelled timeline. So... yeah.
Elsewhere, the Red Skull is having a chat with Ahab. Great news: he's missing a hand again! Bad news: It's the wrong one. I'm serious. The comic can't even keep its own continuity straight. Professional artists can't be bothered to look up a back-issue of their own comic to see which glove Red Skull doesn't need anymore. (Hint: It's his right.)
So, Red Skull and Ahab are planning to kidnap mutants and wreak some complex revenge on the Avengers. Part of the plan? Turns out Ahab built a concentration camp. It's wrong on so many levels, but what can ya do?
And that's issue 23! Not their happiest hour by a long shot. I'd have liked to see our boys take a victory lap— you don't save the world every day— but a more subdued take on the aftermath was maybe a wiser call. I'm not sure. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing— from Scarlet Witch and Rogue, to Alex and Janet, to the Red Skull. This issue isn't perfect, but that shouldn't be enough to condemn it.
What do you think?