GLX takes a look at Marvel's heavily-hyped Avengers vs. X-Men #1.
Credits & Solicit Info:
Story - Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman and Matt Fraction
Script - Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller - John Romita Jr.
Inker - Scott Hanna
Colorist - Laura Martin
It's No Longer Coming—It's Here!
• Does The Return Of The Phoenix To Earth Signal The Rebirth Of The Mutant Species? That's What The X-Men Believe!
• Unfortunately, The Avengers Are Convinced That Its Coming Will Mean The End Of All Life On Earth!
• The Stage Is Set For The Ultimate Marvel Showdown In This Oversized First Issue!
What would the comics industry be without big events? Some fans complain about them, yet they tend to do great sales-wise. It's no surprise that Marvel has prepared another event with Avengers vs. X-Men. The first issue of this event has hit store shelves and while it's not a bad read, it's still a shallow one.
Avengers vs. X-Men #1 is more concerned with plot than character development. Each scene serves to keep the plot moving without any room for character development. The first page of the comic introduces the reader to an alien child on a farm before they (along with everyone on their planet) is subsequently destroyed by the Phoenix. That is followed up by another page in which the reader is introduced to the Avengers before they spend several pages protecting the citizens of New York from an unidentified object plummeting to Earth.
Even the scenes that are dominated with dialogue mainly operate for the benefit of the plot. Cyclops' talk with other members of the X-Men is used to inform the reader of their stance in the impending conflict; Captain America and Iron Man's White House briefing shows the reader what they believe in. Everything about the writing is focused on generating excitement for what happens next, instead of generating interest within what drives each character. That's not to say that it's a bad thing. Brian Michael Bendis does a nice job of keeping the action moving and laying the foundation for future issues. It would've been nice to have some depth to the action, though.
John Romita Jr. handles this comic's pencils and he turns in some of his best work in recent memory. While his art has a flaw here and there, Romita Jr. does a solid job of depicting each scene clearly. Romita Jr's art really benefits from Scott Hanna and Laura Martin's contributions. Hanna's inks smooth out Romita's pencils without sacrificing the penciller's style, while Martin's colors pop off the page.
The physical copy of Avengers vs. X-Men #1 comes with a digital copy of the comic, which includes Avengers vs. X-Men #1: Infinite. It follows Nova as he tries to warn Earth of the impending arrival of the Phoenix. Despite Mark Waid's efforts, the script is a little hollow. Nova doesn't come across as an everyman that the reader can relate to, but rather a character that has a specific purpose with the event. It's not a bad story, but it's far from great.
Stuart Immonen handles the art and he does a respectable job on it. Characters and environments are portrayed in a consistent fashion, while still maintaining an art style that's distinct. His art gets bogged down with Marte Garcia's colors, though. While Garcia is not a bad colorist, his colors don't mesh well with Immonen's work.
Avengers vs. X-Men #1 also comes with special AR code features. These range from such things as videos to behind-the-scenes art. The extras themselves are decent, but the execution is off. As someone who's never used AR technology before, I had an awkward time getting used to it.
While it's far from a must-buy, Avengers vs. X-Men #1 is a shallow yet entertaining comic. The action is sure to keep longtime readers engaged, despite its lack of character development. Its extra digital bonuses may be far from perfect, but there's potential for them to be better implemented in the future. Just sit back and enjoy the comic.
7* out of 10*
Review by: GLX