Monday, August 5, 2013
Book Review: Avengers vs. X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron, Frank Cho, John Romita, Ed Brubaker
Minor spoilers follow, though I doubt anyone will be much surprised.
The X-Men and Avengers, displaying all the conflict resolution skills of toddlers, decide to argue over the best way to deal with the coming Phoenix and its potential host. After about five minutes of talking, they start fighting. It's actually quite hilarious at that point: Scott goes out to talk with Captain America, and the rest of his team stands back and chats about how cranky he's been lately and how unlikely he is to negotiate. Once the fighting starts, they shrug and join in.
Eventually, the Phoenix comes and renders all the smashing moot, and it all comes down to Hope.
The second half of the book has a collection of individual A vs. X fights, some of which are funny and some of which are indulgences of various fantasies.
The collection actually kind of fun in its own colorful, brainless way, but one would hope that Earth's Mightiest Heroes and the world's scariest and mostly-benign-except-when-they're not mutants would have a somewhat better grasp on diplomacy. I found Storm and Black Panther's divorce particularly egregious. I mean, it's not that I have anything in particular invested in their marriage--the last time I was regularly reading X-Men, Storm was breaking Forge's heart by taking a little to long to say "yes"--but presumably they had a friendship, a courtship, some love, some reason to marry. Here, they side with their respective teams without so much as a second thought. There's a certain amount of pathos in the "Storm vs. Black Panther" fight in the second half of the book, but, like much of the rest of the book, things happen "Because plot" not because the characters are really showing any signs of moving events along.
I will say I appreciate the Marvel writers (or the collection's editors?) opting to provide short annotations about significant items and characters in the book. Some things I know from "back when," others, I had either forgotten or never new, so the one- to two-line inserts were quite helpful.
Got a review I missed? Let me know, and I'll include it!
Links of interest
Avengers vs. X-Men on Amazon
That's either too few or too many. Got a link you think I should include? Contact me and let me know! I'm especially interested in any list of how the multiple collections of A v. X are meant to be read! This is only the main plot.