Thursday, September 20, 2012

Review: Avengers vs. X-Men #7

I’ve greatly slacked on reviewing Avengers vs. X-Men and by now the series is pretty much wrapped up. So I need to work my ass off to catch up. As of this writing I own AvX through #10 (but I haven’t read #9 and #10 yet) and I will do my best to write them up. They will likely be quick and dirty, but I don’t want to do mini-reviews if I can help it.

By the way according to every nerd source on the internet Issue #11 involves [Spoiler] an important death. Now I don’t know who because I’ve tried to avoid finding out until I actually get to read the book. My first thought is of course Cyclops (for reasons I discussed last last time) I may be temporally locking the comment section for these reviews so no overzealous reader tells me. 

The art team remains Olivier Coipel on pencils, Mark Morales on inks, and Laura Martin on colors and Matt Fraction returns as writer. Previous reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Full review after the jump.



We really need to start a tally of people being set on fire in this book
After declaring that the Avengers are a threat to their goal of solving all of mankind’s problem Cyclops and the Phoenix Five (along with their army of X-Men) go to war against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, causing the team to go into hiding with only the Scarlet Witch able to challenge their hunters. As the battle continues across the world there is dissection among Cyclops forces that threaten everything the X-Men are supposed to stand for.

The artwork is pretty much the same as before: a lot of the effects look decent and the Phoenix Five’s costume still look good but the faces still look pretty bad and monkey-like (except for Hope Summers who continues to look like a twelve year old money). It balances out to be “okay”.

I continue to enjoy the development of the comic post issue five. In fact I really enjoyed that this issue discusses 1) the fact that the Phoenix Five are still separate people and we’re actually acknowledge the individual characters and not just Cyclops and 2) The Scarlet Witch’s influence on mutant kind. As the person reasonable for wiping out 99% of mutants it took a damn long time for the comic to bring her in (way too long, damn it) but I really like that she’s basically the boogey man for the X-Men. It’s also good to hear Magik and Namor actually say something, especially that it’s contradictory to Cyclops’ master plan. It means that the book is acknowledging that they are still characters that need to be developed, not just fiery plot devices.

Bitch, please
The writing is just pretty strong here, at least as far as characterization goes. Cyclops has seemingly regained much of the idealism he’s lost in the last few years (which, really, I thought the Phoenix Force was supposed to corrupt people, not make them awesome), Iron Man is a weepy suicidal wreck after causing the accident that created the Phoenix Five, and Black Panther got to smack Iron Man. So all in way I’m mostly happy about the characterization. I also dug the action scenes as well since they seemed to have more of a point than much of what we’ve seen before. This is especially true whenever the Scarlet Witch shows up as everything she does really feels like poetical “End of the World” stuff, to us and to her enemies, and it really helps build tension (which has been lacking so far).

I’m a bit miffed about Emma Frost playing some sort of game with Namor because I really don’t like when she gets all manipulative since that’s the first step in her becoming a villain again. I think that her transition from villain to hero was one of the only good things about superhero comics in the 1990s and I would really hate for that to get undone. I do like that she’s doing something on her own though. Also that stuff with K’un Lun (where Iron Fist is from) and it’s connection to the Phoenix all seemed like superfluous mumbo jumbo to me, but that’s mainly because I’m weary from all the different takes on what the Phoenix Force is. When I was a kid the Phoenix Force was the guardian of an alien crystal. Good, simple, done.

All in all this is another good issue of what has been an extremely uneven comic book maxiseries. For its faults I greatly enjoyed reading this issue. Like some previous issues it’s sort of a middle issue connecting more important stuff before and after it but unlike those lousy earlier issues I actually had fun reading it and am looking forward to reading more.

I like how they basically turned The Scarlet Witch into an all power Deus ex Machina
Oh wait; I meant to say "it's dumb as hell"

I’m giving Avengers vs. X-Men #7 4 out of 5 Adorable Pandas.



Pros 

-Strong characterization 

-Good action 

-Well written overall 

Cons 

-The Phoenix Force continues to not make any sense 

-The artwork has its ups but also has its downs 


 Next one should be up pretty soon so check back for Issue #8!

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