Avengers vs. X-Men: My Thoughts so far

Avengers vs. X-Men kicked off this month with the first two issues.  While this event had an easy hook and an ambitious creative team (five writers and three artist across three acts). I still had my doubts.  Despite some good moments and some great tie-ins (Youth in Revolt being my personal favorite) Fear Itself was probably the worst event comic I’ve ever read.  It felt unnecessary in almost every way and came out at a time where the comic book landscape was being properly tested with DC’s New 52.  It didn’t help that Marvel tried to milk the series for all it was worth with it was worth with three epilogues and two post-Fear Itself miniseries.

The good news is that Avengers vs. X-Men is off to such a promising start that it almost makes me forget about FI.  The first two issues had a real emotional core with Hope Summers, the mutant messiah and possible Phoenix host caught between two warring factions who have legitimate concerns for what her fate will mean for everyone else.  John Romita Jr. is producing some of his best work on this series, and with a book that will also feature Oliver Coipel and Andy Kubert, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Bendis on issue one really sets the stage, gathering all the necessary players in the calm before the storm.  Aaron on issue two handles his sizable cast flawlessly in the battles, accompanying banter, and moves the story along at a brisk pace.  The biweekly schedule for this book helps keep the momentum on the up and up, but it remains to be seen if the remaining ten issues can keep it going to its inevitable conclusion.

I wish Marvel had done more with Fear Itself in the long run (in terms of story and aftermath) but I don’t feel cheated (so far) with Avengers vs. X-Men.  Unlike FI, this feels like a story that needs to be told; it feels like years worth of storylines have been building towards this, and the amount of polish shows.  I do hope Marvel gives the whole “yearly event” thing a much-needed rest after this is all said and done, but so far this feels like an event worth reading for the story, as well as the spectacle.

(I’ll be back next month to share my thoughts on the next two issues of Avengers vs. X-Men)

Andrew Mathieu


Most Anticipated Non-AvX Marvel Comics of Spring 2012

This Spring marks the launch of Marvel’s most hyped event in its history, Avengers vs. X-Men.  With eight fantastic creators, 12 main story issues, and dozens of tie-in issues, Spring is looking to kick-off the summer event season at the House of M.  With that in mind, Marvel is actually streamlining its tie-ins in AvX to only the main X-Men and Avengers comics, leaving the rest of the Marvel Universe to continue business as usual.  I’d like to give my picks for the ten most enticing Marvel comic books and storylines of the Spring (April and May) that stay out of the AvX crave.  Courtesy of April and May Solicitations of Marvel Comics, here are just a few titles to watch in the coming months.

Thunderbolts (vs. Thunderbolts)

Thunderbolts #172 by Jeff Parker, Declan Shalvey, and Mark Bagley

April and May sees the biggest, (and perhaps final) major event in the history of the Thunderbolts.  With the current team of ex-villains traveling across the timestream, they end up face to face with the original team of Thunderbolts, including then team leader Baron Zemo.  Mark Bagley, original Tbolts artist, one cover duty for the three issue event, and the future of this title going by the new name of Dark Avengers, this is a story that’s surly more than meets the eye.

Avenging Spider-Man

Avenging Spider-Man #7 by Kathryn Immonen and Stuart Immonen

Spidey may have some Amazing adventures planned for Spring and Beyond, but Avenging has plenty of Action in its pages.  From a disastrous team-up with Punisher and Daredevil, to an action packed date with the Sensational She-Hulk, Spider-Man’s team book is looking hot this season.

Captain America and… Hawkeye

Captain America and... Hawkeye #630 by Cullen Bunn and Alessandro Vitti

Captain America’s adventures  continues in his own team-up book with Hawkeye leading the charge this Spring.  New writer Cullen Bunn teams the often at odds Avengers in a story full of tossed shields, flying arrows, and dinosaurs.  All this just in time for the Avengers movie!

Astonishing X-Men

Astonishing X-Men #50 by MARJORIE LIU and MIKE PERKINS

Marjorie Liu takes the Astonishing Gold Team of mutant superheroes in a battle against the new Marauders .  The roster includes “X-23” mainstays  Gambit and Dr. Reyes, as well as Magik, Northstar, Ice Man, and Warbird.

Exiled (Journey into Mystery and New Mutants)


The New Mutants become godly babysitters in a crossover between New Mutants and Journey into Mystery.  Starting off in a one-shot entitled “Exiled” and running throughout May, the New Mutants accompany depowered Asgardians, as well as JIM star Loki, as a magical menace sets its sights on LA.



Victor Gischler wraps up his run on X-Men with stories featuring the return of the Skrull Menace from “Secret Invasion.”  With longtime X-Man Pixie’s life hanging in the balance, one can only wonder what Gischler has in store for his grand finale.