Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Avengers vs. X-Men Comics

In late 2012 Marvel put out the Avengers vs. X-Men series, sparking rumours (and honestly some fangirl and fanboy high hopes) that this would lead to an Avengers vs. X-Men movie. The reality of course is that the two franchises are separately owned and it would take a hell of a lot of cajoling to pull something like this off, even though The Avengers was a very successful film and the X-Men First Class movie was great.

I finished these comics recently and was struggling with words to review the series. It was a lot more enjoyable than I had originally expected. Many were raising eyebrows and expecting this to be pretty lame. While it wasn’t the best series I’ve read, it certainly had its high points, including The Scarlett Witch and Hope Summers, and also the wonderful art work, including some by Jim Cheung.

Join me for a little more discussion under the cut.

Marvel advertised this one well with various drawings of different Avengers vs. X-Men show downs.

Who might win between Rogue and She-Hulk? Wasn’t the ultimate showdown between Captain America and Cyclops? How would X-Men with loyalties to The Avengers be worked into the comic?

Overall, although branded as though everything would be a massive show down, the story itself has more heart than that. The mutants, almost wiped out due to an incident involving The Scarlett Witch, are in hiding. They believe that Hope Summers is the chosen one who will reignite their race. The Phoenix Force is returning to Earth, as it turns out, for Hope. The X-Men believe that this is the herald of their reawakening, that mutants will be born again. The Avengers believe that the Phoenix must destroy everything in order to bring the rebirth that it stands for, and therefore, want to take Hope Summers before the Phoenix has the chance to possess her.

Hence, epic battles, mutant vs. Avenger. Alliances tested and forged.

There are a few things that stand out for me. The pseudo relationship that evolves between Wolverine and Hope is pretty good. It’s really nice to see Logan interact with someone who is both a weapon and a human being, much like himself. The Phoenix splitting into five and possessing five X-Men was an interesting turn. Emma and Scott’s relationship was therefore called into questions and answered pretty finally. Hulk showing up was pretty awesome too. 

I think my favourite part though was the Hope Summers and Scarlett Witch story arc. Here are two super heroines faced with devastating choices and facing the consequences of past and future actions. Initially, they don’t get along and don’t see the benefit of them teaming up, but in the end they need to in order to defeat the Phoenix Force that is possessing and corrupting the X-Men. It’s not often that the women get to be the heroes, and get to develop their person hood along the way. Sure, Iron Man and Captain America still need devices etc. to save the world, but ultimately, it takes the powers and fortitude of two women to stem the tide.

Things that could have been done better? I think humanising Scott Summers could have made the whole fight more believable, rather than him coming off as completely crazy. I think that I would have liked a little more time with the show downs, we only see Rogue for like two seconds, more of her would have been great, and more of Beast and Black Panther and Storm’s story. I have to say, it all got a little ridiculous for me when K’un L’un happened. Grounding it more in the way that Civil War was grounded may have been a better move. As it stood, this all came off as very fluffy and one would be forgiven for thinking it was set up to be a movie plot.

Overall though, it was enjoyable, and definitely got some extra points for the attention given to Scarlet Witch, because I like her.

1 comment:

  1. Archangel got his metal wings back? Interesting...

    I'm pretty committed to DC these days, but I've always had a fond spot for the x-men in my heart.