Artist: Daniel Acuña
This series didn't have the perfect start, and I believe that was mainly due to the shipping delays, but now that that's no longer a problem the series appears to be getting much better, and the last three issues have been amazing, and this upcoming story arc shows ton's of promise.
Apocalypse's illegitimate son Holocaust wants to take the name of Apocalypse for himself seeing it as his birth right, but with the return of the Apocalypse Twins, Uriel, and Eimin, things are about to change. Also the Avengers Unity Squad are dealing with the incident involving Rogue killing Grim Reaper, and Captain America, and Sunfire visit S.W.O.R.D.'s Peak station.
This was yet another amazing issue, and although not quite as good as the previous issue, it was still the next best issue issue so far, and was the perfect start to this new story arc. Rick Remender continues to amaze me with this series, and although it had a shaky start it's now on the right track, and looks to be phenomenal. Remender has amazed me in the past, and especially with Uncanny X-Force, so the fact that this story's continuing from where he left of there has me really excited, and the way he's managed to add another element to make it appropriate for an Avengers story is also brilliant. The reason I think the last issue was better was due to it being a prequel set centuries prior to this it was in a way it's own story, that lead into this, giving more room for excitement, whereas with this being the official start of the story it needs to leave room for development, as well as continuation from the previous events. Remender has also done an amazing job of developing the characters, as although they have been around for years, Remender is showing new sides to them, as well as how they develop as a team (even though they don't do much this issue). I'm also still loving the way Remender narrates this series, as it gives it a unique feel, as well as adding drama to sequences that wouldn't have it otherwise.
Daniel Acuña once again did an amazing job of the art on this issue, and I really think that he's the man for this series, as although John Cassaday, and Olivier Coipel did an amazing job with their artwork, with them also being higher on my favourite artists list, Acuña's art really suits this series more, especially for this story. The detail in Acuña's art is also magnificent, as he draws it in a way that has less background, or fabulous backgrounds. The best thing however about Acuña's art is that he does his own inks, and colours, and I feel that this really makes him stand out more as an artist, especially the fact he does his own colours, which are beautiful, giving a nice sleek tone to the series. Despite the way he handled the backgrounds the overall layout of the issue was also brilliant, adding more depth, and drama to the issue, making it feel more alive, and vibrant. Acuña also does a great job with the characters facial expressions, showing the emotions perfectly, and and although the odd expression was a bit weird, it was weird in a good way. The way he handled the action (even if there wasn't much of it) was also brilliant, and really helped to yet again add more drama, and excitement to the issue, and his art overall made the issue much more amazing, as although Remender's writing was brilliant, it's still only half the comic, and if the issue had terrible artwork it would hinder the story.
This issue saw a proper introduction for the Apocalypse Twins, as although we saw them being born in issue 5 it's not quite the same as having them involved in an active role. The way they made their entrance was also brilliant, as with Holocaust going about acting like he's the next Apocalypse, for the real heirs the Apocalypse Twins to enter was amazing, and it really showed a divide, and how power can play over peoples minds, especially ones that are already evil. The only disappointing thing was that I'd have preferred them to have been introduced by Kang, and being used like his adoptive children, as with him taking them away it would have made for the perfect story but this was still good, and I'm sure that Remender will have something up his sleeve when it comes to bringing Kang back into the story, and I'm sure it will be huge, and amazing. I also found it interesting that Uriel also has Thor's axe, Jarnbjorn.
This issue also dealt with the aftermath of issue 5, and Rogue accidentally killing Grim Reaper. The way issue 5 ended was amazing, and very shocking, and with there having been another issue fallen between them it's kept the excitement, and anticipation as to what will happen next, making for brilliant suspense. Anyway, the interaction between the Avengers Unity Squad over this was brilliant, and I loved that there was a divide between the different members with Rogue obviously being upset over Havok's decision, with Thor backing her up, and Scarlet Witch, and Wasp agreeing with Havok. I also liked the small argument between Rogue and Scarlet Witch as it's a subject that's continued between them, and with both characters having a chequered background they're just has bad as each other, making for entertaining arguments.
This issue didn't just show the aftermath of Rogue killing Grim Reaper, as it also dealt with the actions of Thor centuries ago from the last issue, as well as what Wolverine remembering his past with Apocalypse (events from Uncanny X-Force being the most recent). This was nice, as the last issue set a lot of things into motion, showing how things came to be, which was nice, and to see the affect they actually have makes it all the more worthwhile. I especially liked seeing Thor's reaction to this as the events of last issue were brilliant, showing that Thor was in some way to blame for the future doom that would befall, so to see him remember, and react to this was very interesting, and I look forward to seeing more development.
This issue also showed hints of two possible future relationships, which was interesting, and adds more variety to the series. The first tease was a possible future relationship between Scarlet Witch, and Wonder Man, as when Scarlet Witch goes to check on him the two almost kiss. Wasp also was very flirtatious, and suggestive with Havok, which I found more sudden, and although this is interesting, it is slightly random. I do however look forward to any possible developments in this, and hope that they're exciting, and interesting, no matter what happens.
Cap, and Sunfire were at S.W.O.R.D.'s Peak station when they got the news about the Apocalypse Twins, and it made for a very interesting sequence. I won't go into any details in this paragraph as to avoid spoilers (I will however be shedding a bit more light in the next paragraph), but the fact that S.W.O.R.D. was involved alone makes things interesting, and shows that things are serious. I enjoyed seeing S.W.O.R.D. feature through different X-Men series', as well as other's, so to see them feature in this issue was nice, and appropriate considering the circumstances. I also found the fact that Cap, and Sunfire were working with them interesting, as it shows the length that Cap himself wants to go to make the Avengers Unity Squad work.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
I usually try and avoid spoilers, but with what this one actually was, and how it will affect the story it's hard not to, but I thought I'd keep it till last. This issue featured the death of a Celestial, as when the Apocalypse Twins made their appearance Uriel sliced the Celestial with Jarnbjorn, setting terrible things into motion. I always like when Celestials appear in the first place, as like the Watcher it usually means bad things for our hero's, and the death of one really spells bad things. I also liked how this spread into the end of this issue, and look forward to seeing how this develops, as it should be both epic, and interesting.
Although not quite as good as the last issue this was still the next best in the series so far, and shows ton's of promise. It also had some action, although not a lot, and suspenseful actions, and the Apocalypse Twins appear to have danger on their minds, and with Uriel wielding Jarnbjorn things should be interesting. I would highly recommend this, and even if you dropped this series due to the poor start I'd recommend giving it another try, as it's gotten much better, and looks to become even better again.