Avengers vs. X-Men #12 brings to a close an event that feels like it lasted forever. Stories are wrapped up, characters make choices and a bunch of punching takes place. This is the column where we answer the simple question, “is it good?” while sharing some of the imagery within. Let’s see if we can find an answer, shall we?
Avengers vs. X-Men #12 (Marvel Comics)
For a story about heroes who are already practically gods becoming full on gods by acquiring the Phoenix Force there sure is a lot of deus ex machina going on in this issue. Sadly it’s not a literal god saving the day, but characters popping up all over the place to chime in on the final chapter. It speaks to some of the poor planning this series has suffered from. Good writing is like air. It sustains you (or the story), but it’s not visible unless you look for it. This issue opens with a beefy explanation of what Scarlet Witch did during House of M and how it relates to this story. Funny, considering she’s barely been in this series up until this issue.
Phoenix then added, “Mutants nom nom nom nom nom!”
The book flashes back and forth between “now” and “72 hours ago” where we find Tony Stark waxing spiritual about faith. His little diatribe is confusing, especially considering there isn’t much substance beyond, “we need to let Hope and Scarlet Witch fix this.” Also it’s quite odd when Wolverine makes an Iron Fist ying and yang connection out of nowhere.
But..he didn’t say anything about that…huh?
After a few pages of what feels like filler to “raise the stakes” we cut to:
Dude…Iron Man is bleeding out of his armor. Equal parts ew and awesome.
Clearly Marvel wants you to know this is a global battle, be it Captain America proclaiming it’s the end of the world, or seeing Cyclops beat up heroes in multiple locations. I have to say it was pretty cool to see Hulk be punched in Sydney and land in Sacramento. Aside from some flames in the sky, the Eiffel Tower burning and being told volcanoes are erupting and the “ocean is burning” you don’t get much in the way of just how bad Cyclops is ruining the Earth. All the visuals are spent showing Cyclops punch people…but I guess this is a comic after all.
The stakes are so very high!
And that’s mainly where I take issue with this comic. Be it pacing or plotting, things are done in a heavy-handed way that leaves the explanation of things unsatisfying.
“We didn’t start the fire / It was always burning / Since the world’s been turning!”
It’s fascinating to see how Marvel is portraying Captain America. He’s pretty much a dick from end to end here, be it a crabby comment to Tony…
…or his handling of the fallout of the event. For a guy who’s seen a lot of his friends possessed he sure isn’t very nice to Cyclops. I’m not sure how Marvel wants us to feel about him since he’s been so schizophrenic during this series, but if they want him to be a grumpy old man who tells people what to do, they’ve nailed it.
Phoenix Force, AKA cosmic Hulk mood swing.
That’s not what folks will be talking about though. No, they’ll be talking about the way in which the heroes beat the Phoenix…for good! It seems Tony started it with his giant Phoenix splitting robot and ends it by letting Hope and Scarlet Witch fix it for him.
With our powers combined!
Did that really just happen? Did Marvel just erase the Phoenix for good by essentially pulling the same card they pulled at the end of House of M? I suppose it’s a cute way to make the prophecy come true and it allows mutants to populate the Earth once again. Since it comes from the power of the Phoenix, one might wonder if these new mutants have some kind of special ability, or maybe the switch is just turned back on. Probably the latter.
Two points: one, nice head gear. Two, does Captain America have to look like a complete asshole? Also, check out that glossy wall. Sweet effect.
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.
Talk about stuffing a story with unnecessary Jean Grey pointlessness.
When you find out a comic is “oversized” it typically means more story for a slightly steeper price. Here it’s more like they needed a couple extra pages to warrant the delay and hit a few story elements that will kick off a bunch of books in the coming months. I can just see the editor saying, “Alright, what do we need to have happen so all the comics coming out in the next month make sense?” On top of that there are quite a few pages here that tell the story in a sloppy way and make you the reader feel a bit cheated. The issue is 35 pages but reads like its 25 pages…all for the low low price of $5.00! When it comes to budgets this is an easy comic to skip and will most definitely not make it into ComiX Weekly later today.
Is It Good?
Nope. However, if you like long-winded, heavy-handed, ill paced stories, then this is an A+.