Avengers vs. X-Men Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

The Fifth Color | So what if ‘Avengers vs. X-Men’ has a ‘What If’?

whatifAvX_1What If comics are awesome, just not utilized as much as they used to be. It makes sense because anthologies, despite being a fantastic way to get into comics, meet new writers and artists and test out concepts on an open-minded audience, sadly don’t sell well in the United States. If something doesn’t sell well, we all know that means it isn’t going to last, and why spend money on a series that’s just going to be canceled in a month or less, right?

Aspersions on the comic market aside, What If comics are still nifty little treats of reading joy, and the current trend of basing them around big events makes a certain kind of sense. After all, everyone will have read the story in question, be familiar enough with how it went down and might be intrigued enough by a plot twist or two to try out the new take. So, this week we got What If …  Avengers vs. X-Men #1, the first of a four-part story that promises us … well, what does it promise us? Let’s take a look at the issue and the What If? format and see what we have in store in the annals of tragedy, because SPOILERS: Almost every What If story I can think of has a “down ending,” to borrow a Clerks phrase. Join me, won’t you?

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What Are You Reading? with Joshua Williamson

Hello and welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading?, where each week we talk about comics and other stuff we’ve been checking out lately. Today we welcome special guest Joshua Williamson, writer of Masks and Mobsters, Captain Midnight (which has been running in Dark Horse Presents), Uncharted, Voodoo and much more.

To see what Joshua and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …

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Tom Brevoort reveals tantilizing first draft of Avengers vs. X-Men ending

Click to enlarge

On his always-raucous Formspring page, Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort displays a heartening and invigorating amount of patience while responding to boatloads of questions, diatribes and thinly veiled insults. In between, there’s sometimes some interesting information shared, including this photograph of the whiteboard planning of the third act of Avengers vs. X-Men from a year before the series’ debut.

The post was in response to a question from a fan who felt that over the course of Avengers vs. X-Men there seemed to be a shifting toward a different ending than originally planned. Not so, said Brevoort, who showed the photograph as proof.

“The ending that we did was very much what had been planned at the outset,” he explained. “Some individual story details shifted as we went a little bit, but the main points were always the same. Here — attached is a photograph of the wipe board outline of Act Three that we hammered out at the very first AVX retreat, the one we did in Portland a year before AVX #1 came out — now that the series is concluded, I can show it to you. As you can see, while some details changed (Magneto’s role, for one), the broad strokes of what is there is what we ended up doing.”

In addition to clarifying that one fan’s assumption, it also gives us an alternate name for the Phoenix Five, in the “HeX-Men.” It also points to a slightly different ending where all of the mutants on Utopia are transformed into Phoenixes apparently, before failing and giving their powers to Cyclops.  Also no mention of Professor X’s death, or even him at all.

 

 

Comic Couture | Cyclops was right, Bat eyegear and more

Cyclops was right

If you’re a Cyclops fan and still smarting from the end of Avengers vs. X-Men, WeLoveFine.com has a constructive way to express your anger–at least more constructive than, say, unleashing a Sentinel or something. They received a ton of requests for a “Cyclops was Right” shirt (a la their “Magneto was Right” shirt) and were able to turn one around fairly quickly.

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CM Punk tapped to pen Avengers Vs. X-Men hardcover intro

CM Punk

WWE fans have been wondering all week who CM Punk would choose to fight at the WWE’s next pay-per-view event — his old nemesis John Cena or the as-yet-undefeated (at least under his current gimmick) Ryback. But here’s something else to wonder about: Was he Team Cyclops or Team Captain America?

No doubt we’ll find out in a few short weeks, as Punk drops one of his vintage “pipe bombs” on comics fans. The WWE Champion has been tapped to write the introduction to the Avengers vs. X-Men hardcover, due in stores Nov. 7.

“I worked really hard to get to where I’m at and it’s cool to be afforded opportunities like this. To me, it’s hard work paying off and I’m having a lot of fun right now,” Punk told USA Today’s Brian Truitt.

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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.”

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The Fifth Color | Avengers vs. X-Men presents the ‘antivillain’

Fear Itself TeaserThe last blows were thrown in the six-month long battle between the Avengers and X-Men, where someone had to win and someone had to lose. In professional wrestling (a.k.a. sports entertainment), if two faces (good guys) fight, one of them by default had to become a heel (bad guy). His values can change, he can become cowardly, he may use a dirty tactic or even something as simple as turning on the audience can start the herald of boos from the crowd and shifty looks from former allies. If two heroes fight, someone has to be the loser and someone has to be in the wrong.

But what if they’re not? Can one straddle the line between good and evil and use both for their own purposes? We can see it didn’t work out too well for Scott Summers, but what were his goals and how did they suddenly seem so horrible? If we have antiheroes, why can’t we have the opposite, the antivillain?

WARNING: Avengers, X-Men, one of these guys had to lose, so grab your copy of Avengers vs. X-Men Round 12 and let’s study the results!

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NYCC | Marvel rolls out convention-exclusive items

With just a week to go until New York Comic Con kicks off, Marvel has unveiled a rundown of convention-exclusive merchandise that will be available only at the publisher’s booth (#1838). The items range from the Rocket Raccoon/Guardians of the Galaxy coffee mug above — someone from the Comic Book Resources contingent needs to snag me one, please — and a lithograph to T-shirts and variant covers. (Note that the Marvel booth apparently only accepts credit cards.)

Check out the full list below. New York Comic-Con runs Oct. 11-14 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

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The mix-and-match strategy of Marvel NOW!

The cast of Uncanny Avengers (not pictures: Devil Dinosaur, Millie the Model, Star Lord)

Marvel is shaking up its sandbox like seldom before with the launch of Marvel NOW!, making co-stars out of characters that previously had only brief interactions with each other. This strategy of mixing and matching for team books could inject new life into character dynamics, or it could water down what makes characters unique.

At the end of 2004, Marvel and writer Brian Michael Bendis got flak for putting perpetual loner Spider-Man and X-Men-exclusive Wolverine on the same team as Avengers standbys Iron Man and Captain America for the launch of New Avengers. While there are still some fans who complain about this eight years later, sales told Marvel all the publisher needed to know. Soon Luke Cage was an Avenger. Daredevil, too (in a way). Wolverine became a member of everything. Namor became an X-Man. (The Namor I used to read would respond to such a notion with, “the Sub-Mariner will star in thine own perpetually canceled solo series or none at all! Imperius Rex!”)

Now the unexpected mashing together of characters is reaching a new level after the ultimate sandbox throwdown of Avengers vs. X-Men. Who would ever have guessed that Thor and Havok would be teammates (Uncanny Avengers)? New Mutants Cannonball and Sunspot on Hickman’s Avengers is madness! Putting the Punisher on a superhero team (Thunderbolts) is so blasphemous to writer Greg Rucka, he’s done with the character (OK, among some other factors). And Avengers Arena is a veritable grab bag: throw in some Runaways, some Avengers Academy, some Annihilation, and shake vigorously.

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Food or Comics? | Duck or Doctor Who

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Doctor Who #1

Chris Arrant

If I had $15, I’d catch up on Joe Keatinge and Andre Szymanowicz’ Hell Yeah with the first trade, Vol. 1: Last Days On Earth (Image, $9.99). I admit to dropping off after the second issue, but it’s always something I wanted to get back to; and reading Keatinge’s interviews on the more recent issues has pushed me over the top. If nothing else, $9.99 for five issues is a good deal. After that I’d get Avengers Vs. X-Men #12 (Marvel, $4.99). Of all the group-written issues, Jason Aaron’s seems to have been the most organized and engaging, so I’m glad they opted to have him do the finale. Seeing Adam Kubert on this is surprising, as his previous issues of Avengers Vs. X-Men felt rushed – but previews of this issue show him more measured and confident, like his Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine work, also with Aaron.

If I had $30, I’d double back and gleefully grab Thomas Herpich’s White Clay (AdHouse, $4.95). When I first heard about this the onus of Adventure Time was heavy given the cartoonist works on that show, but after seeing the previews and hearing Chris Pitzer talk about this book I’m in for it. I’d also get the debut issue of Andy Diggle’s Doctor Who #1 (IDW, $3.99) with artist Mark Buckingham. Bucky’s a real treat here, and I’m interested to see what he does with Diggle’s words – and what exactly Diggle does. I’m okay if it’s not Lenny Zero – but that would be nice too. Finally, I’d get Uncanny X-Force #32 (Marvel, $3.99). At one time this was my favorite book coming from the Big Two, but it seems to have grown long in the tooth; I’m not confident enough to say Rick and crew are doing something wrong, as maybe it’s just me. But the first 18 issues had a special kind of magic, and that doesn’t seem to remain here in these issues. But still, I’m in ’til the end.

If I could splurge, I’d get The Nao of Brown (SelfMadeHero, $24.95) by Glyn Dillon. I admit I already received an advance review copy of this book, but if I didn’t I’d surely have it on pre-order. A read a review where they compared to this to Gene Yang’s American Born Chinese, but I think that’s a mere surface examination. After reading this (and flipping through it a dozen times since), this is just a pure coming-of-age story that reminds me more of Hope Larson or a very chatty Adrian Tomine. Very great, very great.

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Avengers vs. X-Men comes to Avengers Facebook game

Earlier this year Playdom, a social gaming company that’s owned by Disney, launched Marvel: Avengers Alliance on Facebook. The game casts you in the role of a SHIELD agent who can recruit various Marvel heroes to help fight bad guys in missions assigned to you by Nick Fury, Maria Hill and Tony Stark. It’s a fun game; probably the best review I can give it is that here we are six months after it launched, and I’m still not tired of it. It’s not something I can say about many of the Facebook games I’ve tried out (Walking Dead, I hardly knew ye).

In addition to the regular missions that pit you against Loki, the Wrecking Crew, the U-Foes and others, the game will sometimes throw “special operations” at you. So far there’s been three of them–they’re available for a limited time, require the use of a fifth in-game currency (“Unstable ISO-8′) and offer unique rewards and new heroes as you complete them. The first two introduced Mockingbird and Emma Frost to the game. This past Thursday, they launched a third one, and what makes this one a lot of fun is that it actually ties into a current comic book storyline–Avengers vs. X-Men.

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The Fifth Color | The future has to be better than this

We all knew it was coming, right? Possibly by the first issue, someone was already taking bets on which character would bite the big one during Avengers vs. X-Men. After all, I think there’s some sort of rule of thumb that after so many characters get involved in an event storyline, some of them have to be picked off so that the other get inspired by the loss and push on to victory. Or to make the point that these battles haven’t been just tossing action figures in the dryer and watching them tumble for twelve issues.

Anyway, I didn’t come here to be bitter, I came here to be rational, and rationally, the death in the event book makes sense as a classic comic storytelling maneuver. These last few months have been exciting in their philosophy and their theories on power and destiny, but haven’t really knocked people’s socks off in terms of summer blockbuster action. The penultimate issue is the best place for a big twist to take us into the last few moments, and the biggest twist is the odds-on favorite, death.

WARNING:  We talk about who died in this week’s Avengers vs. X-Men Round 11, so grab your copy and read along!

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Food or Comics? | Caviar or Cavalier Mr. Thompson

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Conan the Barbarian #8

John Parkin

If I had $15: Whoah, another tough week to narrow things down. Is every Brian Wood-written title required to come out the same week of each month? Do Dark Horse and Marvel get together and plan it that way, so that people who only buy Wood comics only have to go to the store once a month? I think more than half the DC titles I buy come out this time every month, too. So yeah, lots to pick from …

Anyway, I’d start with one of those Brian Wood comics, Conan the Barbarian #8 (Dark Horse, $3.50), which features Vasilis Lolos on art. Lolos drew one of my favorite issues of Northlanders, “The Viking Art of Single Combat,” so it’s cool to see the two of them working together again. I’d also get a comic I’m sure will be popular with a few of my colleagues, the first issue of the new Stumptown miniseries by Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth (Oni Press, $3.99). Next I’d get Manhattan Projects #6 (Image, $3.50); this issue turns the focus from America’s secret science program to Russia’s secret science program. Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra are having a lot of fun with this one. Finally, I’d get Uncanny X-Force #31 (Marvel, $3.99), which really picked things up last issue … and this is a comic that’s usually running on twice as many cylinders anyway.

If I had $30, I’d also grab two finales from DC Comics — Shade #12 and Resurrection Man #0 (both $2.99). Honestly, I never expected to see a Resurrection Man comic again, much less by the guys who wrote the original, so the fact that we got a good run of 13 issues is a pleasant surprise. Shade, of course, was planned as 12 issues from the beginning, and was a nice return to the Starman-verse by writer James Robinson. That leaves me room for three more $2.99 comics, which means I’m going to bypass X-Men, The Massive and Avengers Assemble this week (let’s assume that I’ll one day spend my splurge money on the trades) and instead go with Chew #28 (Image, $2.99), It Girl and the Atomics #2 (Image, $2.99) and Demon Knights #0 (DC Comics, $2.99).

Splurge: Assuming I wouldn’t spend my unlimited gift card on single issues, I’d be looking at the first Bucko collection from Dark Horse ($19.99) and Fantagraphics’ Is That All There Is? trade ($25).

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Food or Comics? | Sage or Saga

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Saga #6

Chris Arrant 

If I had $15, I’d first double-down on creator-owned comics with Butcher Baker, Righteous Maker #8 (Image, $2.99) and Saga #6 (Image, $2.99). I’m glad to see Joe Casey and Mike Huddleston back on Butcher Baker after a hiatus in which I feared it was no more, and I’ve just pulled out #1-7 to get me back up to speed. I’m thinking that taking hallucinogenics would make me enjoy this comic more. On the other side, Saga #6 is flat-out amazing in the most conventional way (despite the unconventional setting). Aliens, ghosts and babies, and yet Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples bring it all together. At this point I’ve shifted into the The Walking Dead mode of reading – no point in reading about what’s ahead, as I’ll just buy it blindly on the great comics they’ve done so far. After that creator-owned two-fer, I’d give Marvel the rest of my money with Uncanny X-Force #29 (Marvel, $3.99) and Avengers vs. X-Men #10 (Marvel, $3.99). I think Marvel’s finally found a suitable replacement for Jerome Opena in artist Julian Totino Tedesco, and I hope he’s locked in to finish out this arc. And speaking of Rick Remender’s work, I spent about 15 minutes conversing the other day about how and why he should’ve been enlisted into Marvel’s Architects and worked into Avengers Vs. X-Men. While the group-written approach takes some getting used to, I’d love to see Remender do an issue of this. In Avengers Vs. X-Men #10 (Marvel, $3.99) however, we see Ed Brubaker taking the lead and showing the Phoenix Force Five venturing into K’un L’un for what seems like the Empire Strikes Back moment of the series.

If I had $30, I’d turn back in all my $15 purchases except Saga #6 and spend the recouped $25-plus dollars and get Hulk: Season One HC (Marvel, $24.99). I’ve never been the biggest Hulk fan, but seeing the previews of Tom Fowler’s art on this has won me over. Fowler, like the above mentioned Tedesco, is one of Marvel’s hidden gems and this might be the launching pad for him to (finally) get some recognition. And for me to get some good comics. Fowler SMASH!

If I could splurge, I’d do the boring choice and simply use it to buy all the single issues mentioned in the $15 section and be able to also afford Hulk: Season One HC. Easy, breezy, beautiful, comics boy.

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The Fifth Color | Take time for a Revolution

Back in June, all of your Marvel comics that were priced $3.99 and up came with a free digital code to help you start a digital comics collection. You had one in your hand and one on the Internet, two comics for the price of one, right? At the register of my local comic shop, I’d remind customers that, hey, there’s a free digital comic with this issue, and I’d get some mild interest in return. I’d explain how to redeem the code in the back of the book and how Marvel.com basically saves that redeemed code on an account for you, so you can read the digital comic anywhere you can log on to the Internet, whether that’s your phone or computer or a tablet. I am again met with mild interest. I’ve explained that Avengers vs. X-Men has this special symbol where you hold your phone or whatever computer you have that has a camera, you can learn a few things about the book you’re holding. I’ve demonstrated if I have the time, showing off the cover animation on the first Avengers vs. X-Men issue, which I can’t say worked perfectly every time. But when it did, customers seemed interested, but no one leaped back from the counter, declared this the finest innovation in the world and ran down the street to declare me a witch or hail the amazing new Marvel Revolution.

I mean, I wish they had but it was always just mild interest.

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