Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Avengers Vs X-Men #1
Bendis, Romita, Hanna & Martin
The big event is finally here and the first issue delivers a fast, over-sized and enjoyable read. Basically, this issue is all setup. However, the book moves through the setup quickly as the dialogue doesn’t overcomplicate the purpose and driver of the coming battle. The book appears to be fairly accessible whether or not you have followed the Avengers, the X-Men or neither. This book is a good first step.
The promotion for this series hasn’t hidden the fact that the Phoenix was to play a factor and that is explained immediately in this book. The Phoenix is a strange character in the Marvel Universe, but much of the complexity is taken away in this issue. To be blunt, the Phoenix is heading to Earth and one side sees it as a destructive force, while the other sees it as a savior.
Whether or not you are familiar with the Phoenix and the past problems the entity has caused, this issue does create a bit of a plot dilemma with regards to the characterization of Cyclops. This comic spells out how the Phoenix played a role in the death of Cyclops’ wife, the “love of his life”. And yet, in this very comic book, Cyclops doesn’t seek to destroy the Phoenix, but embrace it, capture it and control it. His reasons are not explored and they may have just slowed down the book, but in the context of creating a confusing contrast of choices for the character perhaps some reason should have been given.
The series seems like it is going to center around Hope. This feels a little tired as the X-Men have been fighting war after war over her the past few years, but ultimately the actual fighting is the result of the egos of Cyclops and Captain America, which works better here.
The artwork is terrific. Thirty pages of breathtaking pencils. The book doesn’t contain a ton of dialogue, so Romita is asked to do the heavy lifting and he comes through perfectly. The book has more than a few splash pages, but the focus is on the Phoenix and the destruction it brings rather than the superheroes standing around flexing at each other. This is a win in my book. This is a beautiful comic.
The hype is over and thankfully this issue has absolutely nothing to do with the dreadful #0 issue from last week. The book sets the stage perfectly and it appears the fighting is going to be full-on in the next issue. This issue is definitely worth checking out if you are at all interested in this mega-promoted event.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles