Thursday, 2 October 2014

Avengers Vs X-Men Review


Avengers Vs X-Men

When you're showing teeth it's either a
smackdown or a massive overbite... not
sure which one this is...
Writers: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathon Hickman, Matt Fraction, and Jeph Loeb

Artists: Frank Cho, Ed Mcguinness, John Romita Jr., Oliver Coipel and  Adam Kubert.

Collects: Avengers Vs X-Men #0-12 and portions of Point One #1

Background information:

The X-Men have had it tough over the years. In House of M, the mutant population was culled to only 200 and the X-Men became desperate survivors. They saw a glimmer of hope (no pun intended) in Second Coming, where a possible messiah emerged in the form of Hope Summers, and separated in Wolverine’s and Cyclops’ X-Men in Schism.

So now we have a situation where Wolverine is trying to raise X-Men who are ready to live in the world, and Cyclops is preparing for war.

This should be interesting.

Oh, there are Avengers in this book too.

Review:

Dear readers;

Please stop liking X-Men as we no longer have the movie rights to them. Like The Avengers instead. Look, here they are fighting the X-Men and they’re totally going to win because they make us more money they’re the better heroes.

Sincerely,

Marvel.


"Sorry, I can't. You're burning my face off with space-bird fire."
At the end of the day, Marvel might as well have done this. Don’t get me wrong, Avengers Vs X-Men is still good to read, but the very explicit agenda behind the book (that I already raved about in my last RealRelevance article) hurts what is otherwise very entertaining.

Okay, so the phoenix force has come to Earth and now the Avengers and the X-Men have to fight. That’s basically the plot. Sure, there are machinations and motives that add volume to the story, but that’s basically it.

It’s not a deep story by any means. As Noel Thorne, a blogger that I’ve come to respect has said (albeit about another book) "I know my brain was eating junk but sometimes a Whopper is just what you want!" And that’s pretty much the way you can sum up the plot here. There are some great interactions between characters; Hope Summer and Scarlet Witch are stand-out great ones, and Professor X was done well as the attempted voice of reason to a militant Cyclops. The rest of the characters, though, are same-old-same-old.

And pretty bland.

Captain America has pretty much no personality in this book. Spidey is fun, but no more than Spidey normally is. Wolverine is very… stabby. Cyclops is a twit. Emma dresses like she has a second job during the nights, and that’s her entire personality. Namor is very angry. Colossus and Magik… actually, who cares. And Iron Man uses smarty-smart talk. It’s not bad by any means, but none of these characters really develop beyond Scarlet With and Hope, and we get a lot of everyone else.

Thankfully, you don’t read event comics for character development (excluding Civil War, which I really loved). You read them for action and world-changing moments. Thankfully, Avengers Vs. X-Men delivers in that area. The action is plentiful and the results of this event changes a lot in the Marvel universe in preparation for Marvel NOW!


Why is there no Hawkeye initiative for Emma Frost's new costume?
EDIT: My mistake, there is one.
If you’re a new reader; consider yourself warned: the only reason you will want to read this book is to give context to the X-Men NOW! book you’re currently reading. Understanding what’s going on here requires knowledge of a LOT of X-history. Thankfully, you don’t need to know much about Avengers, but consider yourself warned.

Art here is done by a number of artists that somehow manage to all look the same. That would be bad if there were multiple titles that I was reviewing, but here, it helps the book to feel coherent. It looks like standard comic art, but that’s fine, because what these artists draw tends to be more impressive than how they draw it.

At the end of the day, though, it’s hard to get over that feeling that there’s a marketing agenda here. Marvel loves the Avengers now more than it ever has, and those that aren’t keen need to get used to it. Thankfully, Avengers Vs X-Men is a fun marketing ploy even if it is nothing more than that. It gets three out of five movie rights.

***

+ Hope and Scarlet Witch are great

+ It’s junk, but enjoyable junk.

+ Does what an event comic is meant to do.

-  Not-Scarlet Witch and Not-Hope are bland and all-too frequent.

- DO NOT BUY THIS AS YOUR FIRST COMIC! I CANNOT STRESS HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS.

Alternate Option: Any Avengers or X-Men Volume 1 in Marvel NOW!

Event comics aren’t meant to be jumping-on points. That what first issues are for (and hey, Marvel does heaps of those).