TOP 10 COMIC WRITERS of 2013 [CB/GHG]: Star-Crossover.

RICK REMENDER

Black Science.. Captain America.. Ring a bell?

Rick Remender’s Uncanny Avengers was the book that excited me the most each month this year. I perceived no drop-off in quality after John Cassaday became scarce as his artistic collaborator. I loved the concept of his book from the start. Sure, X-Men and Avengers had worked together before (and in fact Wanda and Pietro dated back almost to the beginning of both), most recently with Wolverine on the team in Bendis’s New version. But that always felt too easy, just part of putting Wolverine in every comic.

Remender made sure to have his cultures clash repeatedly, to remind us how we got here, with Alex Summers looking like a mutant traitor to some eyes, a terrorist to others. Rogue felt guilty about being around at all, and sulked more than usual. Cap’s methods didn’t always make sense to the habitual underdogs, and unnatural conflicts from outside forces kept the pressure on. Remender is kind of a master of grand guignol superheroics, freak shows of evil that make the contrast with doing good seem all the more stark and imperative.

But the aspect I’d like to praise the most is what happened when a crossover hit, often a blow to many a mainstream team book. In #8AU, it was frigging Age of Ultron, which didn’t even make sense from one issue to the next of the parent mini. But Remender didn’t skip a beat, keeping his ongoing story with Uriel and Eimin and Kang percolating along while we dealt with a weird alternate world where Alex led the Morlocks and most of the Avengers were long-presumed dead or missing. Remender and Kubert came up with compelling alternate looks at our heroes that fit seamlessly and efficiently into this strange reality, drawing on years of X-Men and Avengers history but twisting possibilities up in inventive and entertaining ways. The issue was the best Days of Future Past pastiche in years. The crossovers were in general better than the main story in Age of Null-tron, but Remender’s entry packed the most punch.

– Shawn Hill / CB

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