Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review: Avengers vs. X-Men #3

Here we are with another issue of Avengers vs. X-Men. One unfortunate trend I’ve been noticing about this series is that apparently a lot of stuff has been happening in tie-in issues. Specifically a really cool thing happened in (I believe) Uncanny X-Men #11 where Cyclops releases “The Avenger Protocol”…which turns out to be the X-Men’s PR rep sending out an e-mail detailing the situation from their point of view, depicting the Avengers as an invading, hostile American force come to kidnap Hope Summers because she’s a mutant. Which means Cyclops is awesome because he just destroyed the Avenger’s good public image. Depressingly this doesn’t happen in the book I’m actually reading. Again, I’m not reading tie-ins because Marvel is releasing this main series, so anything necessary to get the whole plot should be here and anything else should just be there to enhance the story. My friend who’s been more proactive in checking out various tie-ins tells me that certain Avengers are now picking sides, which hasn’t happened in the main book yet (Although that may change with issue four). Should this continue and more interesting and important details come out outside of this book this miniseries will be a failure simply because it would mean I would have to spend an unreasonable amount of money a completely story.

Anyway the artwork is again done the team of John Romita, Jr. (Pencils), by Scott Hanna (Inks) and colors by Laura Martin (Colors) but this time Ed Brubaker takes the reins on the script.

Full review after the jump.

[WARNING: Lots of spoilers in this review


Seconds before Cyclops and his team conquer the puny human race
After recovering from his near death encounter with Hope Summers Wolverine comes to only to discover that the girl has fled Utopia and Cyclops has surrendered to Captain America. Logan realizes it’s a trap right as the team of captured X-Men vanish. It’s now a race between the two team over who can find Hope first.

I would say the art is pretty much the same as it had been previously; this issue begin on the better side of things. The best part of this issue though is that for the first time in this series Cyclops is portrayed as something other than a raving lunatic and, perhaps more importantly, he’s presented as an extremely able tactician who completely and utterly outsmarts Captain America. This is easily the best written Cyclops I’ve read in months and I’m absolutely certain it won’t last. Also when Scott escaped he did so with what may be the most powerful (and diverse) collection of X-Men ever assembled: himself, Emma Frost, Storm, Magneto, Namor the Submariner, Colossus as the Juggernaut, Magik, and Danger, the killer sentient Danger Room whose main power seems to be “Control all Machines”. I really, really hope Marvel demonstrates just how powerful this group is at some point during the series.

Also it’s nice to see Rachel Summers in this comic seeing as she more than any other person on Earth knows what the Phoenix Force was all about (She was the host to the entity for some time during the 80s). That said it’s very telling to see that she sides with Cyclops over Wolverine in this issue. If we admit that Rachel is actually a living expert on the Phoenix Force and she thinks what Cyclops is doing is the correct action it gives him a ton of legitimacy as far as I’m concerned.

Also this is the only script so far that didn’t have me rolling my eyes. So Ed Brubaker should be praised.

But there’s one big thing about this issue that fills my heart with such pure joy that I pretty forgave everything in this comic so far. You likely noticed the cover of this issue and if you spent any time in the archives of this blog under the “comic books” label you know damn well that this comic features Captain America finally taking on Wolverine and that I am in love with this moment . It turns out I was wrong last time; Cap was none too happy to find out that Wolverine had tried to slice and dice poor old Hope and expressed his disappoint in a manner appropriate for dealing with the clawed mutant.

The greatest thing in the history of time
By beating him up and tossing his ass out of the goddamn Helicarrier! I have literally waited seven years for Captain America to finally say “Wait a second! Wolverine kills people all the time! Why is he on the team?” Indeed Cap did briefly question this when Logan first joined the team in New Avengers #6 (because, you know, he kills people!) but was shockingly easily talked into the idea by Iron Man, who is known for his great decision making skills in the comic fan world. But man, seeing one of my favorite superheroes beat up on my least favorite superhero was a fantastic treat. For today only my anti-Wolverine organization C.L.A.W. will stand for “Captain America Lovers Against Wolverine”. Oh man, just thinking about it is making too giddy to keep going. Give me a second.



Okay, I’m back. Wolverine’s whopping was pleasurable enough that it heavily distracts me from the problems in the books but there are some. Captain America is still being portrayed as being ridiculously unreasonable to the point that even Iron Man has to point out that Cap was sounding like he did during the Civil War crossover. Also I wasn’t too keen on the fact that they only barely mentioned the Avenger Protocols since it seemed like an important plot point. And truth be told there was still just more set up here since we’re only to farther along than we were at the end of the last issue; Hope is on the run and the Phoenix Force is still coming.

Truthfully Avengers vs. X-Men #3 got a good chunk of bad reviews but I liked it a lot. Granted the main reason I liked it a lot is because Cyclops looked cool and Captain America threw Wolverine out of an airlock. But hey, I’m a simple man with simple pleasures. This wasn’t the most important part of this miniseries and the creators clearly weren’t going at it gun blazing but I thoroughly enjoyed what I read. I’m a little afraid what’s going to happen next issue but for now I’m going to re-read You-Know-Who eating a Star Spangled Shield.

I'm begging you Marvel: please, please strongly utilize Rachel Summers in this xover!

I give Avengers vs. X-Men #3 4 out of 5 Adorable Pandas 



Pros 

-Cyclops did something cool for first time in a long while 

-“You should see it! Wolverine’s getting a beating!” 

Cons 

-Captain America is still kind of crazy 

-It feels like I’m being forced to buy other comics to get the full story

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