Story: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Jonathan Hickman
Art: Adam Kubert, John Dell, Mark Morales
Colors: Laura Martin, Justin Ponsor
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Publisher: Marvel Comics (Dan Buckley)
Release Date: October 3rd, 2012
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
This is what we have all been waiting for. The epic conclusion to Avengers vs X-Men, the drawing in point for "Marvel Now!". Before I wrote this review I decided to check out the buzz around the internet to see how people felt about the conclusion. It seems there is the normal negatives and positives but sadly more negatives. People are looking for plot-holes, they are tearing apart the way characters were created and of course saying that Marvel is a bunch of money hungry punks that will do anything to cash in on their books. Yet, out of all of the things I read, the thing the upsets me the most is the amount of people that are mad about what happened with Scott Summers.
There is a constant joke between myself and the guys that I do the podcast with that no one really likes Cyclops. We feel that he is a whiney punk that gets mad when things don't go his way. It can be argued that this is 90% of why AvX even happened. It seems that in all reality there is a plethora of people who not only love Cyclops, but support every decision he made during this event. I even saw people state the he was totally in the right to kill Professor Xavier and that he has no reason to feel bad about it...ugh.
Other than my distaste for the comments about Cyclops; everyone is allowed their own opinion, I want to comment on the plot-holes that are evident throughout this event. It is obvious there will be small issues when you have an event spreading over that many titles and in all reality, most of it made sense. Of course the things like the five light theory was not really touched on and Hope's training was left to the imagination. With Hope sitting around doing nothing for 90% of the event, it was surprisingly not a shocker to see her finish things off.
As for the book itself. It wasn't terrible. I think I am one of the few Marvel readers out there who truly enjoyed AvX. Maybe it was because I was not reading comics for so long that the lapses in characterizations of characters such as Captain America didn't have that much of a negative effect on me. Maybe because I wasn't super attached to any characters anymore and was relearning everything made me a bit detached...or maybe...just maybe...people want complete perfection is a cross-platform event while in reality, with that many authors involved, we still got something worth reading. This set up the main focus of the Marvel Universe for the upcoming months with "Marvel Now!" and was pretty much the epic conclusion for "House of M"....
The art for this book was nice, clean and full of action. Cyclops showed his strength by battling heroes all over the world which also highlighted the speed and power of the Phoenix Force. Even with everything looking so bad...everyone saw Hope still as a flicker of light. The fact that Hope was able to take out Cyclops with the help of Wanda (Scarlet Witch) was not a shocker at all...I expected it (at least the Hope half.) Even though it wasn't surprising, it was still done well. The Ying-Yang aspect to the two women to balance out the world and the Phoenix Force was a nice touch. With the banishment of the Phoenix Force, "No more Phoenix" and the return of Mutants, there is a lot to like about the conclusion. I do want to note to the people out there that are saying it is impossible to destroy the Phoenix Force....They didn't destroy it. They displaced it from the planet. We know as Marvel people that if the Phoenix were to be destroyed the universe would flicker out.
With Cyclops taken out and locked up for what one would assume to be an eternity for his crimes against the world and his murder of Professor Xavier, there is a lot of wonder as to what will happen with the now destroyed Utopia and the X-Men as a whole. It seems that perhaps Wolverine's school is going to be incredibly busy. Although I do not like Cyclops, I do like his response to learning about the events of after he lost his mind and was taken down by Hope. He has regret for what he did to Professor Xavier but he doesn't show it significantly because he is overjoyed that he was able to be a part of bringing mutants back to the world. This is looked at a bit more heavily in Uncanny X-Men #19 which I will review later.
In closing, I am not saying AvX is perfection. It isn't. Not many things in this world are. There are incredibly weak moments in the narrative but there are a lot of moments that made me smile, made me gasp, and made me bite my lip in anticipation for what was to come. If you are still torn on this event or if you are just listening to what others are saying, read it for yourself. I am not saying pour the hundreds of dollars into it that you would need to in order to read every piece of it, but reading everything adds to the experience. I think reading the core books only would cause you to leave with much more of a sour taste in your mouth. Just know that everyone has their own opinion and there is a lot to be enjoyed here. Remember what it was like to be a kid exploring comics for the first time and seeing those characters struggle with something that any of us wouldn't know how to handle. If you can get in that mindset and just think for yourself, you may catch yourself smiling a bit as well.
Now I can't wait for Marvel NOW! There is a lot going on in the Marvel Universe, there are a lot of new mutants to meet and a lot of pieces to pick up. I want to be there to pick them up...