Avengers vs. X-Men #9
Story by Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, and Jonathan Hickman
Script by Jason Aaron
Art by Adam Kubert, John Dell, Laura Martin, and Larry Molinar
The short of it:
In seventeen hours someone gets their ass kicked by Colossus.
Now, on the other hand, we are yet another time jump forward from the previous issue. Eight full days this time. Eight full days of Hope learning from Kung Fu Master Spider-Man while Avengers go out on missions and come back hurt or missing their numbers. Then again, eight days of fighting the Phoenix Four would do that to anyone. Colossus and Magik are the evil jailers, Emma is losing her mind, and Scott wants to save the world. There’s an annulment, a raid, all kinds of magic, and even a big time fight!
Spider-Man makes his stand as the most popular Avenger and finally does something worth noting in this series as he takes on Colossus and Magik. Here’s a spoiler, he gets his ass kicked. He also gives the Avengers enough time to free some prisoners just in time to set up for the ending where…they wish they were still in Limbo Jail.
What I liked:
- It’s just one panel, and really, one line, but Iron Man is priceless in his one appearance. I don’t know his comment is meta-commentary or not, but I’ll be damned if he doesn’t echo my thoughts on this book as a whole.
- A few issues back I noted something about how the Phoenix Five would probably have their preexisting personalities blown up and out of control due to the power boost. Last issue we saw Namor unleash all sorts of hell, becoming a beast of pure rage…in other words, Namor. This issue we see Magik who is about as dark and evil as they can get in her actions, and Colossus who is obviously being corrupted from the inside out. Top it with Emma slowly losing her mind to her own teetering of the line of good and evil? I find myself made happier by, so far, being right.
- Adam Kubert needs to do more books for Marvel. Period. For as much as I’ve attacked the story telling in this event, the art has been top notch and completely epic.
- I wanted to hate on this, but I would totally buy a book where Angry Emma goes around killing anyone who has ever killed a mutant. That book would have so much longevity!
- The entire Spider-Man fight at the end is awesome. Jason Aaron writes a really good Spidey here, and it’s one of the best paced fight scenes of AVX. Sure, he gets his ass kicked, but the never say die attitude completely makes the scene, and really, the issue.
What I didn’t like:
- I continue my hate of K’un L’un as a plot point in this book. It makes no sense why Hope needs to be the Karate Kid Supreme to fight the Phoenix, or why Iron Fist is tied in for any reason other than somebody obviously wanting to do a kung fu movie in the middle of their superhero fight.
- Too much happens off panel in this series. Way too much. Basic concepts occasionally debut in other titles (K’un L’un in New Avengers, Magik’s Limbo jail in X-Men Legacy), but they turn from story elements into set pieces in this book. A place for the next fight to happen at instead of what could be a crucial plot point.
- Storm and Black Panther’s marital problems just felt horribly out of place in this issue. Sure, I was all about splitting up Marvel’s biggest name and yet entirely racially decided couple, as Storm somehow wound up in limbo to be Mrs. Panther and the entire relationship felt as forced as anything else Reggie Hudlin tried to do. This just wasn’t the place. The split up takes five panels and features Storm being an awful terrible horrible person because she wears an X…despite that she has done nothing awful terrible or horrible.
- Everyone and their mom can go to K’un L’un and it just feels like the importance has been completely diluted from what used to be the mecca of awesome Kung Fu.
- So much of this cast is completely interchangeable. More than half the characters who appear could easily be swapped out for any number of other characters without anyone even noticing.
So AVX has taken place over the course of a month at this point? Ten days here, fourteen days there, another eight somewhere else. This book just liberally jumps ahead days and weeks.
Whales with legs should have been the big panel on that page. Maybe I’m weird, but that’s what I would rather see.
Professor X shows up and it’s not awesome. I don’t have a good or bad way to take it, since he seems shoehorned in here, but hey, Professor X! He made last issue worth reading.
Emma’s heel turn is really well handled. While Namor, Magik, and Colossus pretty much just all go over the top, we actually are witness to her descent into semi-madness. On top of that, unlike the others, she’s aware of it happening and trying…failing to stop it.
The Limbo jails looked cooler in X-Men Legacy.
So this book is going to wind up being Cyclops vs. Emma with only one left standing, and the other is going to be that chalk outline we’ve seen in previews. Quite possibly both. The writers have done a great job of making it seem like neither is going to be able to come back from this, even though Scott has done nothing horrific at all, he’s just as guilty. After all, Captain America wouldn’t have let Namor try and kill a country.
Tags: adam kubert, Avengers, Avengers vs. X-Men, AvX, Jason Aaron, Marvel Comics, Reviews, Spider-Man, X-Men