AvX Review: Avengers vs. X-Men #5 By Matt Fraction and John Romita Jr.

Avengers vs. X-Men #5

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

Script by Matt Fraction

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

 

The short of it:

 

Everybody fight! On the moon! We’ve got the Extinction Team versus a team of Avengers in the Blue Area of the Moon. We’ve got Hope channeling way too much power and asking Wolverine to kill her, which just leads to Wolverine getting shot a lot. Iron Man and Giant Man try to fix everything with a giant suit of armor. The fight really does devolve though, with Tony and Hank being the only ones with eyes on the prize while everyone else just hits each other to hit each other. Eventually Hope gets all super powered and everyone remembers why they showed up, and then the Phoenix shows up. Iron Man goes after it in his Phoenix Buster Armor while Captain America still presumes to act like an authority to Cyclops. A blast and a flash of light later…and we have an avatar of the Phoenix that we did not expect Nothing will ever be the same again!

 

What I liked:

 

  • Despite the action being completely and utterly mindless, it was fun. I would not be surprised to see an issue of Vs try and detail one of these fights and then either have the Avengers win it or the X-Men win by forfeit. Since that’s all that has happened there so far.
  • Romita is the real superstar of this event, his work has been the most consistent. This book looks really good, and the man handles action like few others. I have to fully believe that his issues on Avengers the past few years were with his inker and colorist.
  • I love the suit Iron Man throws on, and I love the page of him suiting up and getting wired in. Very cool looking.
  • For as crazy as Scott starts getting near the end of the issue, his explanation of why he’s not insane is one of the sanest thing someone says in this book. Marvel may be intent with making him a villain here, but he’s trying to help mutants while Cap and Iron Man are trying to impose their will on a situation they don’t understand.

 

What I didn’t like:

 

  • Bullshit that Black Widow could wrestle Illyana for the Soulsword. Absolute bullshit.
  • I’m sick of Rulk vs Colossus.
  • So after the first act of the Avengers clearly being the bad guys, despite the writers continued efforts to make them the heroes, they just go ahead and heel turn the X-Men straight up. Captain America doesn’t become any less of an asshole, Cyclops just goes crazy while his team goes generic villain.
  • Hope’s monologue about dropping the atomic bomb felt forced. She’s ready to take on this power, it’s her destiny, and now she’s freaked out about if she’s a bomb or just a bombardier and either way she’s afraid of slaughtering people. Her characterization has been all over the place during this series.

 

Final Thoughts:

 

So that’s where Xavier is! I completely forgot he left with his son after the arc in Legacy.

 

Where the hell is Cable?

 

How many times is Wolverine going to get his flesh burned off in this series?

 

John Romita still draws an awesome Iron Man.

 

Where’s Wanda? She gets a full panel!

 

Uncanny X-Men #13 (also this week) does a nice job explaining the hidden symbolism in the shocking Phoenix reveal to wrap the issue up. Not going to spoil too much here, but there’s a reason Hope had her Five Lights.

 

I never thought I’d say this, but this mini needs Chris Claremont or John Byrne to sit in and provide editorial advice. Since the majority of their ideas concerning their creation seem to have been pushed aside in favor of focusing on a singular moment.

 

Overall: 5.5/10

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