Last issue of Avengers & X-Men: Axis was… blech. Just blech. However, it did offer an ending that had a lot of potential. Said issue is now out, so let’s see what we got. Is it good?
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #3 (Marvel Comics)
When all looks hopeless and lost, Magneto shows up with a bunch of villains (somehow managing to convince them all) to help him destroy and take down the Red Onslaught and the super-powered Sentinels. Since the Sentinels were never designed to simply capture the villains and only heroes (seems like an oversight on Tony/Red Skull’s part, even if the things were designed to just simply capture heroes), the villains, with fewer numbers, actually stand more of a chance in defeating these baddies. Can they do it?
To a much better comic hopefully.
I’m happy to say that this issue was much better than the previous two issues by a landslide. The writing felt more engaging, the characters and dialogue were more interesting, and the art felt a million times better. Mainly, it wasn’t a chore to read. For those simple facts, this issue is head and shoulders above what we got before and it desperately makes me hope that the rest of the series isn’t as bad.
That being said, if the character interactions aren’t doing it for you, then there’s not much too really chew on in this book. The story continues to be one long fight scene, and this time it’s just the villains fighting (I find it very questionable that a lot of these people would be working together or even here in the first place) and doing a much better job than the heroes did. Honestly, the fact that villains won in a much easier way almost feels like the writer was giving the Avengers and the X-Men the shaft and making them look like fools (especially Nova). I find that a bit annoying honestly, but I can see readers enjoying this regardless because they get to see some of their favorite villains fighting alongside one another.
Here you go kids! Some T&A for you!
The characterization is…iffy. I haven’t really read a lot of the stories these characters have been in before, so I couldn’t tell you one hundred percent whether or not the book is accurately portraying them, like Carnage or Enchantress. The ones I do know, like Dr. Doom and Deadpool, do feel very much in character and do have a lot of good lines and moments. Frankly, though, it’s not enough to completely save the dull and uneventful story, but it’s something. The issue also brings back the heroes at the end and this is where the judgment of the characterization gets trickier. Towards the end, everyone starts acting like a jackass or douchebag, almost completely reseting the book and characters to back where they were before the battle. It was rather annoying, but there is probably something to that, given the tagline at the end and the mysterious spell that Dr. Doom and Wanda cast to try and fix everything. I’m not going to call shenanigans on it yet, but it was troubling and frustrating when I read it.
As for the rest of the writing, what is there to really say? It’s fine and gets the job done. The pacing feels better, though a bit padded and stretched out with some false dilemmas. The dialogue is better and with more personality to it, instead of being really dull or just blending all together. The ending is rather annoying with how it seems to reset everyone to back to where they were before the comic started, though there may be a reason for that at least. The writing was much better, but the story isn’t yet good enough to completely elevate it to where it should be.
…what the hell happened to you?
Finally, there is the artwork and like I said, it’s million times better in Leinil Francis Yu’s hands. It doesn’t feel scratchy or unfinished, it’s much cleaner and the characters are much easier to tell apart from one another. His action is very impressive looking and rather intense when it needs to be. The characters look good and are well depicted here overall. The only issue is one that Yu always seems to have when drawing his books: the blatant fan service. While it’s not as prevalent and in your face as it is in his Hickman’s Avengers work, it is still there and very noticeable, especially when it comes to depicting the Enchantress.
Is It Good?
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #3 was a good start to a possible turnaround for this book. The writing felt much better, along with the characterization, dialogue, and artwork. The only thing lacking is a good, engaging story, something that’s not easily accomplished when the book is constantly stuck in a fight scene with rather weak villains. While not completely sold, I am at least interested in seeing where this book goes from here.