Avengers Vs X-Men #0 - 'Scarlet Witch' and 'Hope' - Bendis, Aaron, Cho and Keith
Story - AvX is set to be the biggest event Marvel have done in a while, maybe ever, but at least since Civil War, and the build-up has been all over comics lately, driving fan anticipation to a frenzy. Stories like X-Sanction, The Children's Crusade have the shadow of this event hanging over them, knowing that 'It's Coming' has been a factor in our reading of Marvel Comics for at least the last 6 months.
So now that's it's finally here.... this #0 issue was kind of a disappointment. This issue is not where AvX begins, we don't get to see Iron Man punch Colossus yet. It's just more build-up, which, when we've had months and months of build-up, feels unnecessary.
That said, it was enjoyable, and for newer casual readers who haven't been reading all of the other titles that lead up to this, it provides a great summation of where both Scarlet Witch and Hope are at right now, before everything blows up.
The first story focuses on Scarlet Witch, who in the aftermath of Children's Crusade is now pretty much fully compos mentis and back to being a superhero. She fights MODOK (always good to see MODOK) alongside Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman, and then heads back to the Mansion where her ex-husband (that's ex, not X) The Vision chews her out. The scene where Vizh tells her to leave was very well-written by Bendis, and anyone who liked it should definitely also seek out Avengers #24.1, which has plenty more awesome synthozoid emotion. The homage to 'even an android can cry' was a little on the nose, but it worked.
The second story is about Hope, the so-called Mutant Messiah and soon-to-be-Phoenix. She butts heads with Cyclops, her kind of grand-father about how he never tells her anything about why she's so special, then flies off to kick some Serpent Society ass. I enjoyed this story more than the Scarlet Witch one, because I feel that Jason Aaron has a better handle on these characters than Bendis does on the Avengers he focused on in his story, he may have written like 200 Avengers comics, but most of them haven't had Vision or Wanda in them. The fight between Hope and the Serpent Society was very well-done, and shows to any new readers just who Hope is, she's a tough fighter, not just a Jean Grey clone, and demonstrates just why the prospect of her becoming Phoenix is so worrying.
The issue ends with a shot of the deadly cosmic fire-bird, and sets us up for next week's #1, which hopefully should get things rolling with the As actually starting to fight the Xs. This issue was a let down in some ways (I just wanted to get to the fireworks factory!), but it's also pretty important context for a very important event. Next week the bloodbath begins, but for now, the two sides are allies, this is our last chance to see them like that. After this issue, things will never be the same again!
Until the next event.
Art - Frank Cho is one of my favourite artists, he's often unfairly criticised as a cheesecake artist, and yes, while he does draw very attractive women with large breasts, he also draws everything else brilliantly. His MODOK is awesome, his depictions of the male characters is also very strong, and his backgrounds are detailed and interesting. He's a top-tier superhero artist, and I always look forward to his work.
Best Line - 'Though yes, I would like my jetpack back'