COMICS: Avengers VS X-Men #1 Review
The over-sized event of 2012 is finally, after months of anticipation and an issue #0, upon us.
Avengers vs X-men "officially" kicks off this week with its first issue, which super-team will come out on top?
The first issue of Avengers vs X-men is mostly set-up, which is to be expected in most of these giant events. The issue actually moves much faster than I expected it to, with a big superhero brawl already set-up for issue two. The issue consists of the Avengers encountering Nova, Cyclops training Hope, and then the two sides meeting to talk about how to handle the coming of the Phoenix.
The Avengers encounter with Nova is a very entertaining segment, with the Avengers having to prevent any disasters that Nova's crash landing may have caused, but I can't help but feel that this portion could have been used to further the plot. There were six pages dedicated to the Avengers stopping a plane crash and such. I didn't really think an entire six pages was really necessary and they could have been put to better use building up tension for the coming conflict.
Scott's training with Hope also took up a large portion of the issue. The scene is okay, but I have a few gripes with it. I find it hard to believe that the training Hope needs to face the Phoenix is combat training. I expected something a little more zen, or something to do with self-control, not just Cyclops beating the crap out of her. Cyclops characterization is another point of contention in this issue. While I do understand where he's coming from and he doesn't act particularly out of character, he certainly seems to be put in a bad light. I find it hard to believe he would be so quick to act violently, and I'm worried this book might go down the path of Civil War, wherein one character was clearly the antagonist. Hopefully the series can handle him more delicately in the coming issues.
The art is something of a mixed bag. John Romita Jr's art has been going downhill for a long time, and this issue isn't exactly beautiful. I wouldn't say its distractingly bad, but a couple of characters look off, and I noticed a few lazy-eyes here and there. His handling of the action scenes are good though, and he draws the Phoenix with the proper awe and beautiful terror.
One more major complaint I have with this issue is not the fault of the issue itself, so I won't take off points for it. The best parts of the issue were the parts that were already included in the preview that could be seen in the back of many already released Marvel books. The scenes that made up the preview are the meat of this issue, and I'd already read them. It made the book seem to go by quicker than expected and was certainly annoying. Hopefully you just hadn't read them before buying this issue.
Overall, AVX is par for the course. It sets up an interesting premise for a story and delivers about what I expected; not more and not less. A couple things are handled poorly, but its not a bad read. I'm glad this is coming out biweekly, because it would be disappointing to have to wait four weeks after an underwhelming first chapter.
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