Going on sale tonight at select stores and in wide release tomorrow, Avengers Vs. X-Men
It's no longer coming — it's here!
Does the return of the Phoenix to Earth signal the rebirth of the mutant species? That's what the X-Men believe!
Unfortunately, the Avengers are convinced that its coming will mean the end of all life on Earth!
The stage is set for the ultimate Marvel showdown in this oversized first issue!
I've admitted that I'm not a Marvel reader. The last Avengers
comic I picked up would have been Avengers
#4. The last X-Men
comic I picked up would have been Star Trek: The Next Generation
: Second Contact
. However, I'm a little bit more versed on what's happening with the X-Men than I am with the Avengers; at work, I often have to write about the X-Men, and I've become rather good at faking it.
Some thoughts on AVX
#1. Non-spoilery ones first.
This is the second Brian Michael Bendis comic I've ever read; the first was AVX
#0 last week. The pace of it surprised me. This was like the Geoff Johns/Jim Lee Justice League
; lots of big panels, lots of showy artwork, and not much in the way of plot movement. Oh, don't get me wrong, stuff happens
, but it feels stretched out. This could have fit a 22-page comic easily.
This first issue is weighted a little more towards the Avengers than the X-Men; we don't reach Utopia until near the staple in the middle, and even then we have more Avengers moments.
Now, the expectations game.
It's hard to judge where a 12-part story is going to go based on a single issue. But, based on the way stories like
this are told, I'll take a stab.
In stories like this, heroes meet, heroes have misunderstanding, heroes fight, heroes set aside their differences and discover they were both right and fight off the common enemy together.
The Avengers think that the Phoenix Force is going to wipe out life on Earth. They're justified in thinking this, since the issue opens with the Phoenix Force wiping out a planet.
The X-Men think that the Phoenix Force is going to usher in a new age of mutantdom. I'm not sure that they're justified in thinking this; if they are, Bendis doesn't lay any groundwork for that.
Now, it's possible that the Avengers and the X-Men will join forces in issue #11 and they lay the smack down on the Phoenix Force in issue #12.
However, I think it's also possible that Avengers Vs. X-Men will show that the Avengers and the X-Men are both right. The Phoenix Force will wipe out all life on Earth, and from the ashes of the charred Earth new life will be reborn. In short, I think this could be a Flashpoint-like reboot point for the Marvel Universe. Not a total reboot, just enough of a reboot to clean up some problems here and there.
I think my overall feeling was of "Meh." It's not objectively bad. It just moves slowly, and it assumes that the audience knows the backstory. When I said last week that this issue makes a better start for AVX
than last week's issue #0, I really meant that.