Avengers vs X-Men #1 and #2

We’re 2 issues in to Avengers vs. X-Men now, and the battle’s in full swing. Issue #2 was released last Wednesday, and as I neglected to post my review of issue #1 when it was released about 3 weeks ago, I’ll rope it into the review as well.

AvX #1 begins with the cosmic superhero Nova crashing to Earth and inadvertently causing some major damage to New York City. The Avengers, after quickly cleaning up the mess caused by Nova, rush to his side and receive a grim message: “It’s coming.” Turns out what’s coming is the devastatingly powerful entity known as the Phoenix Force.

The Phoenix Force has enough power to instantly decimate entire planets (as we witness during its journey to Earth.) It was famously bonded to the late Jean Grey of the X-Men, corrupting her mind and ultimately causing her death. It is now on its way back to Earth, and its most likely target for a host is Hope Summers; mutant messiah of the X-Men. The Avengers know this, and have made it their mission to take Hope into custody for the safety of the planet. At the end of AvX #1 we see how this mission ends goes: (SPOILERS) not well. Cyclops, unwilling to allow the Avengers to interfere in mutant affairs, fires the first shot by blasting Captain America with his optic blast. The battle begins.

I thought AvX #1 was a great first issue for this event; the whole premise was set up by writer Brian Michael Bendis very neatly. John Romita Jr.’s art here is good, not great (although it definitely looks better than in his recent run on Avengers.) Avengers vs X-Men #1 gets a 4 out 5.

In AvX #2, Avengers and X-Men clash head-on, as promised by the series’ title. The X-Men’s island home of Utopia is the stage here, and some very interesting battles occur: Colossus vs Red Hulk, Namor vs Luke Cage and The Thing, Emma Frost and Magneto vs Iron Man, Magik vs Doctor Strange, and of course Cyclops vs Captain America. Quicksilver arrives to let his father Magneto know how he feels about the situation, and we get a quick glimpse of the recently-returned Scarlet Witch’s prophetic dream journal. Wolverine (who has unexpectedly sided with the Avengers) and Spider-Man split off from the battle to scout out Hope, who also has some plans of her own. Meanwhile, the Phoenix Force is growing ever closing to Earth.

Jason Aaron’s script is good, but the change in writers gives the feeling of character inconsistency. I like the idea that the creative team is going to change with each issue of this series, but the change in feel between issues #1 and #2 is jarring. Regardless, I’m enjoying the story and am very much anticipating the next issue. Avengers vs X-Men #2 gets a 3 out of 5.

The Marvel AR app stuff, as well as the digital “Infinite Comic” attached to issue #1, are both super cool too, by the way.

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