Axis Review & Spoilers: Avengers & X-Men #5 by Rick Remender & Terry Dodson

Axis #5 spoilers 1Axis: Avengers & X-Men #5

Written by: Rick Remender
Penciled by: Terry Dodson
Inked by: Rachel Dodson
Cover by: Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor
Colored by:
Laura Martin and Matt Milla
Lettered by:
Chris Eliopoulos

Published by: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99

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

Editor’s Note:To get caught up on Axis, please check out Skitch’s other reviews of the issues leading to #5:

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Summary (contains spoilers): The issue starts with Spider-Man and Nova heading to Avengers Towers for an emergency meeting. Spidey tease the new hero a little, but also compliments him on how great he’s been doing as Nova. Spider-Man is also amused by his “youthful eagerness” and promises that eventually a “soul sucking symbiote or a media outlet dedicated to smearing your good name” will kill that.

The heroes find out that Captain America and the rest of the “inverted” Avengers were the ones who called this meeting. Cap reveals that someone on the inside had to help Red Skull escape. Instead of trying to figure out who it is, he decided to use Pym particles to shrink and imprison all of the “normal” Avengers. Spider-Man’s spider-senses clue him in that something is wrong, so he is able to get out of there and take Nova with him.

Spider-Man and Nova manage to escape the Avengers with the help of Magneto. Magneto brings him to Steve Rogers in the Avengers Mansion. Magneto also reveals that the X-Men have also been infected by the same madness. Rogers and Magneto have pieced together that in their attempt to give Xavier control over Red Skull’s mind, all the heroes and villains that were on the scene had their personalities “inverted.” They also realize the inverted Hulk is on a rampage. Nova jets off to stop him by himself. Rogers, Magneto, and Spider-Man want to go help him, but they are interrupted by the arrival of Apocalypse’s ship in New York.

Apocalypse and the X-Men attack the Avengers to liberate Red Onslaught. When they realize he’s already gone, Apocalypse issues a ultimatum while pummeling Captain America. All humans must vacate New York in three hours. After that, New York is his and any humans he finds there will be slaughtered.

Review: I love that Spider-Man used the same line from Ghostbusters that I did for my issue of issue 4.

I also loved the line he used on Captain America:

As has been the case in every issue so far, it really is the little character moments that have made me enjoy this series so much. The mild teasing Spider-Man gave Nova was a really nice touch. And it was great how amusing Magneto seems to find the idea of him really being a good guy for a change.

I also like how quickly everything escalated. Who knew how evil Captain America or Evan could be? Evan really embraced the whole “Apocalypse” thing fast.  He’s a lot more hands on than ever En Sabuh Nur was, beating Captain America down himself.  It was definitely jarring, and I thought it created a much more natural setup for conflict than we have had in past events like Civil War or Avengers Vs X-Men. Personally, I love when heroes fight, and this mind of mind flip-flop allows it to happen without the characters feeling tainted by the event. I had complained that last issue basically nothing happened, well they sure made up for it here.

This issue even did a nice job setting up some of the crossovers. The Nova Vs Hulk fight carries over into Nova’s own series…and even if I didn’t buy that book, I would have been compelled to check it out. The whole issue did a great job building Nova up, and I definitely would have liked to see more. Just a personal aside: I still hate the name Kluh, and refuse to call him that.

I do have one major complaint about this issue and it is the art. I usually like the Dodsons quite a bit, but their cartoony style felt like a real departure after the more realistic work by Leinil Francis Yu on issues 3 and 4. Personally, I didn’t think it fit the style and tone of this issue all that well.

I understand that when doing what is basically a weekly event, there is no way to have the same artist do all the issues. But, it does create a real inconsistency. I imagine this will be especially annoying for someone who goes back and reads this in a collected version. I would rather have read this spread out over a few more months and just have Leinil Francis Yu do the whole thing. Of the five issues, the two he drawn have by far looked the best.

Also, if you look at the solicit (which is also the description on Comixology), you can tell that there was some major delays and changes that went into this issue:  “Steve Rogers enlists Spider-Man and Nova for an impossible fight. The new Sorceress Supreme comes for revenge on Doom. Iron Man vs Daredevil for the fate of an infected San Francisco. The Axis of Evil strikes down the heroes of the Marvel Universe!”

Iron Man and Daredevil aren’t even in this issue, and the solicits also spoils Wanda’s intentions (assuming that is who they are talking about). In her last scene, she leaves the “Avengers” to go seek her vengeance, without explaining what she means exactly. I actually thought she was going after her dad since the very next panel is Magneto talking to Spider-Man. This is just poor marketing or editorial control.

We’re about halfway through here, and Axis has maintained a pretty quick and entertaining pace throughout. I thought Original Sin really dragged towards the middle, but there hasn’t been that problem here at all. Axis continues to top my read list every week. It is definitely one of my favorite crossovers, and I think Remender has done a terrific job. The art has been a little inconsistent from issue to issue, but a great story always makes up for that to me.

Title: Axis: Avengers & X-Men #5
Written By: Rick Remender
Art By: Terry Dodson
Company: Marvel
Price: $3.99
  • Loved the interaction between Spider-Man and Nova.
  • The new Apocalypse is a total badass.
  • To quote Jim Ross, BUSINESS IS ABOUT TO PICK UP!
  • Real jarring change in art styles.
  • Some bad coordination with whoever wrote the solicit for this issue led to unintentional spoilers.
Is it worth your $3.99? 8.5/10 – Another great issue of Axis.  I’ve got very little to complain about with this whole mini-series.  Definitely the most exciting event in comics for my money.

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