So often you crack open a comic in this day and age and you’re done before your toast pops out of the toaster.
Comics are too damn short, especially for the price! So when Marvel sets the price of their new event to $4.99 you better believe extra scrutiny is applied; in other words, is it good?
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #1 (Marvel Comics)
This comic took me a little over 25 minutes to read. No, I wasn’t tracking the time because of the price; on the contrary, I was hoping the stupid thing would end already. Okay, hear me out, it’s not all that bad — it’s a good action extravaganza that clearly sets up the X-Men side of things and Avengers side of things. Heck, even the cliffhanger at the end is worth checking out, but sadly this thing is way too bloated with “witty” banter and pointless action.
Eye stabbing good!
It’s safe to say writer Rick Remender has been building to this story for a long time; whether he planned on it or he simply used some of his creations along the way remains to be seen, but it’s an impressive feat nonetheless. Genesis, Havok and the Red Onslaught would not be utilized if not for Remender. I for one have jumped on and off his stories for years now, but it all comes to a head here, at least seemingly.
The comic opens with the Avengers taking on some kind of plant monster/man named Plantman. Look him up, because this is the first I’ve seen him. The characters are all on point when it comes to witty barbs and dialogue between each other. Heck, it’s thoroughly enjoyable to read this portion of the book, especially when the Avengers start losing it and fighting each other. Luckily it makes sense for the story and isn’t some cheap, “Let’s watch Hulk crush Iron Man” deal. It’s also neat to see Falcon’s new role on the Avengers and he’s obviously battling for Captain and attempting to gain the Avengers respect as leader; something fun to watch as it evolves over the coming issues. Captain America also has an interesting role on the team, sort of like how Xavier would call the shots from afar, so in a way Remender has made the Avengers a little bit like the classic X-Men with this new dynamic.
It’s cute because he is an Avenger too…
Unfortunately he completely loses me with the Genosha stuff. Red Onslaught has a Nazi camp there where’s he’s turning mutants, torturing them, etc etc. It’s all rather blah, not helped by the overcast and dark colors, which might be the point to some extent. Everytime we see Red Onslaught we’re supposed to think hopelessness, but for what it’s worth it’s rather tame, especially since it’s so damn hard for him to simply take on a couple of mutants. Isn’t he supposed to be super powerful?
This section of the story is filled with power struggles: “Will he turn someone bad or won’t he?” and other filler type of stuff. Clearly Remender is trying to test his characters, but it doesn’t go anywhere we haven’t treaded before. Oh no, Scarlet Witch is feeling insecure about how she always fucks up the universe. Been there done that!
I will say this, it’s fun when the Avengers and X-Men come in to save the day, albeit it’s a bit weird with all the banter that goes on. I don’t recall Storm and Colossus, for example, trading funny barbs. Weren’t they more of the serious type?
Though the big reveal is tantalizing, the threat posed to cap this issue off is a bit laughable. It just screams, “10 year old made up the enemy because it sounded wicked awesome.” I won’t ruin it for you, but take a peek and you might just agree with me. Speaking of the cliffhanger I won’t be surprised if people call foul on this being a rip off of a certain Batman storyline.
I don’t remember them being funny…
As far as the art, it’s Adam flipping Kubert people — it looks amazing as always, the splash pages are fun and exciting and it’s what every classic comic should look like. Here’s the thing, it’s not perfect however, as Red Onslaught’s head is laughably simplistic at times. It’s definitely got a Bowser thing going on in certain panels.
Is It Good?
The Avengers are written well with interesting character dynamics and an honest to goodness threat on their hands, but damn is the entire Red Onslaught battle laughable and boring. Taking a good 25 minutes to read, I was definitely given more bang for the buck, but dammit was the bang a weak one. Honestly 13 out of 30 pages are worth reading. Fail.