Avengers vs. X-Men #1


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Avengers vs. X-Men #1


  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: John Romita Jr.
  • Inks: Scott Hanna
  • Colors: Laura Martin
  • Story Title: Round 1
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Apr 4, 2012

Battles!  Fights!  Punches!  Kicks!  Character?

It is that time of year again, the start of another summer blockbuster event from Marvel Comics.  With Avengers vs. X-Men, the entire top talent of Marvel joins forces to set the tone and direction for the entire universe for the foreseeable future, while Brian Michael Bendis steps up to the plate as the first issue’s scripter.  Since the teasers for this event of epic proportions first hit readers' ears, Marvel has billed it as a constant barrage of action and fights between the toughest and most famous heroes in the entire Marvel Universe.  The true test of Avengers vs. X-Men, on the other hand, will be how well those climatic clashes are strung together.  If the three action sets in this introductory issue are any hint, however, Avengers vs. X-Men just may turn out to be as superficial as Marvel intended.

With Bendis at the helm, numerous tried and true story beats hit their mark.  The Avengers happen to be sharing witty arguments atop Avengers Tower, a catastrophic emergency once again strikes New York City, and without hesitation the heroes strike off to save the day.  Across the country on the mutant island of Utopia, likewise, the X-Men train against the oncoming storm of anti-mutant hatred.  It seems little has changed in the Marvel Universe over the past years as this tenuous (perhaps rehashed) setting sets the stage for the next six months of Marvel releases. 

The mutant messiah Hope is the link that connects both factions of heroes, though sadly she has the least control over her destiny.  The Avengers are warned that the Phoenix is returning to Earth to more than likely possess the young mutant, who is simultaneously putting on an impressive display of her robust mutant powers including a phoenix-shaped energy release.  This minor event is what Avengers vs. X-Men is sadly entirely based upon; Hope displaying powers, the Avengers wanting take the young girl into custody, and the X-Men stubbornly refusing to cooperate.  Instead of the two factions of heroes choosing to communicate and discuss their concerns, Bendis almost immediately pits Cap against Cyclops in a fight that rapidly spins out of control.  The entire basis for AvX is incredibly thin, with both plot points and character moments quickly presented and glossed over in favor of a full-on dash to reach the action.  To be fair this is only the first issue, but to sprint towards the action instead of a purposeful plotting of threads in a disservice to the readers.

So far, Avengers vs. X-Men is exactly what Marvel has proclaimed it to be, a summer action brawl of blockbuster scale, but for the amount of heroes finding their place in Avengers vs. X-Men, no one seems to be acting terrible heroic.  If readers are dying to see who would win between Captain America and Cyclops, or the countless other combinations of hero vs. hero fights, then AvX is the book for the summer.  For readers hoping for more than just constant action, there is little to rewarded with in Brian Michael Bendis’ introduction.

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