Wheels have been set in motion since the beginning of Uncanny Avengers, twenty-one chapters ago. Kang's goal— seizing enough power to conquer the universe— came to fruition last month. But as he learns in this chapter, seizing power and holding onto it are two different things. (Spoilers ensue.)
So Kang's brought a super-team together from various crappy timelines to keep the Avengers busy while he soaks up his power. His sole oversight— that the Avengers could and would Hail Mary their future selves into the present to clean up their mess— is throwing a colossal wrench into his plans.
Thor, Sunfire, and Havok arrive on the still-bleeding Celestial to deal with Kang head-on. It's... not a bloodless maneuver.
Kang disintegrates Sunfire, burning off half Summers' face in the process. (Despite the wall of text at the start of the issue, I had to remind myself that this Havok is from the future, once Kang brings up the future daughter he's holding hostage.) Kang winds up getting the best of Havok and is ready to blast him to smithereens, when who should come to the rescue? Sunfire, of course!
Having shuffled off his mortal coil, the now molten, possibly omnipotent Sunfire returns to lay the cosmic smackdown on Kang.
Eimin and Uriel, the Apocalypse Twins, gracefully accept their doom as their broken and battered ship explodes. Havok and New!Sunfire do a number on Kang, putting him on the ropes. Like any good time-traveling supervillain, Kang teleports outta there to save his hide... taking his chrono-recruits with him.
Post-climax, the heroes take stock of what's happened. The resurrected and evil-but-not-really Sentry disposes of the Celestial's corpse, so we avoid a Forest Moon of Endor situation. Scarlet Witch helps unburden Rogue from the buffet of superpowers she absorbed, last issue.
There's just one problem. She's still got Wonder Man stuck inside her. That'll end well. Daniel Acuña does a great job of capturing Rogue's distress. The last thing she needs is another voice in her head.
For a fairly standard 'Bad Guy Almost Conquers the Galaxy' plot, UA 22 is still impressive in a lot of ways. Its scope is massive, the stakes have been well-established (by showing how badly things could have gone without a do-over), and Acuña's artwork does a spectacular job of capturing the proper gravity of the situation. It's quality stuff.
But well... now what? Will there be more Uncanny Avengers, with other Avengers titles entering the fray in the near future? Cap's got to be de-powered at some point, and Wolverine's going to bite the bullet this fall. The comic has catching up to do, continuity wise. And oh yeah— these Avengers are still hosting their future selves. Something's gotta be done about that, before Sunfire wakes up in a new body, Havok finds half his face missing, and so on.
As a hook, we find Daken and Reaper, carting off what's left of the Apocalypse Twins. Whether they survived or not is unimportant, their bodies are intact enough for resurrection, via the same methods that brought back their 'rescuers'. So we'll see what happens there.
What do you think?
Casey Jones is a writer of comics and screenplays. Visit him at www.caseyjonescaseyjones.com.