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Chain Reactions | Avengers vs. X-Men #12

Avengers vs. X-Men #12

Marvel’s latest blockbuster crossover series, Avengers vs. X-Men, which was written by everybody and drawn by everybody else, wrapped up this week. Issue #12 featured writer Jason Aaron in the driver’s seat, while Adam Kubert, John Dell and Mark Morales provided the visuals for the big finale.

So did the ending sizzle or fizzle? Carla shared her thoughts on Friday, and here are a few more opinions from around the web (beware of spoilers in many of the links):

James Hunt, Comic Book Resources: “…the final issue manages to pull the disparate story threads together and deliver a conclusion that, somehow, is satisfying. In part, that’s because it cheats, pretending that previous issues hit story beats that they manifestly didn’t. The issue opens with a recap that doesn’t quite resemble what came before, and a clutch of flashback scenes plug in story elements one suspects should have been made clearer much earlier on. The editorial lurch is self-evident, and jarring — but crucially, it’s one that’s forgivable, because it improves the issue and clears the way for the finale the event deserved.”

Wade Christian, Captain Bloggington’s Blog of Bloggers: “This is certainly not the worst issue of AvX, but that’s kind of like saying something isn’t the worst issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws. It’s not exactly high praise, given how low this series has gone at times, in terms of quality. Such is the case here. It’s not horrible, but it certainly isn’t good, and doesn’t feel like 12 issues (counting the prologue #0 issue) led to this. It wraps things up in a sort of deus ex machina way that builds off of Tony Stark’s revelation in the most recent AvX Infinite digital comic. Here’s my problem with how the conflict resolves. Not only does it conveniently come out of nowhere at the right time, but there’s absolutely no reason it should be a surprise at this point. Fans have been asking why this didn’t happen. If humans without genius level intellects can figure it out, why can’t fictional characters (who could really figure out anything the writer wants them to, in theory) who are off-the-charts smart do so?”

Matthew Peterson, Major Spoilers: “There has been a trend in big Marvel crossovers for the last several years to really fall apart in the end, to have a nonsensical ending (like Siege), no ending at all (like World War Hulk), or to just get folded into the NEXT Next Big Thing (like Civil War and Secret Invasion). This issue quickly pulls out all the stops with the battle sequences, and I have to say that the combination of Jason Aaron’s writing and Adam Kubert’s art overcomes my fears of what the story could have been. We get an Earth-shattering crossover that feels like it has sufficient weight, with at least short-term consequences.”

Russ Burlingame, “Characterization has been a problem throughout the series, but it’s pretty strong in this issue, excepting one glaringly ridiculous passage involving where Cyclops ends up at the end of the story. Of course, a big chunk of the issue is a big fight scene, so all you’ve got to do is keep the killing and non-killing heroes straight, and you’re halfway home.”

Alex Evans, Weekly Comic Book Reviews: “Kubert’s art, meanwhile, is as strong as you’d expect. As I’ve said in previous reviews, Kubert just has a style that is well-suited to giant event comics. He’s great at depicting big, bombastic action and his work is well-detailed. I also like how he subtly changed things up during the flashback scenes, giving them a looser feel to the battle scenes, making them feel more relaxed and less intense.”

Vince Ostrowski, Multiversity Comics: “Kubert has proven time and again that he can nail whatever script he’s given with strong visual storytelling and a range of emotions and character styles. His work here is as assured as ever. He takes us from epic space-scapes with swirling cosmic forces down to a single tear falling from the eye of a regretful and broken Scott Summers. Some of the most effective moments in the book cover up the flaws of a really unmemorable script; of course we have our scene where an emotional Scott has a vision-quest moment with a flame-engulfed Jean Grey. Kubert gives fresh perspective to emotional baggage that these characters have been dealing with for years by using evocative imagery like this several times over the course of the issue.”

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David, Adventures in Poor Taste: “Because of the heavy-handed writing and sometimes sloppy composition to a few of the pages within (this was delayed after all), this issue appears to be more interested in hitting the important story beats Marvel set out to achieve in order to kick off Marvel NOW!. That spells doom as far as an interesting and satisfying conclusion to a story.”

Matthew Jackson, Nerd Bastards: “Overall, Avengers vs. X-Men was a genuinely wonderful reading experience, but at the end, it fell from favor with me. I’ll remember the other 11 issues fondly, but this one did absolutely nothing but make me realize that there’s no real ending here, only more stuff to buy.”

Martin Gray, Too Dangerous for a Girl: “So it’s goodbye Avengers Vs X-Men, a would-be Marvel milestone that’s never to be repeated – until, of course, someone realises that they could flip the title and do it all again. Anyone care to bet against X-Men Vs Avengers within the next five years?”



Speaking of Kuberts epic art, this reminded me so well of Onslaught and how good THAT series looks now. The problem Marvel has had over the past 8 or so years is that they change stuff up all the time so much that it doesn’t seem to matter because it will be changed or they don’t have a place for stuff to go later. Onslaught had to happen because Marvel made a deal with Liefeld and Lee. They made the best of it, though. From out of it you had Thunderbolts and a year later you had the Heroes Return. All the books had new life to it. Thor even got a cool book out of it a year after. Do major, risky changes to character should take time and a lot of effort. Civil War should of had a two year lead in with characters moving into which side they were going to on, bulding to this eventual ‘war’. Instead of getting rid of all the mutants in a cheaply written magic thing, they should of just included them.

There doesn’t even seem to be a point to the X-books anymore. Even after that 12th issue. Why not another X-Men book about all the new mutants? Why another reboot of the Avengers titles? They just rebooted 2 years ago. For a while, I reall thought the Avengers might have stories in them that go somewhere over the years. I guess I was wrong. I’m sure they’ll be another event in the next few months that ‘changes everything’. Again, changing the ‘change’ seem rather pointless.

Hats off to Kubert on the artwork. Great, Great job on this and which ever Kubert worked on Onslaught. Which Kubert. Doesn’t matter, they’re all great.

R.I.P Joe Kubert. :)

I would argue, and in fact did argue in a post-AvX article related to to the above review, that the X-books feel fresher and more important than they have in years. Now that the isolationist, “do everything we can to survive because of M-Day even as our leader spirals into madness” era of X-Men is over, there seems to be a lot of potential for great, fresh storytelling. Of course, that potential may not ever be fulfilled, but if even a little of that potential is met, then the biweekly crapfest of AvX (as far as plotting and scripting went, at least) will have been worth it, in my mind at least.

My big issue regarding Avengers Vs. X-Men was how they blatantly ignored so much of the Phoenix’s history. For example, the fact Rachel Grey was the host for the Phoenix for years. Neither the X-Men or the Avengers utilized this at all. She knew the Phoenix Force better than anyone alive. What’s more, everyone kept dismissing and trivializing Rachel as a result. They kept saying “no one can control the Phoenix”. She did for years with no major problems (she never died because of going evil, she never ate a sun, and only gave up the power when she was lost in time). Why didn’t she train Hope?
And what about the fact it was stated multiple times that only an Omega Level Mutant could control the Phoenix Force. And yet everyone who hosted the Phoenix was a far weaker power mutant, with the exception of Magik and that’s just because of her magical powers. In “Endsong” Emma was burning up from the inside-out in a few minutes, because of the fact her body wasn’t made to handle the Phoenix, but here Cyclops who is a far weaker mutant compared to Emma in someways, is holding up fine.
And what about the fact Jean Grey IS Phoenix. She’s not a host. She’s litterally one with the Phoenix Force. They merged completely and Jean is now the White Phoenix of the Crown. Did Wanda and Hope destroy her being too? Or does this mean the Phoenix is still around? And if Jean had the power to send the Phoenix to Earth, and at one point alter the entire universe and timeline, why did she allow Scott to become what she once did?
This story wasn’t the worst thing ever. But it had a lot of weaknesses that kept me from properly enjoying it all.

Poor Scott Summers, first they chose a wimp to play the character in the movies and killed him off. Now they made him the bad guy and let a self righteous Cap talk down to him. If Marvel’s claim to fame is having their characters go through crap, this one makes Parker’s problems look absolutely trivial. I wish they’d just euthanized him instead of Xavier who would have been needed in the new age. In fact Xavier should have done it. That would have been dramatic.

I had such high hopes for this. Too bad it looked like too many corners were cut.

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