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.
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.
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.
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.
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-