Artist: Daniel Acuña
This has been one of the best written series in Marvel NOW! and Rick Remender has been doing a great job of continuing his fabulous Apocalypse saga that he started in Uncanny X-Force.
The Avengers Unity Squad have split in two following the revelation of Wolverine's actions. Both groups however continue to look for the Apocalypse Twins, Uriel, and Eimin, but land up meeting their Horsemen.
This was a great issue, and although it's the worst issue in the story so far it was still very good, showing just how good the story's been. Rick Remender has done a great job of writing this story, but I just felt that this wasn't on par with the quality of the previous issues, being a little slow, mainly setting up the next part of this story. Remender did however add a lot of depth to this issue, also adding a lot of drama, and emotion (even if it was a little too much emotion). He has also done a great job of keeping some excitement in this issue, even if there wasn't a lot. I do however have faith that all this set-up will pay off, and that Remender will deliver a phenomenal issue next time round.
Daniel Acuña once again did an amazing job of the artwork on this issue, and it's possibly the best art he's done on the series yet. The thing I liked most this time however was his layouts, as although he usually gives good layouts, it was that little bit better this time, being dynamic, as well as adding depth, and drama to the issue. I also loved how Acuña drew the Horsemen, and love how he's shown all their distinctive features, whilst making them look darker, and sinister, as well as having similar uniforms. Another great thing about Acuña's art is that he does his own inks, and colours, which allows him to have more control over the finished work.
Last issue left the team in quite a state, with them technically not really being the team, by splitting in two. It was also nice however that it wasn't just the X-Men members of the group that stayed with Wolverine, with Thor joining him, feeling as responsible for the Apocalypse Twins as Wolverine is. In saying that it was also nice that X-Men members stayed with Cap, as although Scarlet Witch is also technically an Avenger (having been one prior to being allied with the X-Men), we also had Havok staying, hoping to bring the team back together. This did however also leave a rift in this issue, making it slightly out of sync, and in my opinion was also the main reason for it being slow. I do however still look forward to seeing how this progresses, and am sure Remender will do a great job with it.
The main feature about this issue had to be the proper introduction of the Horsemen, as although they were shown last issue, as well as being teased for a while, this is their first proper appearance, with them all having personal targets, and agendas. I love that the likes of Sentry, Banshee, and mainly Daken are back as they are characters that I've loved over the years, and although he was only dead for a few months, Grim Reaper was also another good addition. I do however also have mixed feelings about Daken being back as although I'm happy he's already died twice in a short period, and I hope that he's not just back for this story, whether he stays a Horseman or not.
This issue would also show continuity with Remender's other series, Captain America, with Cap telling Wasp about his recent time in Dimension Z. This was nice as it means that both characters have something in common, with Wasp having just returned from the Microverse. It was also nice to see that the Dimension Z story will be canon, and in continuity with the rest of the Marvel universe, as although it was already said that it would, it'd be easy to just not mention it elsewhere, which wouldn't have been nice. It's also nice that Remender has had the chance to make this connection, with him writing both series.
Well the great run was never going to last forever, and finally this series has slipped in quality, as although this was still a great issue, it was a little slow, and nowhere near the same level of quality as the rest of this story. It does however have some interesting possibilities, and the proper introduction of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse was another amazing thing, and I look froward to seeing that. I'd still however recommend this issue, as although it is a drop in quality it's still worth getting. I'd however also recommend getting the other issues in this story, and even the rest in the series.