AvX Review: Avengers Vs. X-Men #1 By Brian Michael Bendis And John Romita Jr

Avengers vs. X-Men #1

Story by Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman, and Matt Fraction

Script by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna, and Laura Martin



The short of it:


A far off alien world dies in a fire as the Phoenix passes over it to start things up. Meanwhile, on Earth, the Avengers are hardly Avenging anything until something flies through New York, takes out a plane, and crashes. The Avengers have to stop the plane, the broken off wing, and the top parts of the Empire Statue Building before they kill everyone down below. Obviously the Avengers succeed, but it’s a well drawn and paced scene which is not something I’d expect out of the Avengers here. Then, hey look, it’s Nova, Point One! Cut to the X-Men where Scott is training, and beating the crap, out of Hope. Phoenix channeling! Cut to preview pages we’ve been seeing for months of the Avengers justifying their part in all of this by pretending to have ever cared about the Phoenix at any point in time ever. Continue into the preview pages of the X-Men dealing with Cap’s arrival, and move into Scott and Cap have a debate. The kind of debate where Captain America pretends he cares what the X-Men think, while the X-Men don’t buy into it and give him what he wants. The first strike happens here.



What I liked:


  • Despite my unending distaste for Romita’s art on Avengers since it relaunched, this is a major improvement. Seriously, this is the kind of art that made me a fan of his work for years, it’s closer to his Spider-Man than his Avengers. Maybe it’s the inking, maybe it’s him just being happy to do something fun. Best work I’ve seen out of him in a while.
  • Augmented Reality may be the most fun gimmick I’ve seen in a comic in a bit. So much better than 3D or foil covers. Directors commentary instantly from your phone? Bare pencils without buying an over priced special edition? It feels like bonus features on a DVD or Blu-Ray. I could get used to this.
  • I never thought I’d say this, but I like the way Bendis writes Cyclops. He’s a no-nonsense hardass, and he should be.
  • Normally I’d bitch, but the ridiculous overpowered nature of Spidey’s webs in this issues just made my day. Romita is a Spider-Man artist in my eyes, so big Spidey usage is a major plus.
  • I like pretty much everything in this issue relating to the X-Men, Bendis does a great job with my favorite mutants here.
  • The opening sequence with the Avengers dealing with the damage created by Nova’s arrival was pretty sweet.


What I didn’t like:


  • So how are the writers going to divvy this up? We’ve got five of them, so are they each going to be writing different issues? Because if Bendis winds up scripting the entire thing I doubt I’ll make it too deep in.
  • Wolverine. Yes, I understand that he would be the resource of choice for Cap to find out what he needs to deal with Cyclops, but him being part of the opening wave of Avengers is just ridiculous. They might as well have thrown Beast in.
  • Captain America goes to Utopia and proceeds to be a complete and utter dick.
  • Seriously, for as good as the Avengers were in the first half, once Tony and Steve start talking about the Phoenix they become awful versions of themselves. They go into war mode because of the X-Men and Phoenix faster than the Civil War started.


Final Thoughts:


Who is Nova? Because that’s not Rich.


Will Augmented Reality be a new thing that Marvel sticks with? Or is it just for the big books? Either way, I want to see more of it. They have a full listing of the Jean Grey Academy as one of the bonuses!


Did everyone forget that the last time the X-Men dealt with the Phoenix was just a few years ago? I mean, Endsong and Warsong aside, that was sorta the crux of Morrison’s New X-Men. The Phoenix hasn’t been M.I.A. since the 80’s on the contrary to popular belief.


I don’t think Captain America understands the meaning of “respecting you”.


So I’m with the X-Men, and it’s not because that line has been more readable lately, it’s because Scott does nothing but raise valid points. The Avengers didn’t do shit for them after one of their own decimated mutantkind. The Avengers didn’t help them with the Phoenix back in the day either. They didn’t help with Messiah Complex or Second Coming. Hell, I’m struggling to remember the last time the Avengers supported the X-Men and not the other way around. So if Captain America shows up on my island, that I established as a home to my people after America tried to give us the boot, and he tells me that they’re taking our potential savior into protective custody because the Avengers deem the Phoenix a threat? Yeah, I’d shoot him in the face too. Cap came to make demands and back them up in force.


The Avengers lose issue one, as they are officially dicks.


Thank God I love the X-Men!


Overall: 8/10

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