Marvel’s latest event Avengers vs. X-Men is now in full swing. The first three issues were pretty good, but now that we’ve hit “Round 3″ it’s time to see if this series can really step up and deliver. With The Avengers movie out now, this title has a lot to live up to as fans of the film may clamor to learn more about their new favorite superhero team. How did this issue stack up?
Things heat up at the Avengers assault on Utopia continues! After Hope’s escape, a very confused (and charred) Wolverine leaves the X-Men’s central HQ to see that Cyclops and the X-Men have surrendered to the Avengers…or so it seems. Wolverine, still recovering from an attack by Hope, charges forward and warns the Avengers that the show of good faith is not what it seems…seconds before the X-Men teleport away. Both teams begin their own methods of searching for Hope, yet tension mounts between two key players of the Avengers. Where is Hope? Can anyone find her before the Phoenix arrives? What of the strife within the teams themselves?
Ed Brubaker handles scripting duties this time around and he does a fairly good job of it. The dialogue here is nothing special, but the story itself weaves quite well into the overall AvX fabric. The story progressed at a good rate, and though this issue lacked much action I’d say it was for the best; there’s a lot we’re setting up for when someone eventually encounters Hope. Sadly, I felt the idea of having Hope’s location scrambled into five places just seemed like too convenient of a plot device to split up the Avengers; sure, it works, but it still felt cheesy to me. I also felt that Captain America, for all his prowess as a tactician, made probably the least intelligent move of his career by pissing off Wolverine; once again, this just felt like a ham-fisted way to weaken the Avengers. Ultimately, the writing was above average, but the plot itself fell short in a few places.
Avengers vs. X-Men premiered with the special Marvel AR system for their new Infinite Comics line. I, however, never discussed it before because, without a Smart Phone of my own, I couldn’t take advantage of this service. This week, however, I (finally) got a Smart Phone and tried out this service. So far, it feels like a nice touch: the system doesn’t work perfectly, but when it does the additions are fairly nice. They’re nothing amazing or necessary, but extra creative team interviews, art breakdowns, etc. are never letdowns. This service isn’t needed to enjoy these comics, but it’s by no means bad.
The art this time around was much like that for the second issue, which isn’t surprising given this issue has the same art team as the previous chapter. I’ve said it before, but Romita’s art doesn’t sit well with me: the character models are too simplistic and vary too much from page to page. I also felt the coloring, headed by Laura Martin, was a bit too drab for my liking. The fight scenes towards the end, however, had some great artwork but sadly not enough to make up for the lackluster showing in the earlier pages. Overall, the art was decent, though this style probably appeals to some much more than others.
Avengers vs X-Men #3 was a pretty good issue. It was neither amazing nor terrible, and had some moments that kept me excited. I’d say pick it up if you’re already following the series, otherwise borrow it from a friend. I’ve decided to drop this series, but I’m not sure if others will feel the same. There’s been a lot set up and this series definitely has potential, I just feel it’s been misplaced and wasted.
Brett Simon is a twenty-two year old comic enthusiast. He had a fanboy moment when his two favorite childhood superheroes fought one another in this issue.