A vs X (Avengers vs X-Men): A Graphic Novel to Marvel at?
Anti-hero (AH) and your Unwilling Hero (UH) are here, to give you the low down on the big budget comic crossover from 2012. Unless you’ve only just escaped the treacherous lands of Mordor you have no logical reason to have not heard of A vs X!
AH: Marvel is known to throw in a big superhero cross over every couple of years, either exciting readers that their favourite masked vigilantes from different comics are uniting under a common cause, or disappointing others as potential comic gold dust is wasted. How does A vs X fair?
A History of Hope
AH: If you have been following X-men you would have heard of Hope. This new and mysterious character has been developing and awaiting conclusion for quite some time.
AH: Hope came into the picture after House of M. In short after the Scarlet Witch called ‘no more mutants’ and nearly all of the mutant population lost there powers, no more mutants were born…none except Hope. The now endangered mutant species were more at risk then ever, so they retreated to Utopia with Cyclops as their leader. Hope, to some was seen to be the mutant messiah, to others a monster that would bring war and destruction.
UH: So once Captain America finds out the phoenix force is headed for Earth, he assumes it will consume Hope and cause all sorts of death, and intends to take her into custody This pi**es Cyclops off, and the two of them kick things off by beating the crap out of each other.
Earths Mightiest Heroes?
UH: So the Avengers here are mostly represented by Cap, Iron man, Wolverine and the Scarlet Witch. Virtually nobody else has any lines of any significance. They play up some half hearted storyline with Iron Fist, and Spiderman gets one issue in the spotlight, but apart from that, the rest of the team are just here to make up the numbers in fight scenes. There is one awesome scene where Captain America is at the end of his rope, and desperately needs number to fight the X-men. And he makes a desperate plea to a hidden figure who is then revealed to be The Hulk. Fan boy armpits are sweating with excitement to see the most powerful being Marvel comics go toe to toe with the Phoenix force. But a few pages later when the battle starts, he just blends into the background with the other 712462 characters on each page.
UH: This is the biggest problem with AvX. The huge bloated roster leads to many issues with no focus at all. Hope is presented as the main focus, but she takes spotlight in maybe 2 of the 12 issues. And that’s the beginning and the end. Which brings us to the second major flaw. 12 ISSUES?!? This is just way too long to maintain one crossover. The most successful recent crossover I can remember, was Blackest Night, which consumed almost a years worth of storytelling. But even that clocked in at 8 issues. AvX just goes on and on, with a number of forgettable issues here and there.
Hope for Marvel?
UH: There are number of standout moments of course. The scale of this event is undeniable, and Marvel has done plenty of press to make sure you know it is a status quo game changer. And there are scenes that will stick long in the mind, such as the emergence of the Phoenix Five, the death of a lead character, Namor burying Wakanda under a wall of water and Cyclops’ Phoenix induced rampage. It’s also nice to see Marvel take the X-men-Avengers storyline full circle, with Scarlet Witch returning to take the spotlight.
UH: There were also benefits to anyone who consumed this digitally, as Marvel unveiled its new infinite comics range. The event kicks off with the return of fan favourite Nova, in a visually arresting piece of storytelling, depicting his high-speed flight from the Phoenix. They way this is presented digitally from page to page is a feast for the senses, and Marvel would do well to invest in this kind of work, to really kick-start its content on the digital medium.
UH: The number of battles is almost endless in this crossover, however to get to the really good parts, you’ll have to pick up the AvX VS sister comic that is just about the combat. Which will eat up even more of your hard earned dollar.
- Some epic artwork where the Earths mightiest defenders take on the best of the mutants
- Easy to read, linear story
- Destruction, Namor empowered by the Phoenix was insane
- The return of Nova
- The end of a story arc that began 7 years ago
- A v X skips some beautiful battles, and others are somewhat rushed. Its worth checking out ‘A v X: vs’ which doesn’t develop the story (Not that A v X does much better) but it does give you more of what you wanna see. Superhero scraps
- The narrative was very basic, some parts felt forced just to progress the story. Captain America and Cyclops were annoying as hell in parts
- It seemed Marvel didn’t want to decisively favour Avengers or -Men in particular battles, with many fights ending in a stalemate…this obviously would have not been the case
- Tooooo long and way too many characters
- No Marvel, we aren’t going to buy all your event tie-in books
So what do you think? Was AvX fun for you? Does it justify the price tag? Is Cyclops the Marvel Universes biggest D-Bag? Whose side were you on?
The Masked Heroes