It's Avengers versus X-Men. A few one shot tie ins with the AvX event that are frankly a bit disrespectful to the New Avengers comic line and question its worth. For a larger rant, see my review of New Avengers (Vol. 2) #27!
|Executive Producer:||Alan Fine|
|Chief Creative Officer:||Joe Quesada|
|Editor In Chief:||Axel Alonso|
|Associate Editor:||Lauren Sankovitch|
|Writer:||Brian Michael Bendis|
|Artist:||Mike Deodato, Jr.|
|Cover Art:||Mike Deodato, Jr., Rain Beredo|
|Lettering:||VC's Joe Caramagna|
The recap page tells us the Phoenix force has been split into five and inhabits Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor, Colossus and Magik. The Phoenix Five have been remaking the world (some would say improving it), whilst the Avengers have been trying to remove their powers. Many Avengers have been taken into custody during these conflicts.
The issue starts on Utopia, the island home of the X-Men. It’s been remodelled a little bit, but then that’s what the power of the Phoenix is for, right?! Spider-Woman, Hawkeye and Luke Cage are being held prisoner. Whilst the men aggressively try and escape (with no success), Jessica plays it more cool – portraying the victim who just wants to write to her mom before she is executed. The ploy works as she is able to catch Phoebe (of the Stepford Cuckoos) unawares and escapes. She goes to free Clint but he manages to escape by himself at that exact instant! They free Luke and having discovered that Thor has also been captured, they figure they should free him and then try to find away off Utopia. They get outside but find a group of X-Men led by Colossus blocking them. Luke manages to shove them out of the way leaving the path to a boat, and their means of escape, clear. Deciding it better to get Thor later and just get out of there for now, they run. However, Emma Frost and Cyclops appear in their way. Fortunately, a kick from Hawkeye redirects Cyke’s optic blast onto Emma allowing Spider-Woman to follow up with a venom blast and Luke to thump Cyclops. Their path clear the Avengers escape in the speed boat.
Except they don’t.
The whole thing is a virtual simulation ran by Danger. This is their punishment for attacking the mutant race, to believe they have escaped and then be told they haven’t. False hope, again and again. With that the program restarts and the last page is the same as the first, Spider-Woman in jail awaiting her freedom.
Hmmm. How many times have we read a multi-arc event in a comic when something really significant happens, something that will change the entire fabric of the universe, but then at the end the reset button is pushed and everything is back to how it was? This story was that, albeit on a lesser scale. The good thing is that it wasn’t drawn out over five issues but the bad thing is it ultimately makes the story pointless. Sure, it was an enjoyable enough tale but at the end of it, nothing happened. No plot lines were advanced, no facts were learnt that we didn’t know before, nothing happened. I find it ironic that the Avengers’ punishment was to be put through stories thinking something was going to happen and then ultimately nothing did, as that’s what readers of New Avengers have been going through for months now! Also a bit of a shame that the only current “New Avenger” present in the story is Luke Cage, but I suppose as they have done away with the whole team thing then it’s “okay”. It does go back to my point about whether New Avengers should be its own comic when all it does is fill in the gaps that others leave.
Okay, positives. It was an enjoyable “done in one” story however insignificant it eventually was. I didn't need to have read any of the other AvX event comics to read this one, everything I needed to know was told to me. It was nice to see what happened to the prisoners captured during the AvX conflict – to see some action away from the front line. It had some funny moments with Clint thinking the Spider-Woman in front of him as he escaped was a shape shifter trying to trick him and Jess proving she was the real deal. I like Hawkeye and Spider-Woman as a couple, I think it works and adds a nice element to their stories and is different enough from the established couple of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones.
There was some interesting resentment on both sides, a Human @~@$! insult from Phoebe and Luke insinuating that mutants can’t think for themselves. Proper racism there. Understandable given the two sides are at war, but will that be addressed at the end of AvX? Will they be able to be friends again?
Finally, the art was good once again capturing the motion of action scenes well.
I liked the story but ultimately it was for nothing. It didn’t add to the AvX event, it didn’t add to the New Avengers. So whilst it was a good enough story, there was no need for it to be told and I’m therefore scoring it down the middle.