Review – Uncanny X-Men #18 (AVX)

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Ron Garney
Colors: Jason Keith & Morry Hollowell
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Art: Ron Garney & Matt Milla
Published by: Marvel Comics

Heads up, if you haven’t read AVX #11 this is going to be a massive spoiler situation. That said, I warned you guys.

Kate Kiloare of Superhuman P.R. fame stands alone, everything shattered, broken and wrecked. Standing at the highest point of the escalation and doing damage control to the human population to explain the insane situations revolving around the Earth and Utopia she now looks at shattered remains. This really helps setup where this has all been going, promise of a new life, a new world, peace and prosperity and yet all that’s really here is war and hell and a massive floating island that looks majestic.

You can’t spin a positive twist on the Phoenix losing its last restraints and going supernova. Try as one might this is heavy. We see final encounters between the Phoenix Duo and key mutants but given the control imbalance there’s going to be a lot of resistance no matter who talks to them. We also see some fallout with Colossus and Magik, unfortunately for Colossus his desire to protect and save Magik has bitten him in the rear. This whole arc with Cyttorak explodes in his face and she reveals her being condemned in the past was likely one of those moves that shouldn’t have been turned over. Unfortunately with no one around and all eyes on the Phoenix she’s unchecked for now.

The madness continues back to AVX #11 influenced panels and we have a look inside the elegance of chaos, the two Phoenix force combatants locked in their own minds as they slug it out and blast their way through a united front. The tension growing, the frustrations developing and then… it comes.

For those hoping to see a really solid side issue to compliment the ongoing AVX story, Uncanny X-Men 18 is a solid bet. It details the attempts for a resolution, the inner thinking before the final tide changes and how Colossus just got screwed out of his mind. Hat’s off to Gillen and Garney for that intense moment, it was probably one of the biggest punches in the issue.

Release date: September 12, 2012

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Avengers vs X-Men #11 (AVX)

Story: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and Jonathan Hickman
Script: Brian Bendis
Pencils: Oliver Coipel
Inks: Mark Morales
Colors: Laura Martin
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Art: Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor
Variant Cover: Sara Pichelli & Justin Ponsor
Published by: Marvel Comics

We’re back and I don’t even know where to start, after a 4 week break Marvel comes back with AVX #11 and it’s massive. The force is down to just two hosts and the battle is on to try to tame and control the Phoenix. Unfortunately this is coming toward the end of the series and all the stops have to come out, we have X-Men and Avengers reaching out not just to those hurt but to everyone that ever wanted to protect the planet.

The battle from that point reaches critical mass in a hurry, Scott and Emma are on the verge of insanity as the Phoenix force penetrates their minds and drives their darkest wishes to the surface, tempting fate and the future of the world with every moment. It’s not a good time for visitors when stuff like that goes down and yet Xavier manages to call him out for a chat, unfortunately by chat he meant WWIII for the fate of the universe.

It’s an interesting issue, I love the Avengers speech in the first few pages because it feels like a moment where they’ve come to face reality beyond this is for America or humans or whatever. It’s all or nothing and nothing is looking pretty buffed out right about now, they need all the power and hands they can get on this ship and it’s not going to be an easy ride at all. The Avengers are assembled and the X-Men are finally back as a squad again and they’ve put this lucid dream of a world Utopia to rest in favor of living to see tomorrow.

Xavier is charged beyond belief and so are the others, it’s a showdown that will change everything in their world and as we all know, sacrifices have to be made when the Phoenix is around. The only question is, will they be able to live with what happens if this all manages to cool off, given the extremes I really don’t see this just being a slap on the wrist and a hug to make it all better. Expect serious mental trauma when the story closes up soon.

Release date: September 12, 2012

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Batman #0 (New 52)

Writer: Scott Snyder
Pencils: Greg Capullo
Inks: Jonathan Galpon
Colors: FCO Plascencia
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Cover: Greg Capullo & FCO Plascencia
Variant Cover: Andy Clarke & FCO Plascencia
Published by: DC Comics

Leaping back in time from issue #12 we have issue #0 of Batman. Will the origins of Bruce be told? Will we relive his past training and frustrations? No. Not really, this is a comic book after all and not a massive graphic novel where they have that kind of page allowance. We see a young Bruce return to the streets where his life was changed forever.

Instead of a dark emotional tale of flashbacks we get something different, a young rich man in the slums working to infiltrate and break down the infestation that haunts it. He is Bruce Wayne and he’s not exactly prepared for the utter mess he’s about to unleash, he gets shot at, punched around chased and he fumbles ┬álike a newbie. But the important part is, he’s the newbie the city needs and he has the determination and massive fists of cash to make this work.

Issue 0 is a bit embarrassing for Bruce but it’s a genuine tale and honestly it helps place some history in this new beginning for Batman. We see classic figures like Gordon and we see the roots of the Bat family start to plant themselves throughout Gotham without feeling like a forced story of the group. He’s daring and eager and attempting to push himself to be as above the cut as possible so no one gets the drop on him, he’s not exactly Batman yet but he’s sure working to get there fast.

For those who thought 12 was too much of a deviation, 0 makes up for that greatly and it doesn’t just leap back into the Owl’s to put in quick story. It’s a human look at a man who wants to change things and will stop at nothing to do it.

Release date: September 12, 2012

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆