The last issue of Avengers & X-Men: Axis seemed better than the three before it by a longshot, but who knows if that’s a good sign?
Marvel events have the tendency to go up and down in quality in my experience. Let’s see if things can turn around with the latest issue. Is it good?
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #5 (Marvel Comics)
Spider-Man and Nova arrive at Avengers Tower alongside a whole slew of other Avengers after being summoned there by a message from the new Captain America. Sam informs them about the situation and how things have changed recently. Then he decides to do something rather dangerous and ends up forcing Spidey and Nova to flee for their lives…
And yet you are still a newbie due to stupidity you displayed in the second issue.
This issue I’m mixed on quite a bit. The story still feels like it’s in the setup phase and Remender is still setting up the Inversion of all the character teams. Sure, the plot is starting to pick up and get a bit more interesting, but the main event feels like it still has only just begun and that’s at the very end of the book.
Due to the pacing of the book, it feels like we should already be in the middle of a huge conflict and not just in the “getting it off the ground” phase. Honestly, it feels like the first three issues just didn’t get enough accomplished and now the second third of the book is being spent getting the story finally moving.
While that is definitely annoying and I retain my complaint from the previous issue (hero against hero/being complete and utter villains? Still very tired), the comic was surprisingly fun to read. That’s mostly due to comedy throughout that really lighten matters up. Comedy that’s genuinely funny. We have Spider-Man constantly cracking jokes and playing off of Nova and other characters despite the turmoil taking place, and more mood brightening bits. Also, when the story does pick at the end it’s very engaging and the cliffhanger is well executed. I’m interested to see what happens in the next issue.
My leotard also has the ability to make the spider-webs disappear and reappear on it! I like to see any of his outfits do that!
My mixed feelings on the book also extend into the writing and artwork for the issue. With Remender’s writing, there are some positives and negatives. In disappointing fashion (due to the events of the issue), many of the heroes are being taken off of the table and not going to be included in the event it seems, despite being on Genosha when the Inversion took place. As such, we won’t get to see what they are like when they are inversed and that feels like a missed opportunity.
The dialogue is good overall, sans one or two bits, and almost every line Spider-Man says is gold. The characterization, considering the circumstances, is fine for the most part except for Havok. In the third issue, he completely abandons and comes across as being incredibly uncaring towards the Wasp. However, in this issue, when he sees her again, he’s completely horrified and worried about her. Finally, the tone is a bit off. While I liked the humor with Spider-Man and the lightening up of the situation, the more serious and intense nature of the book returns in the final part and it doesn’t fit too well with everything that came before it.
Now with the artwork, we now have Terry Dodson stepping in to draw the book. I’m actually a fan of Dodson’s work — especially on both Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman he did awhile back. His books always looked very striking and his more upbeat style usually fit the tone of the book. Here it’s mixed on account of the slightly cartoonish and bright color palette; it works well when the comic has a more humorous edge to it, but it doesn’t nearly fit as well during the serious part. The visuals don’t really fit the mood or story well at the end either.
Oh no! His shield has went rogue!
But beyond whether it fits the tone of the book, Dodson’s artwork is good overall. The layouts are decent and easy to follow, the characters look nice, and the coloring is appealing. Plus, the action does look pretty good and has a lot of energy to it. Where it lacks is with the detail and some shots and angles in the panel. The further the character or object is away from the reader within the panel, the less detail and unfinished looking it becomes, which can become a little distracting at times.
Is It Good?
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #5 is a polarizing issue. The issue definitely displays solid elements and leaves off on a solid cliffhanger, but it also has a lot of other problems to it that hurt it quite a bit (the tone that feels off and the fact that we’re still in setup mode). Then again, there’s more potential here than in the previous issue, so that’s promising.