JD reviews Avengers Vs. X-Men Issues 0 AND 1!!

TITLE: AVENGERS VS. X-MEN 0
WRITERS: BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS/JASON AARON
ARTIST: FRANK CHO
PUBLISHED BY MARVEL COMICS
REVIEWED BY JOHNNY DESTRUCTO

“It all begins HERE!”

Or, if you’re to pay attention to the Marvel publicity machine, it all began during The Children’s Crusade. Or if you’re to pay attention to the Marvel publicity machine contradict itself, it all began during Avengers X-Sanction. Strange how things don’t actually begin in the …you know…beginning. With number 1. Instead we get a prelude to a prelude to a prelude.

So here we are, in our 3rd prelude. And, shockingly, it was a hell of a good time!

The best part of this pretty exciting issue though was Frank Cho’s art. This fella could draw a manual on the most grotesque STD’s and produce something amazing. He’s pretty good, is what I’m sayin’. Though his Hope does come across a little bit older than she should and the car crash in the beginning of the issue is a teensy bit static. Everything else though, is beyond beautiful. I even like how he has his own very specific way of drawing Cyclops. You can see, which this depiction why Wolverine calls him Slim. And the ladies. Cho can draw him some ladies.

On top of amazing art though, why else should you buy this issue? How about M.O.D.O.K. and creepy dinosaur robots? How about The Vision’s first interaction with the Scarlet Witch, now that she’s back? How about The Serpent Society? Headbutts! Jet-packs! Teenage girls with giant burly man-bodies! Oh, and Frank Cho drawing stuff. That’s there too.

I’ve been bored with the idea of this crossover since I first heard about it, but boy-howdy, did I enjoy this issue more than I thought I would.

I actually enjoyed it more than I enjoyed the ACTUAL beginning of this story: Avengers Vs. X-Men 1. And speaking of which:

TITLE: AVENGERS VS. X-MEN 1
STORY: JASON AARON, BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS, ED BRUBAKER, JONATHAN HICKMAN, MATT FRACTION
SCRIPT: BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
PENCILS: JOHN ROMITA JR.
INKS: SCOTT HANNA
PUBLISHED BY MARVEL COMICS
REVIEWED BY JOHNNY DESTRUCTO

Whelp, this one didn’t tickle my comic buttons as much as issue 0 did, but this was still a pretty ok start.

An unidentified crashing object starts off this issue, causing quite a bit of horseplay, and the way the Avengers respond and ward off potential disaster was pretty pulse-pounding to read. Then we get a pretty intense scene of Scott training Hope. But then…there’s an essentially needless scene of Cap and Iron Man going to the President with their suspicions, which is probably only there to catch up any new readers. And then a needless scene of Cap going to the Jean Grey School to talk to Wolverine. And then a scene of the X-men talky talk talking, all to get us to the pretty unbelievable scene of Scott taking the first swing at Captain America?!? Weeeird. Scott truly has turned into a douche-nozzle.

I realize that if we were to take into consideration how these characters would ACTUALLY deal with each other, we wouldn’t have a giant cross-over called Avengers Vs. X-men, because they would somehow work together to reach a mutually beneficial outcome instead of fighting each other in a cliched manner. But
“Avengers Brainstorm an Intelligent Solution and then Snuggle with the X-Men” is a MUCH less dramatic title, and would sell far less copies, and so, we must put even more disbelief into suspension. Because hey, it’s superhero comics.

All this is to say, if you’re reading a comic book called Avengers Vs. X-Men, you aren’t reading it for allusions to the current political climate, or anything even remotely intellectual. You’re reading it to watch Avengers and Mutants punch each other in the grill. And this is what you get, and for a book about Avengers and Mutants getting ready to punch each other in the grill, you could do a lot worse!

Also, I should mention that I didn’t know anything about the Marvel AR app until I tweeted Brian Michael Bendis about it and he dropped the knowledge on my face. So, scattered throughout the issue are little red AR blocks. Apparently, in April, you’ll be able to download the Marvel AR app, and scan these little blocks, to get more inside info on the behinds the scenes? Kind of like VH1’s pop-up video, I assume? I’m sure there’s a more contemporary reference I could have made, but I so rarely get to mention Pop-Up Video in my reviews, so…

Also, there’s just one thing I have to mention about the Jim Cheung cover. A good portion of the heroes on this image are seemingly yelling at each other, I think? But because all of them are dead in the eyes, everyone just looks like they’re yawning at each other. Am I crazy? Hopefully this isn’t indicative of how this whole series is going to play out 😉

Anyhoo, these first 2 issues of this giant, needless crossover in a time of rampant crossover fatigue is actually off to a pretty fun start. It’s already better than Fear Itself, so that’s something.

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