AVENGERS VS. X-MEN HC
What did the
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After sitting out the entirety of AvX (save the Wolverine & The X-Men tie-ins) while it was happening, I read this entire collection in one day. It was about what I thought it’d be: while I’m not a fan of big crossovers or events, there was a decent amount of fun to be had here and I’m glad I read it.
A few points stick out, some positive and some negative:
-The two issues (or chapters or “rounds”) penned by Jonathan Hickman, one of them double-sized, were easily the best. Hickman always brings a palpable sense of high-concept uniqueness to any situation that is either desperate or cosmic. Since this story is both desperate and cosmic, Hickman’s talents were very much appreciated. Even though the other writers had their high points as well, I wish Hickman wrote the whole thing.
-Much of the art seemed rushed — as did some of the writing. None of it seemed ridiculously rushed (nothing resembling the art on Final Crisis #7, and there wasn’t an army of inkers), but slightly subpar work was often, unfortunately, noticeable. While this detracted from some of the art, with Romita and Kubert’s later contributions seeming especially workmanlike, the biweekly production pace definitely affected the writing as well. For example, I can’t imagine Matt Fraction scripting a straight-faced line about “looking Cyclops in his eyes” if he (or his editors) had enough time to proofread his script (since, y’know, you can’t actually see Cyclops’ eyes…). A good deal of this was somewhat clunky. Not horrible, but somewhat clunky.
-But a good deal of it was also fun. After staying out of the Marvel mainstream for almost a year, I devoured this tome with glee. If you’re up for a big fight book with lots of “stuff that matters” happening every issue, then you’ll definitely get what you came for. It’s probably the best event Marvel has had since Civil War, and I could see an argument for it being superior to Civil War (since the later chapters of that story seemed to drag, in my opinion).
As a reader who only reads a handful of titles, it takes a lot to really impress me. I’ve read thousands of comics and admittedly veer toward the more hoity-toity or literary fare. Usually I not care less about mainstream superhero stories. AvX didn’t “impress” me per se, but it definitely entertained me. Perhaps most significant of all, there was nothing atrociously bad here. For all of usual criticisms lobbed against Marvel, superhero comics, crossovers/events, Bendis, etc., as someone who often agrees with those complaints and knows well-enough to stay away from buying dozens of $4 comics like that every month… I have to say that there was nothing egregious here, nothing sacrilegious, nothing eye-roll-inducing. Just a big chunk of decent fun in the sort of weighty story that you don’t get all that often. I can unequivocally recommend it as “Good” enough for me.*
*Especially if you can get a good discount on his $75 collection.
Art: 3 - Good