Sunday, May 13, 2012

Quick Reviews: Avengers vs X-Men

New Avengers #25 by Brian Michael Bendis & Mike Deodato
Hundreds of years ago, The Master Yu Ti foresaw a redheaded girl who would wield the power of the Phoenix. He locates the redhead from his dreams and decides that she will be K’un Lun’s next Iron Fist.

GOOD: K’un Lun isn’t a corner of the Marvel Universe I get to visit much.

BAD: It’s part of an attempt to tie the Iron Fist to the Phoenix force. I have two problems: 1) if Danny was connected, where was he the last 20 times the Phoenix force wreaked havoc on the Earth and 2) if you repeatedly fight an omnipotent cosmic being that rarely kills anyone, how serious am I supposed to take the threat? Phoenix only seems to decimate inhabited worlds we’ve never heard of.

VERDICT: Another useless tweak to continuity that only muddles the mythology.

Avengers vs X-Men #1-3 by Ed Brubaker & John Romita Jr.
The Phoenix force is coming and the Avengers and the X-Men agree that it’s coming for Hope. But they disagree on each other’s course of action. Cyclops wants to see what happens while the Avengers want to keep the Phoenix away from Hope. So of course they’re going to throw down to see who gets their way.

GOOD: Nice to see dissenting opinions on each team and conversations like Iron Man asking Cap if taking down the X-Men is the right move.

BAD: It’s tough to buy the premise since the Phoenix force isn’t new to the Marvel Universe. If this was the first time it had been to Earth, I would agree with both teams and understand why they’re overreacting. Instead of the Avengers forming a plan, they should have gone to offer support to the X-Men. Even if they win and get Hope, they’re exhausting themselves and their resources (especially if one of them gets injured) and they’ll need all the help they can get if the Phoenix force tries to destroy the world. Also, I don’t like the drama with Wolverine and Cap kicking him off a Quinjet. It doesn’t make sense that, with the resident experts on the Phoenix force in the wind, you would willingly lose one of the last experts you had access to (he still has Beast).

VERDICT: It’s a crossover for no other reason than to have one. It doesn’t add to the mythology and pours another layer of crazy to the relationships of these characters that will be glossed over when a writer wants Iron Man to team up with the X-Men or the X-Men to appear in Captain America. I don’t know how it will end but here’s an early prediction – the Phoenix force will come, it will inhabit Hope, the Earth will be safe, and the Avengers and X-Men will shake hands and go their separate ways. Not interested. The first three were enough for me. I didn’t read Schism and I’m not reading this either. I’m still into Ultimate X-Men and Astonishing X-Men though.

VS: The Avengers vs The X-Men #1 by Kathryn & Stuart Immonen, Jason Aaron & Adam Kubert
This limited series goes deeper into the fights you don’t get to see in the main Avengers vs X-Men issues. In this issue, Iron Man battles Magneto and Thing goes toe-to-fin with Namor.

GOOD: Iron Man vs Magneto was a really interesting read. Even though Tony came prepared to handle Magneto, Magneto still has a lot of surprises up his sleeve. It was a good fight and, considering Tony came prepared, it ended how it should have.

BAD: Thing vs Namor? Seriously? We needed a deeper view into a battle that has been fought over and over again over the last 50 years? I can’t think of two older enemies or a more uninteresting fight. It would have been awesome to see Magik take Strange out on her turf but we got Thing vs Namor instead. Oh, and some of the “AvX Fun Facts” were informative but the ones meant to be funny undercut how grave the battles were supposed to be in light of what was at stake.

VERDICT: It’s an okay attempt at a tie-in mini that’s not another boring ‘Frontline’ mini. Some of the fights could be really fun but considering this issue, I would expect a 50/50 chance of enjoying one of the stories in each issue.

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