Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Avengers Vs X-Men #0 of 12
Bendis, Aaron, Cho & Keith
Marvel’s huge event kicks off with a zero issue. With all of the hype surrounding the first issue’s release next week (complete with launch parties and signings), it would seem that this issue is a final hype item and is probably a throwaway. However, Marvel uses this issue to tell two separate stories, one from the Avenger side and one from the X-Men side, that will presumably, dovetail down the road. Expectations of what you want from a first issue and from what you expect from this event will drive how much you like the issue. Taking into account all of the hype I felt this issue just didn’t deliver on several levels. This is a very ordinary comic with a huge amount of hype behind the title on the cover.
Basically the comic book contains two, fifteen page stories. One is about the Scarlet Witch, who is the character that put the mutants on the brink of extinction so many years ago, and how she is trying to move on without her Avenger friends. The other, is about Hope Summers and how she is rebelling against the strict rules set for her by the leader of the X-Men, Cyclops.
The Scarlet Witch story really has her moping around fighting some bad guys when a couple of Avengers show up. They convince her to go back to the Avenger Mansion to say “hi”, but instead she has a confrontation with her husband. It’s a decent story that gives a lot of background through some natural dialogue and provides a good character study in the process.
The Hope story is basically a teenager rebelling against authority. The story dances around the importance of Hope’s role as the mutant messiah. It too, provides a good amount of background and provides a nice isolated character view.
The problem here is that the title is “Avengers vs X-Men” and not “Marvel Comics Presents” or “Ladies of the Marvel Universe”. As of now, the comic book reads like a random sampling of Marvel characters that happen to be female. Obviously they will play some sort of role in the event, but in this issue it’s just a couple of one-offs.
Therein lays one of the problems with this issue and the current state of the “event” business. The story is being written for the collected edition. The art of writing an individual issue is gone and this issue is a perfect example of that problem. You are expected to read this and take a leap of faith that the rest of the issues to come after this one will make this issue matter and/or make sense in the larger story. However, unless you are totally committed to pick up the entire series then what about this book would entice you to pick up the next issue? There is no cliffhanger, no Avenger versus X-Men argument or clash. At four bucks I found myself totally unfulfilled with the comic book.
Frank Cho draws women really well and he has plenty of them to draw in this issue. The comic book is at its best when the Scarlet Witch shows up at the Avenger Mansion. The expressions of the onlookers that witness her argument with her husband are done excellently. Frank Cho provides a lot of details and puts forth a nice and fluid story.
I guess I will need to buy the next issue to figure out if this series is worth hanging with for twelve issues. This issue really should have been a giveaway. Six of the pages have already been in the back of every Marvel book since January as it is. Maybe Marvel should have serialized it instead of only giving the same few pages. You get two stories that could, potentially matter down the road. I understand that those that know they are picking this up regardless of the contents of any one single issue is going to find this all very exciting. It’s a slow build up to something that probably has a cool payoff. However, my event patience is paper thin and I need something more substantial than two stories that could easily have appeared in Marvel Comics Presents or as a fill-in one shot that was left in the drawer for a rainy day. Let’s see what the first issue has because the zero issue is fairly empty.
2 out of 5 Geek Goggles