A PERSONAL COMICS MILESTONE
So, this last week, I reached an epic moment in my comic book collecting.
If you know a little about me then you know that I've been collecting comics for about 30 years and one of the abiding books that I've always collected has been The Avengers.
Well, last week I bought Uncanny Avengers #17 and the milestone that this comic represents is that: this will be the last single issue comic I ever buy and collect. That's right, I'm out of the single issue buying business. I will no longer buy single issues of any comic ever again. Why? you may ask.
The simple fact is that single issues have become to costly for what they deliver. Which is too say that single issues just don't have much content anymore and it takes 10 issues to tell a story that in the old days they could have told in 3 issues.
Of course, the reason for this is that the comic book business is now geared toward selling collected trade paperbacks and the individual issues have suffered as a result. Therefore, I'm going to follow the business template and stop buying individual issues and start only collecting trades.
And it is fitting that this issue of Uncanny Avengers is the last single issue I will ever collect because of what happens in this issue.
If you are not familiar with Uncanny Avengers, here is a brief recap of where the title comes from.
First off, there is still the main Avengers comic which comes from... uh... nowhere. And fits into Marvel chronology... uh... nowhere.
But, Uncanny Avengers grew right out of the events of Avengers vs. X-Men which was a huge story from 2012 in which the Phoenix Force returned to Earth, the X-Men and Avengers were on opposite sides as to what the Phoenix Force was going to do, it was eventually hijacked by Cyclops, who then killed Prof X who was trying to stop him, and then he in turn was stopped by the Scarlet Witch and Hope (the intended host of the Phoenix Force, and this all ties in with House of M and all the X-Men Messiah stories of the previous 3 years).
Out of all this, Captain America gets together with Cyclops' (who has now been imprisoned) brother Havok and they decide to create the Avengers Unity Squad aka The Uncanny Avengers comprised of one of the best lineups of Avengers and X-Men that I've ever seen or dreamt of.
On the team is team leader Havok, Captain America, Wasp, Thor, Scarlet Witch, Wonder Man, Wolverine, Rogue, and Sunfire. It is a powerful lineup and a great team with all kinds of relationships and drama such as the fact that Rogue hates Scarlet Witch for all the damage she did to mutantkind at the end of House of M (No More Mutants!).
Now we fast forward to issue #17 which is the end of The Apocalypse Twins storyline that has been going on for the last 10 issues or so (see I told you about the content of these books). And...
In this book, Cap is killed by the Horsemen of Death, Grim Reaper (who, of course, is Wonder Man's brother and who has killed Rogue in an earlier issue right as she had just stabbed Scarlet Witch with absorbed Wolverine bone-claws, Scarlet Witch, however, lives just long enough to absorb all of Wonder Man's energy (so he's gone) and cast a spell which transports all of Earth's mutants to a space ark that the Apocalypse Twins (who are the grown children of Archangel (who Wolverine killed in X-Men because he had gone insane) have and transport them away from Earth because... ), a Celestial shows up to judge the Earth (summoned by The Apocalypse Twins) and then he DESTROYS THE EARTH!!! Everyone dies (except for the escaping mutants in the space ark and Thor who escapes through a portal to the Asgard dimension).
What an issue and, as it turns out, what a way to conclude my single issue comic collecting with my favorite hero, Captain America killed, the Avengers failing to save the day, and the Earth destroyed (as The Watcher watches it all unfold with a sad expression on his face). Powerful stuff. A true milestone in Marvel comics and my collecting of those comics.