Review: Axis: Avengers & X-Men #2 by Rick Remender & Adam Kubert

Axis: Avengers & X-Men #2

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!

For my review of the first issue, click here!

Summary (contains spoilers): Stark’s Sentinels are quickly demolishing the heroes. It seems he was thorough in programming them to be able to defeat any hero it might encounter.

Stark quickly realizes that they were built using his Civi War files, which means they would be focusing on heroes, not villains. He realizes that Magneto would have an advantage dealing with them. But instead of taking on the Sentinels, Magneto takes off, seemingly abandoning the fight.

Iron Man is knocked out…when he wakes up, he discovers that only a handful of heroes are left standing.

They make one last rush, but Red Onslaught and the Sentinels wipe them out. Stark is the last man standing…before Magneto arrives with reinforcements…

Review: It might seem like the summary for this issue was really short, but that was because so much of the issue was action and quick character moments, which doesn’t really make for a good summary.

I actually did like this issue a lot, but there were some issues I want to get out of the way before I get to the praise:

  1. A lot of this comic seemed to stray pretty close to the same story that was told in Forever Evil. All the big name heroes have been taken out by a all powerful bad guy and it is left to the villains to save the day. Hell, they even went with the “it looks like the heroes were all killed, but they were really just put in a holding facility.” (Firestorm in Forever Evil, a microscopic jail in Axis).  There is also a little of Tower of Babel here with Stark being the one who creates the plan to take out the heroes.
  2. It was odd to have Stark say early in the issue that the Sentinels were using Pym particles to shrink and imprison the heroes. The rest of the issue seems to keep trying to convince you that the heroes are being slaughtered…you get a lot of final goodbyes…but it’s clear from the beginning that everyone is fine and will be rallying back later on. They didn’t even try to build the tension here.
  3. There is a strange flaw in the logic here…Stark’s files ONLY contain ways of dealing with heroes?  You’d think that he would have at least something in there about dealing with bad guys, especially Magneto.  This seemed like a bit of a plot contrivance to allow the bad guys to make the save.
  4. That stupid Axis banner on the top and bottom of the pages was back…though it was at least on less pages this time. Progress…however small.

That said, this was an excellent comic that really overcame what could have been some huge glaring issues.  I had so much fun reading this comic that I didn’t even think of many of these things until I gave it some thought and a re-read in order to give it a fair review.

One thing that really stood out for me were all the great character moments. Some quick examples were Falcon and Stark:

Stark and Magneto:

The Summer Brothers:

And Nova and Rogue:

While the story itself was dark and fast moving, there was a lot of these quick character moments that showed the characters and their relationships in a good light.   This was the first time in a long time I read a Marvel event where I really felt that the writer got the characters and was making an effort to make the reader understand why these characters are so important and beloved. They weren’t just lifeless game pieces to facilitate a story.

Another thing I loved was that Adam Kubert didn’t get into disaster porn here. The characters are falling, but so much of this issue keeps the big action just slightly off panel. I thought that kept the focus on the characterizations, which were the strength of the book. Too often these events turn into “let’s see how many heroes get their asses kicked by the bad guy,” but that was kept to a minimum here. We get glimpses of the fight and the “monster” that is Red Onslaught. I am sort of reminded of something like Cloverfield, and I thought that was a clever way of telling a comic event that I’ve never seen before.  This might bother some readers, but I always like when creators try to do something different.

I also thought this issue’s art was much more consistent than issue 1.

OH! And if anyone wants the whole story on how Magneto gathered these villains together, check out Magneto #11. It was an excellent tie in issue to this comic.

This comic did have it’s flaws, but I thought it overcame them brilliantly.  There was a lot to love about this issue, and I have really enjoyed Axis so far.


Title: Axis: Avengers & X-Men #2
Written By: Rick Remender
Art By: Adam Kubert
Company: Marvel
Price: $3.99
Pros:
  • Great characterization
  • Pretty clever way of telling the story with keeping the focus on the characters and a lot of the action off panel.
  • Art was much more consistent this time.
Cons:
  • Again with the stupid banners on the tops and bottoms of pages.  Distracting and annoying!
  • Reminded me a little too much of Forever Evil.
Is it worth your $3.99? 9.0/10 – Cheaper than the first issue, and a lot more consistent art. I did thing this leaned a little too closely towards Forever Evil, but it was very well done.

 

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