Story by Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman & Matt Fraction
Script by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by John Romita Jr
Published by Marvel Comics
“Jean Grey did everything she could to try to contain it but, eventually, all said and done… she had to kill herself to stop it.
And it didn’t even work.”
Wolverine, AvX #1
Scott Summers has not the easiest lot in life. The fate of the dwindling, perhaps-doomed mutant race on his shoulders, beset on all sides by those who doubt him, those who have already turned their backs on him and of course as always, those who want to kill him just for being born… and the cracks are beginning to show. Increasingly paranoid and isolationist, Scott has become almost the equivalent of a backwoods survivalist, with a worrying “us vs. them” mentality. Seriously, when Magneto starts worrying that you might be going too far, maybe it’s time to think things over a bit. Scott’s come a long way from the dull boy scout he used to be – and that might not necessarily be good news for humanity.
So when the Phoenix Force is discovered to be returning to Earth, headed directly for X-Man Hope in fact, Scott’s response is somewhat different than your typical superhero, putting himself and his X-Men directly at odds with Captain America and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, The Avengers.
In the middle: Hope herself (and itself?), torn between fate, duty and freedom.
Marvel’s major crossover event of 2012 starts off with big widescreen action with the destruction of an entire planet and a very recognisable New York landmark and doesn’t let up, feeling like a big summer blockbuster movie. Of course it doesn’t hurt matters to have art chores dealt with by the always-reliable Romita, who handles the big superhero action stuff and the smaller character interactions with equal aplomb.
Lines are drawn, stakes are raised (no doubt to be raised further still in the coming weeks) and sides chosen in what looks like it’s going to be a tremendously fun summer-long slugfest.
Reviewed By: Kev Weldon
A vs X 1
Sometimes a simple story beautifully told can be the most entertaining of comics and Avengers Vs X-men 1, is just such a comic.
As a first issue to one of the most hyped events of the year, with much history and previous, I purposely went at this comic, having closeted myself away from much of the Avengers and X-men activity for a while, and despite this information deficiency, I was very pleased to find a story that anyone could grasp, and enjoy.
Brian Micheal Bendis really crafts a nice story, there are things unmentioned that makes a reader wonder, but the clarity of the problem faced by Captain America, Iron Man and the Avengers is straight forward at this stage, and is the perfect way to pit two super groups against one another.
How do you get the great and the good, at each other throats, well there could be villainous underhand deception, political manoeuvring, blackmailing, ploys and plotting, but this is all seemingly eschewed, although I expect that the overall story will develop a number of elements of depth, but at this stage its simple.
A mutant youth is being seeked out by ‘The Phoenix Force’ an intergalactic destructive parasite of ‘cosmic’ proportions, that latches onto a host and then destroys the environment. The Avengers
want to protect earth, obviously, and work out what’s going on, thanks to the abrupt and dramatic arrival of Nova involving some super heroics.
As we get too sides of the story, we see Hope, a young mutant, sparring with Scott Summers, better known as Cyclops and leader of the X-men, on their island home of Utopia. There are only 200 or so mutants left, and Summers works hope hard, although while doing so, a revelation of sorts occurs, with The Phoenix appearing around Hope when she gets angry, not just an apparition but releasing an energy force blast.
It looks like the Phoenix is going to use a mutant as a host, and a youth at that, and so, the simplest of devices is employed, to turn two families against one another, a threat to a child within, as
Captain America seeks to place her in ‘Protective Custody’.
There is more to this story of course, The Phoenix previously caused the Death of Jean Grey, Summers true love, and he is a difficult character at the best of times, but he see’s the presence of the
Phoenix as more than just a threat and considers whether this is indeed, a catalyst for change, a potentially dangerous attitude.
So our sides are posed for conflict, while a couple of characters, notably such as Wolverine, who is an Avenger, have yet to fall clearly on one side or another at this stage.
John Romita’s Jr artwork is lovely, I especially liked the trainingscene between Hope and Cyclops, sparing as they were, the actioncaptured really well, having movement and the dynamics of the fight
perfect, and the story moves at a steady pace, the art and wordsexpertly synchronised for a delightful overall sequence.
Romita’s skill at portraying heroes with the pencil edge of reality isnoticeable, whether it be Captain America and Cyclops talking in the beach or the Avengers saving the day above the city of New York, the physical form always seems balanced, these are superheroes, but also believable, distinguishable and detailed when needs be.
Scott Hanna and Laura Martin must get mentions, Hanna did the inks and Martin the colours and the overall package is very pleasing.
Just as a comic should, it entertains, tells a story and for the inquisitive, leaves some questions but ends on a classic cliffhanger moment, leaving me with few options, expect to look for issue 2.
Reviewed By: James Bacon
AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #1
Story by: Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Jason Aaron, Ed Brubaker & Jonathon Hickman
Art by: John Romita Jr.
Cover by: Jim Cheung
Publisher: Marvel Comics
REVIEW – SOME SPOLIERS: With all the buzz that was surrounding the launch of this book with both retailers and fans I find myself curious to see if Marvel has found a gateway book to get readers like myself to find their way back to the House of Ideas once more. What I mean by that is over the last two years or so I have found myself with very little to be shouting about at Marvel. It wasn’t that any of what I was reading was suddenly bad or anything like that, I was simply burned out by superheroes fighting superheroes and needed something new to fill my reading needs.
But something about AvX reignited something in me I thought extinguished. There seemed to be some genuine buzz sounding out about this project. On one hand, yes, it is another event. But in this case, unlike say Fear Itself, there seemed to be consequences that tugged at my heart strings at stake with this book. I have followed the character of Hope with some interest since her introduction several years ago and with the knowledge that she will play a central role within this book made me turn my eye towards this project. To think that this book will tie into the events linked to Jean Grey, the Phoenix, Decimation, the 198 and more made me think that this title will be one to trump recent efforts at summer events.
After reading the first issue, I am delighted to say that I feel Marvel have been vindicated and I am completely on board what looks to be a return to form for the powerhouse. With an issue scripted by Brian Bendis and plotted by Marvels finest, I have full faith that this book will deliver on all promises.
In the opening oversized first chapter in this story we bear witness to the return to Earth of Nova, thought dead by the other heroes. Analysis of his damaged armor reveals an energy signature that is reminiscent of the Phoenix force. Presenting this data to the President, Captain America and Tony Stark are alerted to the fact that Hope, mutant-kinds shining beacon is possibly the focus for the attentions of the Earth bound Phoenix. So they go the island housing the X-Men to ask to take Hope into protective custody. This idea doesn’t go down well with Scott and the others and by issues end, the groundwork is laid for a barnstorming summer event.
There was plenty in this issue to gush over regarding the script. It is littered with some nice lines and although Bendis scripted it, there are certain scenes where you think you can see the hand of one of the others guiding the pen. I don’t mind saying, the issue feels like an exciting story in the making.
With John Romita Jr. on art, you have on the opening chapter, a huge fan favourite. Although the issue itself is void in some respects of large wide screen action, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t some nice visuals and scenes. The pages where Scott is working Hope hard was great, especially his rendering of body when Hope strikes Scott several times, it’s quite kinetic. I have always found his style hard to describe but whatever it is, there is something alluring and inevitably it works. Even when we see Cap talking with Wolverine and he asks if he can count on the pint sized Canadian, you see a lot of thought put into how Wolverine’s head is positioned to relay just the right amount of deep thought and you know you will be seeing him at some point. There really isn’t a whole lot to say about JRJR’s art that hasn’t been said before, only that he is on comfortable ground and we, the reader, are seeing the benefits.
With some indications that numbers on this book may be comparable to Civil War makes me think that there are more folk like me out there who have taken to AvX with the same vigour and that the glory days of storytelling with heart are back at Marvel. A powerhouse book with comics finest talent. As a reader you should be blessed to behold this gem.
Story: Overall 5/5
Art: Overall 5/5
Reviewed By: David O’ Leary