The Uncanny Avengers #9 kicks off a new arc, The Man Who Fell To Earth, with Gambit in the basement of an art auction house, ready to pull off a heist. His plans are interrupted by a surprise visit from Rogue, who confronts Gambit to confirm her suspicion that he wasn’t actually in Bagalia. It was Red Skull, using the power of Professor X’s harvested brain to disguise himself as Gambit.
After intentionally setting off the security alarm and exposing Gambit, Rogue gets an emergency call from Captain America, alerting her to a priority alarm from low orbit Earth. A space shuttle has hit debris on re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere and the astronauts are in danger burning up.
Rogue races to intercept the capsule, but finds she’s too late to help. The astronauts have already been saved. Hank Pym has returned, wearing Ultron like a suit. Hank claims to have seized control of his creation, but Rogue and the other Avengers are understandably suspicious.
Writer Gerry Duggan teased that there will be a leadership crisis in this new arc. Steve Rogers is back in the field after being restored to his youth and vitality, Cable is used to getting his own way, and Rogue has been acting as de facto leader in Rogers’ absence. Now, mix in an arrogant founding member of the Avengers, who may or may not be under the control of the supervillain robot he created, and we have a potentially explosive dynamic.
I found myself thoroughly entertained by this chapter, especially the attention paid to small details in both the storytelling and artwork. I’m not completely sold on the shape of Cap’s new shield, though. That’ll take some getting used to.
Review by Brendan Allen