COMICS: Avengers vs X-men #2 Review
The Avengers and the X-men throw down on Utopia...
Avengers vs X-men #2 begins the actual battle between the Avengers and the X-men. There's a lot of action, but is there enough character development and plot behind it to make readers care?
This issue consists almost entirely of the first battle between the two teams on the beach of Utopia. The two sides clash and then Hope begins to channel some Phoenix powers as the issue ends. That's pretty much the entire issue.
I wanted to love this issue, I really did, and tried and tried to make excuses for it after reading it...but the fact remains that this issue just didn't do it for me. I know plenty of people are probably going to suggest that an issue with this much action should be taken lightly, but action isn't an excuse to produce a poor issue. There are definitely some cool parts in this issue (Colossus bringing down the helicarrier and Cap ordering the Avengers to "Take the beach" were some high points) but they don't make up for what is overall a sub-par issue.
It seems like every event has action-packed brawl issues; Civil War #7 or #3 or World War Hulk or Secret Invasion #6, and this issue seems a lot lower in quality than those books. The stakes don't seem as high (even though they should feel even higher) and the battles don't seem as epic.
I think John Romita Jr's art is one reason this issue suffers. His background characters are lacking any detail and the cluttered panels fail to convey a true sense of awe. The epic battles depicted by Steve McNiven or Lenil Francis Yu are far superior to this one. Each match-up is only featured for one panel, so the issue feels incredible sparse and quick, without one ever truly appreciating the scope of what should be an epic battle.
I did appreciate the commentary panels by Jason Aaron, and the dialogue is pretty good for the most part. I still don't really buy the mentality of any of the characters (apparently the only way to settle this disagreement is all-out war) and now I'm worried that neither side will come off as likable or sympathetic. I also fear that this event will essentially boil down to the teams fighting until they put aside their differences and team-up to take down the Phoenix(how cliche).
Overall, this issue does have some nice moments and is filled with action, but the pedestrian plot and rushed art really drag it down. I'm hoping the event manages to become something worthwhile but until then, its just an underwhelming and predictable brawl. I am looking forward to an aptly drawn super-battle in the upcoming AVX: Vs miniseries.
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