Here we are folks: the last issue of Avengers & X-Men: Axis. It’s been an incredibly bumpy and uncomfortable ride from start to finish, but we’ve made it. Does it go out with a bang or end with a measly whimper? Is it good?


Avengers & X-Men: Axis #9 (Marvel Comics)


avengers-x-men-axis-9-cover

Oh dear… oh boy… this… this is going to take some time to discuss and analyze. This issue was 90% fight scene and 10% story wrap up. So, that’s already a huge problem right there. But let’s start from the top: this is the big finale for this event and honestly, it left me constantly wanting to bang my head against a wall with every idiotic move it made. I know I was hard on Infinity, but damn. This is easily the worst event comic I’ve ever read and I’m going to have to get into some heavy spoilers to explain.

The entire issue is mostly one long fight scene with a very, very rushed conclusion. Seriously, every character just dukes it out for nearly 40 pages. Avengers & X-Men: Axis #9 then makes a half-hearted attempt at shoving characterization into it as characters suddenly start breaking out in big discussions between one another in the middle of a huge battle. People suddenly change sides randomly after corny, heartfelt speeches as well, which doesn’t help with consistent characterization either. Then towards the end of the fight everyone just conveniently ends up in the same area for some reason until a deus ex machina appears (AKA Brother Voodoo with a possessed Scarlet Witch) and combined with Dr. Doom and inverted Red Skull, everything is pretty much fixed. Speaking of which, the resolution takes place within the span of 5 pages — so it gets kind of messy.

avengers-x-men-axis-9-iron-man-cage
…who is that person above Cyclops? Is… is that supposed to be Medusa?

Then comes the finale, where things break apart even further. Somehow when the magic spell is cast to undo everything, Superior Iron Man just so happens to have a special force field that prevents him from turning back. Where this came from and when he had time to work on it, I have no idea. Somehow, this also prevents Sabertooth and Havok from returning back to normal since the two just so happened to be close enough when the spell was cast. Iron Man, Dr. Doom, and Red Skull completely disappear in the confusion and Havok… somehow kidnaps the Wasp in front of the Scarlet Witch, Brother Voodoo, and Quicksilver and disappears somewhere… somehow. I don’t know how he does it, how he managed to be faster than either of those three given their powers, and where the hell the Wasp disappears to in the end since she doesn’t reappear again.

Avengers & X-Men: Axis #9 then jumps ahead a few weeks when everything is settling down. Now, the reason the general public is fine with the Avengers and the X-Men, despite everything, is because the inverted villains made this video tape that had them “confessing” to all of the crimes the inverted heroes committed. Everything was apparently a mind control trick by the Enchantress (who didn’t even appear in the issue by the way, along with another villain), who corrupted the heroes. That is apparently enough to convince the public to be cool with the heroes and stuff. That… is incredibly convenient and incredibly contrived given the fact that public in the Marvel universe likes to get mad and blame the heroes, especially the X-Men, for every little damn problem. Seriously, a video tape made by a bunch of villains is enough to convince everyone to believe their lie?

But that’s not all. The issue then ends with Sabertooth writing a reflective letter about everything as we get a montage of scenes from various characters about where they are now. Apparently, Superior Iron Man didn’t go too far, since he’s back in San Francisco and continuing with his diabolical Extremis app. So… why are the Avengers not trying to stop and capture him, even though they know damn well he’s still inverted? Havok joins Cyclops at his special base… which raises an eyebrow. Is Cyclops still inverted, because if he isn’t, should he be concerned about his brother’s genocidal tendencies towards wiping out humanity? I don’t see any indication about them going away if Havok is still inverted. Rogue and Scarlet Witch are having a press conference, completely happy and unfazed by everything they did. Also, Carnage can be seen still alive with Peter Parker… so his sacrifice meant nothing in the end. So yeah… there are a lot of problems.

avengers-x-men-axis-9-loki-mjolnir
A bad event took away Thor’s Mjolnir, but a bad event surely can give it to Loki, right?

Of course, I could go on about a lot more plot holes in the comic (like the fact that the comic isn’t clear who is still inverted and who isn’t), but I’ve made my points. The plot and story are, simply put, problematic from start to finish. This is a mess of a story and a conclusion to this big event. The entire plot revolved around convenience, contrivance, deus ex machinas, and plenty of “just go with it” moments, ( like Loki somehow being able to hold Thor’s hammer). An irritating and frustrating to read, especially the more you think about/dissect it. It certainly wasn’t a good time for fans of these characters either, with how much the story stomped all over the cast and did a lot of disservice to them. This is a story that I can’t perceive someone walking away from without at least a few gripes.

Finally, there is the artwork and it’s just as big of a mess as the writing. There are four artists and eight different inkers working on this book and it shows. The book never feels consistent in its appearance, the action is very static and unimpressive, body proportions are all over the map, scenes look incredibly rushed and it’s never really good at capturing the emotion or energy of the scene. They seriously couldn’t have had Jim Cheung draw the whole issue?

avengers-x-men-axis-9-loki-hands
What the hell is wrong with her hands?

Is It Good?

Avengers & X-Men: Axis #9 is one hell of a finale for this event. It is one incredible train wreck. The plot and story make no sense and are contrived as hell, the writing is awful, the characterization is a joke and insult to fans, and the artwork is a mess with so many people working on it. It’s official. After a series of bad event comics, one after another, Marvel should walk away from them for a good year or two. They need time to sit and think about what they did, like a child who broke a vase or something.

Is It Good? Avengers & X-Men: Axis #9 Review
Some parts of the artwork and characterization aren’t bad.
The ending is rushed, contrived, and overly convenient.The handling of some characters is rather insulting to the fans.The writing is below average to downright awful.
3Overall Score
Reader Rating 19 Votes
1.7
  • matt

    horrible

    • jack

      I’ve hung in there with Marvel over the past few years as the events dwindled in quality. But after crawling through this Axis mess, I’m convinced that DC is the top dog when it comes to events. Don’t waste time with Axis people. Hop on over to DC and check out Forever Evil. Or anything from Geoff Johns for that matter.

      • JinkyMasterson

        What would you all consider the last good Marvel event? I remember the days when Marvel was considered the “event company” while DC couldn’t get it right.

        • Living Tribunal

          Civil War, and the ending did make sense and was not a letdown.

  • Fisk

    Carnage is not alive. Peter Parker is making a statue in his honor just like Cletus asked him to do so in the previous issue. BTW, this event was much more satisfying in its conclusion that Original Sins, Fear Itself, Avengers vs. X-men or some old favorites, let’s say Civil War or House of M.

    • Jordan Richards

      I came aboard with reading Marvel right around the release of Marvel Now, so I didn’t really read the events from the past like Civil War or Fear Itself.

      Also, thanks for the reminder of the Carnage statue thing, forgot about it. Though the artwork made it look more like Carnage was alive than it being a Carnage statue to be fair.

    • Warped

      Carnage was on the “forgive the heroes” videotape, and he’s in the solicits for an upcoming Nova issue. So, yeah… definitely alive.

      • Fisk

        Then this should be explained for me because in Axis 9 it looked like that he died dismantling the bomb and Peter was making a statue on his behalf. The forgive the heroes video tape I presumed was shot earlier than this issue. And of course I know that Carnage is too good a character so he won’t stay dead for long since he had also survived being torn apart by the Sentry in space many years ago.

  • John

    “The entire plot revolved around convenience, contrivance, deus ex machinas, and plenty of “just go with it” moments.”

    That could apply to 99% of Marvel comics. All that Marvel cares about is getting the $4-5 bucks out of your hand. After that, they don’t give a shit about whether the book is any good. That’s why they rely so heavily on gimmicks to sell their garbage books.

    When you actually want story/art/good writing/value, head over to Image Comics. I recommend Southern Bastards, Walking Dead, Saga, Black Science, Stray Bullets, Invincible, the list goes on and on.

    • Jordan Richards

      I’m actually already reading Southern Bastards and that’s pretty good (it’s going on my Top 20 Books of the List list, while this event is going on the Bottom 10 List). As for the others, I’m more indifferent to them honestly.

      • John

        Have you read any Saga yet? I would be curious to hear what you think. It rapidly became the book I look forward to the most every month.

        • Jordan Richards

          Oh I’m reading Saga alright, but still indifferent to it. It’s not bad, but I honestly don’t care for most of the characters, the tone never seems to work for me, and I find the dialogue to be a bit laughable at points.