Avengers vs. X-Men #7
Story by Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, and Jonathan Hickman
Script by Matt Fraction
Art by Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales, and Laura Martin
The short of it:
No More Avengers is in full effect, though unlike the infamous No More Mutants of 2005 this one is more of an all out war against the team. Though Wanda is there, and she’s the secret weapon of the Avengers as the Phoenix has major issues dealing with her. Hawkeye dies in a fire as the Avengers try to escape, but the X-Men bring him back to life as Cyclops doesn’t want any killing. Yeah, they got that powerful. The Avengers are dealing with low morale, as can be expected, and Tony Stark is working himself to the bone in preperation for his best idea…a suicide mission. Black Panther bitch slaps sense into him, it’s a great moment.
The Avengers rally, and Dr. Strange giving them little magic items that can make people look like Wanda really do help quite a bit. They split up and every group winds up pulling a Phoenix powered X-Man that promptly backs off in fear at the sight of her. Wanda actually is part of one of the groups, and disassembles Namor to teleport him away. Imperius Rex, indeed. He’s furious, he’s annoyed at Cyclops lack of action, and with a tidbit of information….Namor raises an army and assaults them directly.
What I liked:
- I liked the character work. Scott was still idealistic despite having God like powers, Tony had this insane brilliance that you’d expect from a man who gave up sleeping to save the world. Even Hope was played perfectly as the scared little girl who knows she’s in way over her head. Fraction is an ace at character work, and thankfully he worked in a lot here.
- Captain America kept his damn mouth shut for the most part, which really did add to my enjoyment of this issue. I hate how he’s been handled thus far in this event, and I like not seeing the grave dug deeper.
- I liked that Emma is the first one really living up to a potential Phoenix fueled heal turn. She’s the White Queen, she has to be the manipulative one.
- Namor is a bad ass.
- The art is great, save for preteen Hope, Coipel continues the good work in this issue. Things of note are the disassembled look from House of M making its return, Namor, and some really good face work for everyeone.
What I didn’t like:
- Hope looks twelve. She was like, seventeen when Cable ended. Then she was sixteen. Now, again visibly twelve. She looked older last issue.
- The K’un L’un stuff just isn’t working for me at all in this series. I figured Fraction might be able to make it work since he more or less redefined Iron Fist for our generation (and made him awesome), but it felt shoe horned in here to make sense out of the crap Bendis has been putting together in New Avengers.
- Wanda’s energy and the Phoenix’s energy are linked, didn’t see that one coming. Despite all those years in limbo, she still returns to be nothing more than a plot device.
- Trying to shock the reader into thinking that a character died works so much better when they don’t have a new ongoing solo series about to launch. Just saying.
- Last time Wanda saw the Avengers it was pretty much just Ms. Marvel who was willing to give her a chance. Well, no, the time before that Captain America wanted to pretend nothing bad happened and let her come back. Either way, if there’s one thing that got skipped over that I would have liked to see it would be her trying to reacclimate to being with the Avengers.
So where’s Reed Richards during all of this?
I understand that some books are going to run on a weird timeline with everything running every two weeks and very few of the tie ins being one shots. At the same time, Hope and company leave for K’un L’un in this issue while I’m pretty sure they’ve been hanging out there in New Avengers for the last month. This kind of thing irks me, I mean, why give away the supposedly major plot twists months in advance to satisfy tie in stories?
So what I’m gathering from both this issue and some recent tie ins is that absolute power isn’t necessarily absolutely corrupting. Scott is more extreme, but he refuses to let go of his humanity; despite declaring No More Avengers he also refuses to allow them to be brought to death. Colossus, over in Uncanny, still seeks to free his soul from Cyttorak. On the other hand, Illyana happily sets up a limbo jail in an active volcano, Emma lacks any sort of a conscience, and Namor is quick to battle. I think the Phoenix just amps up what’s already there, as opposed to driving its user to swing too far in the wrong direction.
I hate that I read the issue, and a lot of stuff happens, but it still feels like nothing happened. This book is moving way too slow despite the amount of content. Action doesn’t alleviate the decompressed story telling. If anything, it makes it worse by giving us action sequences with no real purpose just to try and disguise the stalling pace of the story.
Tags: Avengers, Avengers vs. X-Men, Marvel Comics, matt fraction, Olivier Coipel, Reviews, X-Men