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 – X-Men Legacy #268 (AVX)

Writer: Christos Gage
Pencils: David Baldeon
Inks: Jordi Tarragona
Colors: Brian Reber
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Mark Brooks
Published by: Marvel Comics

If you haven’t caught the latest AVX this is going to be a bit of a mess as it takes place right after those events. If you are current then lets jump into the fray.

The Phoenix Force has chosen 5 hosts for the moment, the chosen ones moving to remake the world in their personal vision for humanity or living creatures in general. We See a glimpse of the immense power as Cyclops touches down in a war-torn region and slams down authority on a feud running for over a quarter century. In a brief moment he disarms the factions and flexes the might of the Phoenix to all in his path to show ultimate power in the situation, within seconds it’s established that War is outlawed under their watch.

The rest of the comic takes a lighter tone though as Frenzy is the heart of the story along with the trio of Celeste, Irma and Phoebe playing backup to the mission. The 5 hosts are out shaping the world in an instant and the rest of the team has to work around it to make sure all the loose ends are tied up too, it’s just that Frenzy is a bit more vocal about the situation compared to the others especially given the methods they’re using to execute it. We see some of her past conflicts come to light and also see her beliefs in building strength and growing from the environment no matter how bad it is for them.  It’s a unique break in the story that speaks to her rough life domestically and in her own gender and condition, seeing it shine through to others helps break the tension and allow her to rise above to help those impacted similarly.

For anyone hoping to see tons of action from the new X-Men hosts it’s a short-lived run, we get a few pages but the rest largely revolves around Frenzy as she takes on her mission and tries her best to get the heck out of there as fast as she can just from a pure distaste for the war and behavior going on.

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

Review – Avengers vs X-Men #5 (AVX)

Story: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and Jonathan Hickman
Script: Matt Fraction
Pencils: John Romita Jr.
Inks: Scott Hanna
Colors: Laura Martin
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Art: Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor
Variant Cover Art: Ryan Stegman & Marte Gracia
Published by: Marvel Comics

So we’re a bit late to the AVX party on this one but we’ve been following the series so far and wanted to continue at least with some coverage of the latest happenings after that 3 week break that Marvel took.

We’re back on the Moon and Hope is merging with the Phoenix, the Avengers and X-Men are clashing on the moon and it’s about to go down in a bad way. Hope is feeling the limits of this event she’s prepared so hard for and no amount of training and preparation she attempted is providing much help right now. Regardless of this bad situation, everyone is battling out their own personal pursuits on the surface as the apocalypse itself sets in.

Avengers vs X-Men #5 dives into the dilemma that is Hope’s mind, she’s torn on what it is she’s exactly doing anymore, the force is too strong and she has no idea on how to tangle with this cosmic bird trying to overwhelm her. Instead of embracing it like the warrior pictured through all of this lead-in, she’s still the scared girl and now she’s trying to get away.

The issue  is one of the strongest yet, we see a bit of everything in the pages of issue 5 including where this whole story goes once the Phoenix Force and Hope have their difficulty in bonding. Many have had an issue with the Avengers beating down every X-Men member they see but that will not be the case anymore, honestly everyone on the Avengers just died a little inside. Balance issues with Red Hulk dominating everything that gets in his way and so on seem flipped for the next arc.

I’ve been hoping for a brighter side to this story for the X-Men side, I don’t know if that’s exactly what happened in this issue. Some fans will of course be cheering because of the cool new attire and powers but at the same time it could very well mean doomsday is just around the corner for Earth yet again with 5 avatars full of stupid amounts of power. I can say I’m really looking forward to seeing where this whole twist goes in issue #6.

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

Review – Avengers vs X-Men #1: Infinite

Doing this in the wrong order but its worth putting out there for fans on the fence about buying this one. AvX Infinite #1 is actually a digital installment to this new series from Marvel. Focusing on more involved story telling using interactive panels that develop as you click along. Let’s get started on this new adventure into the fresh series of AvX.

Infinite #1  tells us the story of Nova and his race to Earth, for those of you who read Avengers vs X-Men already, a big question did revolve around Nova just appearing at random and spiraling into the planet with no real control. Infinite is a unique chapter to get a feel for what these guys are really up against and the trek that Nova made to alert the planet to the threat coming their way. The Phoenix force is coming and that’s the big worry, but we see how powerful it is and how Nova pushes his very limits to relay the warning. While some might hope for more details around the conflict itself, the story stays largely contained to a safe area so that readers without the means to get Infinite aren’t robbed of crucial pieces of the story.

As a new format the delivery is unique, allowing the author to give pause and direction through the pages of the read so that emphasis can be made as needed. Things that would normally cost valuable page space can now be considered like state of being or drama in the moment. A few scenes used Gaussian blur to show poor vision after impact and even visual attention back to Nova. Being able to go from shock to distress with a click was a pleasing experience as you normally inject those frames in with your own mind or sometimes even miss out on what the context was.

Is AvX Infinite critical to your collection? No, would it have worked as well in print? I have my doubts, needing to arrange the panels in such a way to tell the story in print would have consumed quite a bit of paper and required a price hike in the process for something that would have gotten lost in translation. As a fan though I thought the installment gave just enough information to be worth the investment, after reading the current AvX issues 0 and 1 it was a point that bugged for clarity to me even if it was used for an experimental format. The only flaw I really hit with the book was the final panel, while the rest of the art stands pretty high, Captain America’s face in the last scene is just troubling, a little extra time would have gone a long way on that face.

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

Link: Marvel Comics – Avengers vs. X-Men #1: Infinite

Review – Avengers vs X-Men #0

Writers: Brian Michael Bendis (Scarlet Witch) & Jason Aaron (Hope)
Artist: Frank Cho
Color: Jason Keith
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover: Frank Cho & Jason Keith
Variant Cover: Stephanie Hans
Published by: Marvel Comics

Avengers vs X-Men is here, we’re taking a step back and looking over issue #0 before jumping into our review of issue #1. We get to see all the major players coming into the story including Scarlet Witch and Hope Summers.

Issue #0 opens up to classic trouble on the horizon, M.O.D.O.K. and his crew are on the move but confronted by Scarlet Witch a still troubled ex-Avenger, the battle breaks out with full force and backup soon arrives. Happy reunions are anywhere but in this story, while her close companions want to help her cope with the aftermath and find some salvation in this mess the rest of the team lacks such compassion.

Overall Avengers vs X-Men #0 is a good intro, it’s the calm before the storm and honestly it’s not that calm at all, the tensions are high with the Avengers vs Scarlet witch or more specifically with Vision and her. Hope and the X-Men are riding at high stress levels regarding the future and protecting her from any future threats, given people have traveled through time and space to get her out of the picture it’s understandable for them to be worried about the worst coming true.Conflict doesn’t hit these teams just on a wider team level but all the way to the individual level, Hope graces the pages of issue #0 and her tension with Cyclops also comes through, being caged up for so long isn’t exactly sitting with the one claimed as the mutant messiah and she’s ready to break. All the bad experiences from losing Cable still surround her and she finds that she needs a little more to vent in this world and cope with it all. Unfortunately her version of venting drives a bit more trouble than Cyclops and the X-Men might desire. The rocket pack flying Hope moonlights to pass her frustrations and do some good in the world on her own time outside of the X-Men, it’s a good thrill to see in the book and helps setup her position in what’s coming toward her life.

Artistically it’s a fluid book, the pages are action filled and the page is the canvas, by that I mean even the panel borders can’t contain what’s breaking out in the Marvel universe right now. Color is solid, emotions are well portrayed and gestures are spot on and it all carries itself without going too far into a realm of realism or photo effect as we see alive in other series. It’s a positive shift and it plays well to this being a fantasy universe more than something closer to home. Cho and Keith drive it hope with a full range of color and strong body language.

Release Date: March 28, 2012

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

 

Marvel explains all about AvX in What The–?! Pt. 1

So you were really wondering how Avengers vs X-Men started? Well don’t worry, Marvel has found a creative way using action figures to sum up how this all started up and to hint at the untold damage to come when Captain America impersonates Jean Grey.

I know, it’s a mess, just check out the video and you’ll see. It’s action figure magic combined with hardcore drama.

Curious about Avengers vs X-Men? We have a program guide to help you

AvX is going to shake up Marvel shortly, we were able to put together a guide for the event showcasing top names on both sides and books to watch for. Without wasting any additional time check out the list below and get ready for the battle of the ages as we break down the teams in play for this epic series.

Avengers current team:

  • Red Hulk
  • Captain America
  • Iron Man
  • Luke Cage
  • Spider-Man
  • Black Widow
  • Iron Fist
  • Hawkeye
  • The Thing
  • Spider-Woman
  • Black Panther
  • Dr. Strange

Kickoff issues for Avengers:

  • Avengers #25 | New Avengers #24 | New Avengers #25

X-Men current team / Extinction team:

  • Cyclops
  • Colossus
  • Emma Frost
  • Magneto
  • Hope
  • Magik
  • Storm
  • Danger
  • Namor
  • Psylocke

Kickoff issue for X-Men:

  • Uncanny X-Men #11

Secret Avengers team / First defense:

  • Thor
  • Vision
  • Ms. Marvel
  • War Machine
  • Captain Britain
  • Beast
  • Protector
  • Valkyrie

Kickoff issue for Secret Avengers:

  • Secret Avengers #26

Jean Grey School for Higher Learning:

  • Wolverine
  • Kitty Pride
  • Iceman
  • Rachel Grey
  • Rogue
  • Uncanny X-Force

Kickoff issue for Jean Grey School for Higher Learning:

  • Wolverine & The X-Men #9

Wild card characters

  • Deadpool
  • Cable
  • Hulk
  • Scarlet Witch
  • Nova
  • Quicksilver

From all the preview pages out already from Marvel and Wondercon it’s safe to say this fight will be absolutely epic, Cyclops is digging down for that last fragment that could change the course of mutant kind and the Avengers want to protect the world from the blazes. One has to feel bad for the Secret Avengers being the first line of defense to the Phoenix, with so much power coming their way it’s unlikely they’ll be able to put a strong enough defense against the pure force.

If you really have a lot of time on your hands, Marvel made an additional reading list to get you caught up on everything related to the new arc, all of which are in TPB form so you don’t lose your mind collecting these individually. These are listed in suggested reading order.

  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix Saga
  • Avengers: Disassembled
  • House of M
  • X-Men: Messiah Complex
  • X-Force / Cable: Messiah War
  • X-Men: Second Coming
  • Avengers Vol. 1 (by Brian Michael Bendis)
  • New Avengers Vol. 1 (by Brian Michael Bendis)
  • Uncanny X-Men: The Birth of Generation Hope
  • Avengers: The Children’s Crusade
  • X-Men: Schism
  • Avengers Vs. X-Men: It’s Coming

WTF-MEN

As a long time X-Men fan there is a natural tendency to forgive story lines that might have been unfinished or clumsily concluded. Most often it is simply that a new writer is coming on board and the main plot points need to be tied up. Sometimes this can cause confusion or just a general wtfness. This is a list of some story lines and plots that were either confusing, poorly explained or just plain pervy.

 

 


Ahab was originally supposed to be Cable from the future.

I’m actually not related to Cyclops.

Ahab was introduced in the “Days of the Future Present” crossover between the X-Men, X-Factor, The Fantastic Four and the New Mutants. He was responsible for creating the hounds that tracked down mutants for the Sentinels. His first and most useful hound was Rachel summers. On a side wtf, Rachel is Cyclops and Jean’s daughter from an alternate future. Ahab was just a normal time traveler, not an inter-dimensional one. Not sure how it would be explained that he was cable with that plot hurdle.
The plot got as far as an exchange during a fight between cable and Ahab. During the battle, they are face to face when Ahab asks Cable, “What’s the matter? See someone you know?”

This would have led to a strange reality that meant Cable was destined to be a supremely evil bastard who not only helped the Sentinels track and kill mutants but mentally destroyed his sister to force her into helping him do it by making her the first hound.
It worked out for the best that he become Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor’s son, Nathan and getting infected with the techno-organic virus. This lead to Stryfe and baby Nathan being sent to the future. Plus, X-stories are always better when life is kicking Cyclops in the nuts anyway.

 

Wolverine and Sabretooth are not related!!

What resemblance?

Although the original plan was for a papa Sabretooth and Wolvie Jr story line, it just isn’t so. This was an ongoing plot point for a while. It was later disproved  out right with a blood test done by SHIELD  in Wolverine #42 that found there to be no relation whatsoever. In the X-men origins: Wolverine movie, they are supposed to be brothers or half brothers but the film was more or less a big steamer. So the official story is, no relation.

Speaking of big steamers…

 

Ultimate X-Men

Yup, seriously

 

The idea was interesting at first, it was tough for new readers to be  current on 40 or so years of X-history. A reboot would be a nice way to bring people in.

The main problem is that these new stories bled into the movies. Here is where the wtf starts. First…

Juggernaut is not a mutant!!

In the Ultimate series it seemed like just about everyone was in the weapon X program. You had the usual’s like Wolverine and Sabretooth but also Rogue, Jugs and Night crawler at one time or another. Also, the experiments done to Wolverine are what caused the X gene. Yeah, really.

Everyone remembers how hot Rogue was in the green and yellow. So where did this goth chick  also named Rogue come from? Yup, another ultimate “contribution.” Oh and Wolverine is also Cable. wah wah wah

 

Professor X wanted to bang Jean Grey

Run Marvel Girl!!


 

The idea wasn’t abandoned but thank god it wasn’t every entirely explored! In the monologue the Prof has, he says being the leader of the X-Men and being in the wheelchair are what is holding him back from sharing his feelings.  Well its a shame that only those things are holding him back. Good thing her being a  teenager and him being in his 40’s wasn’t one of his hang ups. She couldn’t have been older than 16 or 17 at the time and it was revealed later that he had actually been tutoring her privately for years prior to her joining the X-Men. Pedo… I mean, Prof X didn’t have to worry about Magneto. He should have been on the lookout for Chris Hansen.

 

 

 

There are many other head scratchers so let us know your favorites below!