Review: Axis: Avengers & X-Men #1 by Rick Remender & Adam Kubert

Axis: Avengers & X-Men #1

Written by: Rick Remender
Art by: Adam Kubert
Cover by: Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor
Colored by: Laura Martin & Matt Milla
Lettered by: Chris Eliopoulos

Published by: Marvel
Cover Price: $4.99

Note: This is a review of the digital version which can be found on Comixology.

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Summary (contains spoilers): Uncanny Avengers #25 ended with Magneto killing Red Skull…which causes him to evolve into the Red Onslaught.

This issue starts with the Avengers dealing with plants trying to overrun the city. These plants are being controlled by Plant Man, who is pissed at “the Great Polluter” Tony Stark.

Sam Wilson seems to be doing well in his new role as Captain America. He has taken on a leadership role with the team, and seemed to be doing a pretty good job…until all hell breaks loose. He is attacked by Thor, who seems to have Red Skull telepathically whispering in his head. Red Skull does the same thing to the other Avengers, turning them on each other. At first, Iron Man assumes that Plant Man is doing this using pheromones, so he takes him down. He immediately realizes that he was wrong when Hulk attacks him with Red Skull antagonizing him about Stark’s involvement in Banner’s origin.

Iron Man realizes there is telepathy at work here, and uses a “telepathic inverter” to stop it. Steve Rogers radios in, and tells Stark that hate riots are happening all over the world.

Meanwhile, in Genosha, the Red Onslaught is easily overpowering the Uncanny Avengers while he plans to form “The Reich Eternal.” Red Onslaught is using his powers to turn the Uncanny Avengers against each other. At some point, Red Onslaught had also captured Quentin Quire, Cyclops, and Genesis. Havok attacks Cyclops fueled by Red Onslaught. Genesis tries to stop him, only to get impaled by Ahab.

Rogue touches Onslaught and comes in contact with a sliver of Xavier’s mind. He tells her that this is the biggest threat the world has ever faced and Rogue needs to stop it, at all costs. He also tells her that he’s certain she can handle that pressure.

Ahab tries to speak Havok, but Cyclops gets in the way to save his brother, getting a spear in the shoulder in the process.

Rogue works to inspire Wanda to rejoin the fight, and the Avengers arrive on the scene…moments later, the X-Men arrive. Immediately, the X-Men seem to FINALLY be willing to put aside their differences for the greater good. BLESS YOU, REMENDER!!!

All the heroes fight Red Onslaught with Stark protecting them using his telepathic inverter. But, before they can claim victory, Skull reveals that he had been telepathically manipulating Stark for some time, having him build weapons for Skull’s war.  The issue ends with two massive adamantium Stark Sentinels arriving on the scene.


Review: As you might have noticed during my Original Sin reviews, I like events and I don’t have a lot of the same negativity a lot of reviewers do. If you are looking for a review bashing this book, you are probably in the wrong place. I genuinely enjoyed this comic!

I was hooked from page one.  I loved the banter on the opening pages. It really felt like the heroes actually enjoyed being heroes, which is a rarity in comics these days…

I especially liked that this book seemed to have tight continuity without beating the reader over the head with it. Sam Wilson is Cap. Steve Rogers is old. Thor is missing his hammer. Wolvie is nowhere in sight (though because of delays, Death of Wolverine isn’t actually done yet). I thought that worked really well.

One thing that really pissed me off about this comic was the stupid looking Axis header and footer on most of the early pages. It made the art looked real cramped and added nothing to the comic for me. Thankfully, once you hit the title page (which is deep into the issue), that stops (for the most part), but I never figured out the point of it.

Actually, the art throughout the whole issue was kind of inconsistent. In order to show as many characters as possible, there are a lot of real pulled back shots that I didn’t think served the issue well. It just felt hurried at times. There was plenty of decent art through this issue, but definitely some panels I thought could have been much better.

But I typically care more about writing than art, and I thought Remender did a great job here.  In a lot of ways, this sort of is the perfect bookend to Avengers Vs X-Men (which I mostly hated). In AvX, Marvel’s heroes split…over things that don’t make a lot of sense. Axis’s first issue seems to have finally reunited them to deal with a world-wide threat. Granted, I do kind of think that turning Red Skull into Onslaught was a real ridiculous way to create that threat…I think Red Skull watches Heroes and was inspired by Syler. But the end result is a good comic, and to get that, I have no problem accepting some suspension of disbelief.

This issue went a long way towards addressing my biggest complaints about Marvel lately.  The heroes seemed to enjoy being heroes and were willing to put aside petty differences in order to fight the good fight.  Hell, to me, the X-Men FINALLY getting on the same page, which was always a huge contrivance to me, made this comic worth the price of admission as far as I was concerned. I especially loved Beast’s battle cry:

I also thought the way Remender resolved story threads he’s been creating for a long time over in Uncanny Avengers was done very well. It is real hard to keep strong characterization in a story like this, but Remender balanced it perfectly. There were a lot of moments in this issue that had a huge impact on me, especially when Cyclops tried to save Havok.

I definitely thought this issue got Axis off to a good start! Definitely HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Title: Axis: Avengers & X-Men #1
Written By: Rick Remender
Art By: Adam Kubert
Company: Marvel
Price: $4.99
Pros:
  • X-Men reunited!  I just hope it sticks.
  • I thought the dialouge throughout was great, especially the fun banter.
  • Great start to Axis!
Cons:
  • WHAT WAS WITH THOSE STUPID BANNERS ON TOP AND BOTTOM OF THE FIRST HALF OF THIS COMIC???
  • The art is very inconsistent.
  • Red Skull as Onslaught was kind of dumb, but I thought it ended up working well enough.
Is it worth your $3.99? 8.5/10 –   Remender hit all the right notes for me.  This comic was just a lot of fun.  Get rid of the stupid banners and tighten the art up, and this would have easily earned a 9.

 

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