Review – Avengers vs X-Men #7 (AVX)

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

Scarlet Witch enters the field and the Phoenix Force powered X-Men are brought to a shift in focus in their battle to put down the Avengers. Those thought to be untouchable were suddenly shocked to find her hex powers were able to deflect them and also injure them. The mission is clear now, get Hope back and contain the Scarlet Witch so they can continue the seizure and closure of the Avengers projects and team.

The issue progresses like a whirlwind, both sides locked in tension to try to establish an upper hand, unfortunately for the Avengers they only have one tool on hand and limited resources to counter the Phoenix Force power. It’s an ugly battle and we see one major ally to the Avengers get BBQ’d during the assault that sends everyone into a massive motivational pitfall. This isn’t to say the Avengers are outclassed but they have done so much over so little time to really bring about no mercy at all from this revolution.

Overall the authors and artists deliver an emotional issue in AVX #7, is Wanda really ready for what Stark and company plan to ask of her in this battle? From the current standing it seems like she’s really out of her element and acting simply on desperation to do something during this turbulence. Expect this story to actually cross over to last weeks issue of New Avengers #28 as well, actually to that entire back story around the Iron Fist and also that little thing of ALL OUT WAR. Because someone is very angry on the Phoenix side and it’s going to get ugly in issue #8.

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

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 – The Avengers #26 (AvX)

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Walter Simonson
Inks: Scott Hanna
Colors: Jason Keith
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
Published by: Marvel Comics

Time for a flashback and flash forward through the AvX universe, Avengers 26 attempts to elaborate on what has been going on in the series so far and it attempts to make some sense of the slaughter from Secret Avengers that we saw a few weeks ago. For those who followed that story, this might not make a lot of sense but it’s something that happens when you attempt to retell what’s already long inscribed into the story.

Captain America needs some heroes that can put it all on the line in a suicide mission, the Earth is in danger and they need to contain or stop the Phoenix if at all possible. He picks a select group of heroes for that task and sends them into the great beyond hoping for the best even though the worst seems inevitable no matter who goes up there. Everyone has a moment to say goodbye and we see some personal struggles to highlight the moment itself, it’s a hard reality that none of them could come back to the planet after this battle.

The story jumps forward to their conflict and dances through the struggle and drama of the battle, in this we see some slight story alterations a massive spoiler skip and a continuation of the battle into a new area that was lost from Secret Avengers, new hope is found from the team and things look incredibly positive until some of the deeper seeded prequel stories start coming into play. As a galactic superpower, everyone wants control of the Phoenix and even the tightest friendships or alliances can’t stop those desires from coming full circle. Betrayal strikes and the team is torn over the moves that come next. Hopefully this extended arc gets more elaboration though, it still fails to connect to AvX #4 directly and it leaves out a huge twist from Secret Avengers #26.

As a retelling, it’s okay and it’s a bit awkward in how it jumps around the existing story that was written, it’s hard to write over what was already said and established in a story. The new twist doesn’t even connect to the existing AvX arc which makes matters worse as we’re left to guess where all these pieces are coming into play and if we’re going to start moving to future stories ahead of the main arc in the same week. In the art area the treatment of many characters is a bit… poor, I look at Thor and Ms. Marvel and even Captain America and wonder what on Earth happened to their faces as the book takes off. The consistency changes somewhat through the rest of the issue but it’s just a hard hit to see characters morphed out as they are.

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

Review – Avengers vs X-Men #2 – Round 2

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

Avengers vs X-Men #1 left off with Cyclops blasting Captain America for wanting to take Hope Summers from the X-Men, as an estimated target for the Phoenix to reside in they’re out to make sure the Earth isn’t destroyed by the force. Given their approach in a giant flying battle ship though and loading up with their full team it was reasonable to expect a negative reaction to this attempt. With both sides gearing up for battle it’s going to get nasty really fast.

Issue 2 takes us into the heart of the battle, the stage has been set and Iron Man calls the Avengers into action as the X-Men brace for impact on their island. Taking Hope out of their hands is not an option and the team will do what it takes to protect her and potentially the future of their kind from being wiped out by outsiders in this new showdown. It’s an epic battle in the pages that follow, marriages torn apart, old friendships smashed and bodies and bones fractured all over in a super battle for the planet or Hope, it gets confusing.

The final pages of AvX #2 leave a lot of worry on the minds of the reader, as the Phoenix Force closes in Hope becomes more and more unstable, with the conflict right at her doorstep she moves from a reserved state into the forefront. She’s the biggest gun the mutant world has and she’s not going to sit idle anymore while those she knows take beatings or risk their lives for her. She knows what she has to do, and no one is going to get in the way of it once she embraces the power and puts it into action, something Logan should have thought about before picking the side he did.

Avengers vs X-Men #2 is a blast of story not just in narrative but in dialogue as well, we get a taste of what everyone is going through in this battle and that in the moment of action everyone is forced to pick a side and stand firm with it. It wasn’t the prettiest start but the line was drawn and everyone owns their decisions even if the thoughts race their minds with some doubt. The art team helps supplement this by adding extra emotion and energy to each panel, the characters showing signs of distress and frustration and pain as they slug it out across the beach. Even Iron Man in his shell shows that he’s not beyond a gesture of struggle or trauma, when Emma slams her diamond fist into his gut he’s completely lifeless for a moment. It’s an evolution from the original issues and it looks to build strong momentum as we head into the next round.

Check out the preview pages below and the cover art for more goodies on this issue.

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

Review – The Avengers #25 (AvX)

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Walter Simonson
Inks: Scott Hanna
Colors: Jason Keith
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Daniel Acuna
Published by: Marvel Comics

Avengers vs X-Men spills into the pages of The Avengers #25, the fight is on and then we shoot back into the memories of Captain America. Unfortunately yes, we’re in another back story sandwiched between minutes of the fight breaking out. This isn’t to say it’s irrelevant in the story though, in fact it’s a chunk of a huge story panning out for the arc . We’re given a glimpse at Captain America in this struggle, it’s not one he’s all that accustomed to though, he faces issues of public perception and doubts in his own mind about his ability to deliver. No one ever said being the face of a super hero group would be easy though, even his allies remind him of that as he wishes for that one move to put them back in the good grace of the public.

Issue 25 takes us into the heart of Cap’s doubts and desires to deliver a win for the people, with the help of his fellow Avengers and a streak of luck delivered by Noh-Varr they take on a piece of the puzzle that delivered such a heavy blow to the image of the Avengers. With swift action and coordination Captain America is able to relive the good moments of this job, tackling A.I.M. and renewing faith in his team to protect the world in a way they only can. It’s a deep side story that really drives off from the Phoenix issue at hand, that is until the end of the issue and then you find out yet another interest rests under the surface of this conflict. Who else in the Avengers will develop a new agenda as they come to this fight and how will it spiral out for the team?

For those hoping to see a dramatic battle in Avengers 25, you’ll get one but it will not center around the X-Men, instead the focus shifts over to A.I.M. and it’s an important step to introduce a greater issue at hand. It’s a shame to see so much back peddling but understandable given where this story is directing itself, what was originally a battle to save the Earth from the Phoenix force is now developing into a galaxy wide battle to control it. We’ll have to see how well they can keep it together when they start to wonder who they can really trust.

Outside of the story, the rest of the issue is a good read, although I still struggle to see why Thor came off so odd, his face almost too flat to imagine as he flew in to lend a hand to Captain America. So much of the book went fine minus that moment and it was so large of an exposure that seemed to never repeat itself after the fact.

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

Avengers vs X-Men #0 sells out, second printing on the way

Marvel certainly has their hands full with AvX, the company announced that they’ve run out of copies of #0 to Diamond but there will likely be retail chains still holding onto a small pool of them still. As a result Marvel is going back into printing and putting out a new variant second edition to help cater to fans eager to catch how this new saga is going to kick off. Given the issue helps elaborate on The Scarlet Witch and Hope Summers leading into this it’s no surprise that everyone is grabbing it.

Frank Cho is heading up the cover for the second print variant, hopefully this one lasts a little longer than a day otherwise Marvel will really be in trouble with the fans. Honestly while I like the current issue 0 cover I really want that variant because it looks awesome. This is going to be a hard series to follow if the art keeps to this level of temptation in each issue. Check out the full size image to the right for a better look.

Link: Marvel News

Avengers Vs. X-Men #2 preview pages arrive

Avengers Vs. X-Men is going full throttle and we already have a teaser of the pages coming at you next month for AvX #2. The universe rests in the balance with some of the highest stakes yet, the Phoenix force is heading at full speed toward the Earth and it can only get uglier as The Avengers storm the beach of Utopia taking no compromise.

As a sweet bonus, those who buy the series will also get a digital copy on the Marvel Comics app as a bonus to it all. Exclusive behind the scenes information and AR support will allow fans to experience the story in new ways.

Link: Marvel News

First looks: Avengers #25 and Wolverine & The X-Men #9

Marvel has two new treats leading into the epic battle of AvX we have the images for both books and are laying the out below.

Wolverine & The X-Men #9

Captain America arrives to the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning to motivate Wolverine to take to the front lines with the Avengers. It’s not an easy decision and it’s one that will set the stage for the upcoming battle if he does go against his own roots or will he go with Cap and send waves of debate through the air? We’ll have to read to find out and watch it all unfold with just a week left until April hits and AvX kicks off in full force.

Link: Marvel News

   

Avengers #25

Avengers assemble! The impending danger of the Phoenix Force is getting closer, the possible doom has led the Avengers to suit up and rise to action to save the Earth. The problem is which will rise and which will fall split, Captain America is working to bring the group into battle but we’ll have to see where it all goes from here.  The preview pages at least tease a little about all this tension before the big debut next month.

Link: Marvel News