Comic Book Review – Hail Hydra! and Avengers: Rage of Ultron

Hail Hydra! (2015)
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Roland Boschi

Avengers: Rage of Ultron (2015)
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Jerome Opena

The Marvel Universe has collapsed at the hands of Doctor Doom and been reconstructed as Battleworld. This mosaic planet features alternate pasts, presents, and futures. One such region is Manhattan if Hydra and the Nazis had won World War II. Captain America is a symbol of fascism, and Arnim Zola rules over all in his most expansive consciousness to date. The presumed dead Nomad finds himself alive in this bizarre reality thanks to SHIELD’s Infinite Elevator. He’s faced with his duplicate in this world as well as a Steve Rogers who never raised him. Once Secret Wars is resolved, a new Avengers team is formed and find themselves reliving the sins of Hank Pym’s past. Ultron returns from deep space and wants to punish his “father” in profound and horrific ways. The conclusion of this story will change the lives of Pym and Ultron forever.

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Comic Book Review: All-New Captain America Volume 1 & Uncanny Avengers 2 Volume 1

All-New Captain America: Hydra Ascendant (2015)
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Stuart Immonen

Uncanny Avengers: Counter-Evolutionary (2015)
Written by Rick Remender (with Gerry Duggan)
Art by Daniel Acuna

Sam Wilson is Captain America. And he has teamed with the new Nomad to take down a resurgence of Hydra. This involves facing down EVERY rogue in Cap’s gallery, from Batroc to Armadillo to Baron Zemo to Baron Blood. Over the course of this all-out assault, Sam learns of a Hydra conspiracy that has infected every superhero team on Earth. The Uncanny Avengers have reformed, adding Sabretooth, The Vision, and Brother Voodoo to their ranks. Their first mission is to travel to the bizarre Counter-Earth. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver have gone there to uncover their roots after learning the truth about their parentage during the events of AXIS. The team is fractured and is forced to face the near god-like power of the demented High Evolutionary.

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Comic Book Review – Uncanny Avengers: AXIS Prelude & Avengers/X-Men: AXIS

Uncanny Avengers: AXIS Prelude (2015)
Written by Rick Remender (with Cullen Bunn)
Art by Sanford Greene, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Javier Fernandez, Salvador Larroca, Daniel Acuna, and Paul Renaud

Avengers – X-Men: AXIS (2015)
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Adam Kubert, Leinil Francis Yu, Terry Dodson, and Jim Cheung

The Red Skull has been building his internment camps on the ruins of Genosha, once a mutant paradise. He plans to use the power of the deceased Professor X’s brain to turn man and mutantkind against each other. Havok, Scarlet Witch, and Rogue, the last remnants of the fallen Avengers Unity Squad have journeyed across the world to Genosha to stop the villain. Magneto has also made his way to the devastated island to settle his grudge as both a mutant and Holocaust survivor, remembering the Red Skull from the camp where he was a prisoner. The scope of the battle grows until Red Skull unleashes a deeper, darker power within Xavier’s mind and the heroes of Earth gather on Genosha to stop him.

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Comic Book Review – Captain America Volumes 4 & 5

Captain America Volume 4: The Iron Nail (2014)
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Nic Klein & Pascal Alixe
Captain America Volume 5: The Tomorrow Soldier (2015)
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Carlos Pacheco

The Iron Nail has toppled SHIELD and unleashed the secrets of Weapon Minus. More specifically he’s let loose the trippy Doctor Mindbubble. Steve Rogers must face the allure of a fantasy whipped up by the manipulative villain while learning that SHIELD abused the secret soldier serum for decades. Meanwhile, Jet Black newly arrived in the Marvel Universe is adjusting to life as a superhero, fighting the instincts implanted inside her by Arnim Zola. She is targeted by Red Skull who wants to use her as one of his S-Men (as seen in Uncanny Avengers). Little does everyone know, Zola still preparing to invade from Dimension Z and does just that in the concluding volume of Remender’s Steve Rogers run.

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Comic Book Review – Winter Soldier: The Bitter March & Captain America: Loose Nuke

Winter Soldier: The Bitter March (2014)
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Roland Boschi

Captain America Volume 3: Loose Nuke(2014)
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Carlos Pacheco

It’s 1966, and the Cold War is at its zenith. Europe has become a labyrinth of spies and counter-spies, agents and double agents. SHIELD Agent Ran Shen has been sent to intercept a pair of former Nazi scientists before the Soviets can get them in their clutches. This means Agent Shen is put up against The Winter Soldier, the presumed dead partner of Captain America Bucky who has been turned into a mindless assassin by the Russians. Hydra becomes involved, acting as the stand-in for Spectre in this James Bond homage. The Hydra killer Drain is dispatched to lead a squad of hitmen to take out Shen and Bucky while bringing the Nazi scientists into their fold.

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Comic Book Review – Captain America: Castaway in Dimension Z

Captain America Volume 1: Castaway in Dimension Z Book One (2014)
Captain America Volume 2: Castaway in Dimension Z Book Two (2014)

Written by Rick Remender
Art by John Romita, Jr.

Captain America is pulled into a pocket universe where his nemesis Arnim Zola is genetically engineering an army with plans to conquer the Earth. Cap discovers Zola has created two children, Ian and Jet and after a scuffle in the villain’s tower, Cap and Ian end up cast out into the inhospitable wilderness of Dimension. Rick Remender pens a truly epic Captain America tale that spans twelve years and puts the hero in the shoes of being a father. Flashbacks to Steve Rogers’ childhood with an alcoholic father and ailing mother are paralleled with his struggles to adhere to his beliefs in the face of seeming oblivion. He must fight to instill a sense of goodness in young Ian who was being bred as a killer by Zola, trying to prove not only that he can save this young boy but that he can also save himself.

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Comic Book Review – Uncanny Avengers Volumes 3 & 4

Uncanny Avengers Volume 4: Ragnarok Now
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Steve McNiven, Salvador Larocca, and Daniel Acuna
Uncanny Avengers Volume 5: Avenge the Earth
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Daniel Acuna

The Apocalypse Twins hold Earth in a massive crisis. They have slaughtered a Celestial using a weapon Thor was tricked into forging centuries earlier. They have resurrected fallen heroes and villains to create their Horsemen of Death. They are holding Scarlet Witch hostage to use in their effort to destroy the Earth and create a new world for mutantkind. Havok, the brother of the mutant terrorist Cyclops, uses his role as team leader to try and redeem the family name as well as stop the impending end of the world. Kang the Conqueror, the man who shaped the Apocalypse Twins into the beings of evil they became, is now a target of their wrath and uses his time travel abilities to visit and recruit various figures from possible futures.

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