Looking Back Friday!

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I don’t usually read any of the “event” comics but a set of circumstances lead to my owning the Avengers vs X-Men collection (2012, #75.00).  Pretty simple really, a friend of mine ordered it off amazon – and amazingly – he was sent 2.  They came a day apart and he offered me one for half price.  I told him I wasn’t interested as I didn’t really care to read the series.  Then he came up with the best solution.  He told me to take it and to read.  After I finished it, if I didn’t want it, to give it back.  If I wanted to keep it to slip him $20 and it was all mine.  So, even with a ton of other things on my plate I took this home and cracked it open.  Two things happened:

The first, I loved it.  I seriously couldn’t put it down.  I thought it was really well done – even with the lack of Hulk in it!  The second thing was – it made me want to read more – that’s sort of a big deal because I have never been into reading the X-Men or any other mutant title.  This, of course, isn’t a regular title though.  This matched hero vs. hero, which seems to be a new, constant battle that Marvel keeps dipping back into the well for stories.  It does work well here though, better than Civil War, IMO, where you are not exactly sure who to root for.  It became abundantly clear who should be stopped by issue #2 or #3 – the mutants were out of control.

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The Avengers had their work cut out for them facing opponents that were pretty unstoppable.  It was a fun ride where your loyalties were with a certain team – or you were hoping one of them would give and realize that they were doing more harm than good in battling back and forth.  I never read the original Dark Phoenix tale – but I did know how bad ass it was – and what it could do.  I found the whole saga a page-turner.  I even enjoyed the ending… but there were some issues with the whole saga.

No, no, Hulk - I said "Will you hide my STASH for me!"

No, no, Hulk – I said “Will you hide my STASH for me!”

Why did the Hulk even make an appearance?  He didn’t show up until Round 11 – and even then he didn’t do much – as insignificant as that might be to anyone who is not a huge Hulk fan – to me that was a real let down and yet another reason why having a new Hulk in the Marvel Universe is just a bad idea.  Early on they used the Red Hulk – who was also pretty ineffective in the story – but, to tell you the truth, I can’t remember him doing anything of real importance.  So, why was he there?  Either of them?  They used to bring Hulk into these stories to at least do something noteworthy – hold up a freakin’ mountain, crack Onslaught’s armor – hell, even in the Infinity Gauntlet he got close enough to Thanos to land a few blows!  Here, though?  The Hulk disappears just as quickly as arrives – and is really no use at all.

Most of these events move pretty slowly – having to pace the issues out to fill a full trade that Marvel can over-charge us for later.  This event actually moves rather quickly and doesn’t have a whole lot of filler.  I found the end rather decent and complete, unlike some of my friends who thought that the finale was a cop-out.  I mean, how else could this end?  The Phoenix gone but with it’s destruction there is an undoing a mutant massacre from House of M back in 2005.  Like I’ve stated before, I am not a fan of the X-titles and haven’t really read up on them but reading this made me want to read more (which is sort of the point in doing these events).  I did pick up the AVX: Consequences 5 issue mini to follow up on what happened next.  I liked it – Scott Summers playing the Ozymandias role – making his actions, no matter how despicable, justified for the greater good.

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The only other wish I had (other than more Hulk) was that Marvel would make continuity a priority again.  The Hulk that appeared in this series was not the same Hulk that was in his own series – he acted differently and look different.  I miss the days when everything connected in the MU – nowadays, with writers and their egos, Marvel sort of seems to let them have the freedom to write whatever they want in whichever vain the choose with the incarnation of the character they wish to use (especially Loeb).  It makes it very confusing for the reader who still reads everything.

The Follow Up is totally worth the read!

The Follow Up is totally worth the read!

Overall, though, these problems did not really impact my enjoyment of this event.  I mean, I am not going to start reading the X-Men now but I think having the collected edition is worthwhile – especially if your friend gets an extra copy and you just have to slip him a $20 to keep it!  Grade: A-

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9 responses to “Looking Back Friday!

  1. I won’t read this because even though the Hulk is my favorite I do really like other characters as well, and Thor is one of them. He had no credit whatsoever, he went from serious powerhouse to loser faster than anyone could blink. Heck Thor defeated rachel summers quite easily when she was possessed by the phoenix. I could be mistaken but the phoenix possessed characters in this story only had 1/5 of the phoenix power, Thor should NOT have been defeated that easily. I know there are those who love this story and are entitled to their opinion, me, I don’t want any part of it or future “big” events for that matter. Sorry for the negativity and complaints.

  2. Again I apologize for my negativity and complaining…

    • Dude – there is no reason to apologize for your opinions – you weren’t a fan of the series and that’s fine. I am not as read up on Thor as others so this didn’t strike me as it did you – but had that been the Hulk not having an impact as he should I would be crowing the same way you are!

      No worries, bro – spout away!

  3. Thanks. Just didn’t want to create any arguments. This is your website so I try to be as respectful as I can.

  4. I think the lack of continuity lately with the Hulk is just the simple fact that Marvel doesn’t know what the hell to do with the character. That and lazy writing. That is why we see more of Red Hulk in these crossover events than we do The Real Hulk. because he is easier to write. Everybody wants to reinvent the wheel with this character instead building upon David & Paks works. Heck look at Waids work on the Hulk, the Hulk is there but he seems to be 1 dimensional while all the character work is being focused on Banner. Im sorry I like my Hulk with personality and not the dobey {Hulk eat baked beans and pets puppies Hulk} to me that version doesn’t make sense especially when the character needs to be in some extreme emotional state to manifest. While the other side of coin doesn’t to work for me where they are just using the Hulk as a mindless weapon to aim at problems. The Hulk needs to be his own character some after thought used as a plot device for the author’s story.

  5. Couldn’t agree more, Hulk is nothing but a weapon in Waid’s run. Something Banner fought years to prevent, although I can’t help but feel banner has a hidden agenda. I seriously doubt banner went through so much effort to blackmail shield to gain access to their technology just to make world saving inventions. Just as I feel there’s more to Hulk’s armor, I think it’s used to control Hulk, why else would that little spycam warn banner so much, it’s not for protection Hulk as been on the bottom of the ocean plenty of times….

    • I agree with this as well. I am interested to see Banner’s agenda and the armor more fully explained (hopefully they have more to the armor because to date it leaves me scratching my head). At least the issues are readable and make me want to see what comes next which is saying something for previous writing which left hoping it would end.

      • I am certainly waiting for more explanations as well – but these stories thus far are a complete 180 from what we’ve been reading I am just enjoying them. Thing is, I know that now a days Marvel’s writing style is slow as a snail so I wasn’t expecting answers just yet.

  6. The mystery of Waid’s direction is what keeps bringing me in, while definitely not my favorite run it’s way better than Aaron’s, though it’s interesting that Aaron’s run on Thor is pretty good. I guess some writers write certain characters better than others. I just wish Waid would have better artist. We have Walt Simonson next (good writer but not artist) and Matteo Scalera after that. Come on!

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