Thursday, October 11, 2012

Review: Avengers vs. X-Men #10

[So apparently my scanner picked this week to stop working and pretty much delayed me in doing AvX reviews. It’s working now so hopefully I can get back to it.]

I keep falling behind when doing these Avengers vs. X-Men reviews and I think I’m starting to understand why: I’m not super into it. It’s probably because of how many there is too it; twelve issues is a lot. However I like to finish what I start (that’s probably mostly true) and there’s three issues left so I can see the finish line. In theory I could get these all done this week [Nope. My wonky scanner saw to that not being the case]. And in theory were heading into the climax, and Marvel has a great history of ending their crossovers strongly, right? Right? Anybody…? Anyway I need to review Looper and a new anime and this crap is in the damn way!

Avengers vs. X-Men #10 is primary written by Ed Burbaker. The art team continues to consist of the same people: Adam Kubert on pencils, John Dell on inks and Laura Martin with Larry Molinar on colors. Previous AvX reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

Full review after the jump.

[WARNING: There are some spoilers in this book, but it's a pretty old issue at this point so it shouldn't be a huge deal]

"Stop bringing up how I abandoned my wife and kid, you dicks!"
Despite all the Avengers best efforts the Phoenix possessed Cyclops, now more powerful than ever, has arrived on K’un Lun with the sole intention of taking Hope Summers back to Utopia and he doesn’t intend to let any of the Avengers stand in his way. This will not stop Earth’s Mightiest Heroes from taking a last stand against their incredibly powerful foe. But with Hope apparently not yet ready to face the Phoenix can they turn back the increasingly unstable leader of the X-Men?

For all intent and purposes this issue is pretty much the same as Issue #8 except Cyclops is now considerably more powerful than Namor was which means that the Avengers pose significantly less of a threat to him as he is…which means that it’s all kind of dull. Where issue #8 was a huge slugfest this is more “Cyclops is Pretty Much God” and treats the Avengers as little more than flies; nuisances that are mostly just distractions. The problem is that we’re not quite at the climax yet and we still need a bit of set-up, so we can’t go all out with the action yet. Which means that the only truly important thing that happens in this issue is at the very end when [SPOILER] Cyclops is defeated by a suddenly extremely powerful Hope. But everything before that was completely pointless.

No joke here; I just like seeing Iron Man getting hurt
Seriously, at this point it’s getting redundant. How many goddamn times do I need to see Iron Man and The Things get the shit kicked out of them in one f**king miniseries? The only thing I really learned from this comic was that dragons can hurt the Phoenix…except Cyclops easily defeats the only dragon available so it’s a moot point. The idea of the Phoenix Five was good but this feels like padding, probably because it is. Last issue had a lot of (albeit forced and ultimately pointless) character development for Spider-Man who finally got to do something interesting in the series. So even though that issue was just moving the plot at least it felt like something was happening. Here I feel like I’m just going through the motions.

The art work is fine, as it has been, but the sloppy and weird spots that I mentioned before do seem to be increasing and I’m becoming a more and more put off by them. While I didn’t really enjoy seeing Cyclops wipe the floor with a bunch of dudes I’ve already seen get beaten up for five issues I did really like seeing the evolution of Cyclops powers as the Phoenix. Even as recently as three issues ago his powers were portrayed as being much lower leveled but it’s really good that he’s become as powerful as he is because it builds tension for the eventual climax. It creates a dire reason for what happens in the next issue (which we’ll talk about in the next issue). Hell, it’s really awesome to see the Scarlet Witch, the only thing the Phoenix Five feared from their opponents, be 100% outmatched by Scott; it clearly demonstrates that there’s a high chance that none of them will survive the end of the series (but seeing as Marvel hasn’t been advertising “The Phenomenal Cyclops #1” as a new “Marvel NOW” title following this miniseries I think we have a clear idea how this ends).

Pictured: Twenty-One years of character development down the drain
That said I am again really, really unhappy with what is essentially bullshit character development with Cyclops and Emma Frost. Cyclops gets crazier with every issue and Emma, especially in this book, has basically become an evil dictator of the world, even forcing the other X-Men to bow to her. I don’t think it’s been written badly, which really is the most important aspect of a comic book, but I hate that two of my favorite charters are basically being assassinated in this series. I’ll discuss Cyclops more in-depth with the next book (because I will need a couple hundred words for that bullshit) but as far as Emma Frost goes I don’t understand how she can possibly go back to being a superhero, or at least a member of the X-Men, after her actions here. Assuming she’s not killed off, which is a big assumption at this point, she’s turned the team into her personal worshipers and murdered at least one person without a fair trial. This isn’t Mega City-1; this is a damn superhero comic and there are consequences to that shit. So really, unless Frost gains Wolverine’s magical abilities to somehow avoid punishment for his actions, there’s no point in thinking of Emma as anything other than a villain again. We might as well call up Sebastian Shaw and Donald Pierce because it may be time to get the band Hellfire Club back together. Because when Magneto calls you out for being an asshole that’s when you know you’ve crossed the line of no return.

But even with all that said this hasn’t been a horrible comic so far. Even though Marvel is giving me stuff I hate they’re doing so in a way that makes it easier to shallow; i.e. with consistently good writing. As opposed to One More Day and One Moment in Time with gave me stuff I hate and then kicked me in the balls to go with it in the form of terrible writing. But this issue isn’t great. It’s a bit dull to see Cyclops curb stomp the Avengers yet again and the payoff at the end of the issue is the only real important thing. You can easily just look at the first page then skip to the end and you’ll be fine for issue #11. 

Hope, pretty much summarizing my thoughts on AvX at this point
I’ll give Avengers vs. X-men # 10 3 out of 5 Adorable Pandas


-I do enjoy the way they’re setting up the climax 


-Except for the ending everything that happens in this issue is pretty much superfluous 

-Emma Frost and Cyclops are pretty much done ever being superheroes again

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