Avengers Vs. X-Men is here. And what better way to handle this than to have our resident Avengers fan (Geoff Arbuckle) and our resident X-Men fan (Victor Kutsenok) come together in a place of neutrality to talk about their favorite teams coming to blows over a cosmic power coming to Earth. Now, Round 1, also known as Avengers Vs X-Men #1.
Avengers Vs X-Men #1
Victor: Hey Geoff, I just read issue #1 of AvX and I’m already pissed. WTF is up with that first page? The Avengers get every member known to man have their picture shown, but the X-Men get only six pics? Overcompensate much? I understand that those six X-Men could probably wipe out the entire Avengers roster but come on. Bendis is really showing his favoritism immediately, huh? No guessing whose side he is on.
Geoff: Well, I can understand that. I thought the same thing when I got started, but then I also realized later that all those Avengers showed up while really only those X-Men appeared in the book. I kinda feel that there should have been a little bit more of the mutants displayed only because I could use these next two weeks or the coming months to learn more about them since I don’t read many X-books to begin with. For me, the first thing that stuck right out was John Romita Jr.’s alien people on the first page. Is it me or does he often have people bandaged with pointy things sticking out of their heads?
Victor: Don’t get me started on Romita. I despise his art with an unbridled passion. He cannot draw unique faces. He cannot draw detailed angular images. Everything he draws has a square shape. If it wasn’t for his inker, none of his images would be distinguishable. He is a one trick pony and his tricks are painful to watch. (But I guess enough people like his overly lined work and art is subjective, so I guess we’ll just have to suffer through it.) At least his nasty renditions of the X-Men and the Avengers didn’t take anything away from the story which to me, was pretty great.
Geoff: Oh yeah. In regards to Mr. Romita, Jr., I will say that this issue was a little bit better. I think the inker and colorist supported him nicely, but there were still some issues I couldn’t get past.
Back to the actual story itself… This felt like the first issue of an actual event. You get to see each team’s concerns and, me personally, I really found myself understanding both sides. I thought I would have to go into this series arbitrarily defending the Avengers while arbitrarily not agreeing with the X-Men, but I will say that Bendis did portray both sides nicely. Even on the X-Men side, I appreciated that they have things they really do need to work out. In some ways, I actually felt like I could understand Scott’s side, to a certain extent. I will say that I agreed most with Emma. This IS Hope’s decision and he needed to tread lightly, but what about those last few pages? What a heck of a build up to that first “punch”.
Victor: I did predict it in our earlier discussion. I told you that Steve and Tony would take it upon themselves to step into a situation that has nothing to do with them and try to impose their will. I said it loud and clear. Hope is the X-Men’s problem. Period. You want to go on a suicide run against the Phoenix, that’s your business. Leave Hope alone. Scott had every right to unleash on Cap. Especially considering the situation he was forced into. All things considering, this is his adopted granddaughter that Cap was coming after. He is protecting his family from false persecution. Hope is innocent until proven to be the Phoenix and any actions taken by the Avengers against her is unjustified.
Geoff: I still say that, despite understanding Scott’s situation and desire to see if the Phoenix is the passage way to the rebirth of the mutant race, dealing with such a destructive force is like shooting a barrel of dynamite in hopes that it will produce rainbows and unicorns. It’s not that Steve wanted to take Hope and torture or kill her or anything remotely negative. Steve wanted to work with Scott to figure out a way to protect the Earth as a whole. Scott wouldn’t listen. He’s bent on that outside chance that the Phoenix would be a brand new era for Mutantkind. While Hope may be ready for the Phoenix to come and take her, Scott even pushed past Emma’s advice to let her convince Cap that she didn’t want to go and let Scott support that instead of blasting Cap or kicking anyone off the island. Again, I see both sides, but Scott took a really hard line that, as Namor put it, forced Steve’s hand.
Victor: Steve wasn’t asking anything. He came in knowing the answer to a request would be no and was prepared to force Scott’s hand. That’s why, instead of calling or coming alone, he brought the floating palace of SHIELD and an army of Avengers. You don’t come to a peace treaty with a nuke strapped to your back. Steve knew this would happen. He started the war. Over an assumption. I want everyone to remember that. Also, this is Scott’s call as leader to protect his people, in any way possible. And as he’s said, on multiple occasions, the Phoenix could mean the rebirth of his people. Hope is not the Phoenix. not yet. Go fight a real threat instead of an assumed one.
Geoff: I’m going to read between the lines and say the “army of Avengers” was a suggestion from Logan.
Still, I’m glad we do agree on one thing… This was a pretty awesome first issue. Yeah, that first page didn’t really give a lot of X-Men names to balance the Avengers side. Romita, Jr. is a struggle on most occasions, including this one, but man… How excited are you that this thing is going. Sure, this isn’t anything “new”. These two teams have scrapped a few times before, but so far, you gotta admit Marvel’s done a pretty good job getting us to buy into the story.
Victor: I love this concept. I love this entire situation. In all honesty, next to Wolverine, Jean Grey is my favorite character on the entire X-Men. Any chance of bringing her back, and inserting her into the whole Logan/Scott/Emma situation is great drama. The threat of the Phoenix is real and I am with the Avengers on that point completely. Go contain the Phoenix as much as possible. You’ll fail, but at least you can try. As for the battle at home, sure it’s under a hotheaded decision but it will definitely lead to some cool fights. Fights that all of the fans are probably dying to see. I personally cannot wait to see some of the match-ups and one on ones that will occur. I’m also infinitely happy that most of those battles will be in another series and Romita JR. will not be drawing those. I just hope that we do get some actual long battles and not just some three panel one/two punch fights.
Geoff: Yeah. I have to say I love the “long format”. Twelve issues! That’s a true event. There should be plenty of room for well played out scenes. Someone asked me last night if I thought that a possible “ending” to this story is that Wanda is needed to bring Jean back to contain the Phoenix herself. Maybe Hope isn’t a re-incarnated Jean and she can’t truly handle the Phoenix. I know you have a feeling that Hope is in fact Jean, but you probably are already trying to play out all those possible directions this story can go, right?
Victor: I actually want Hope to be Jean’s daughter. Simply becuase I love Hope’s story as a character and would hate to see that get erased. Not to mention that her powers are ridiculously strong. Wanda can definitely be used to bring back Jean. I didn’t think of that. That’s pretty cool actually. Or, Hope can mimic Wanda’s powers and bring Jean back as well. Maybe between Jean/Hope/Wanda and maybe Rachel Summers, another Phoenix host, the Phoenix can be contained. Let’s not take Cable out of the picture either. We have a slew of Omega Level characters who can deal with the Phoenix. Franklin Richards and Legion are also available so there are options on how this one will end. I have been seeing multiple scenarios. (Of course in all of them, the Avengers get a beating. LOL) I’m really happy with this series so far.
Geoff: Yeah, even the build up has been something we can’t really complain with. So, let’s talk pros and cons and scores. My pros are an excellent launching point to get things rolling, nice build to a great climax for the first issue, and the surprise that I could really see and understand both sides of the battle. My only con is pointed at JRJR’s art. Just not my cup of tea at all, but at least the rest of the art crew and the story itself was able to help that not entirely pull down the entire book. I’ll give the book a 95. What about you?
Victor: I definitely agree with you on all points. Great opening issue and set up to some possible incredible fanboy battles. Great story laying out the entire situation from both sides of the fence. Cons. ROMITA JR is a one note hack. (That’s my nice way of saying the art sucks for me) Overall, 95 sounds about right. Can’t wait till next issue and the battles it will hopefully contain.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Great set up with all sorts of opportunities for fanboys to whet their chops for the coming battles. Sound exposition of both sides’ points of view.||JRJR art leaves much to be desired.|