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Is It Good? AvX VS #1 Review

Some may think tie-in issues for comic book events are an easy way to fleece the reader, and in some instances they are. But in some cases, these books can flesh out a story or give a nice aside to the main event that is quality reading. And sometimes it’s just a simple excuse to see a bare knuckle battle for fanboy giggles. This week, we take a peek at AVX: VS. #1 and ask the question: Is It Good?

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AVX: VS #1 (of 6) (Marvel)

There is no foolery or confusion about the point of this book. It’s a quip throwing punchfest with little to no story. The book opens with a Q and A to let the reader know when the events take place in this comic and that its focus is on the fights taking place in the main event book, Avengers vs. X-Men.

But who is answering and questioning?!

Many readers probably see this as a gimmick, mainly because the main event book is mostly fighting anyway. Well not like this. While the main point of Avengers vs. X-Men is the fight, that series is also delving into character conflicts and the impending doom of Earth. Think of this issue as the boss battle at the end of the video game level and it’ll start to make sense. It opens with a first person perspective bouncing back and forth between Magneto and Iron Man. I’m not sure if any fan was clamoring for this match up. Iron Man versus Magneto is cool…if Iron Man didn’t cheat with his non-metal suit.

These guys think too much.

Jason Aaron is in charge of writing duties for this issue, and for the most part he makes the internal monologue of Magneto and Iron Man believable. No, I didn’t say interesting. It’s all rather boring to read Magneto’s false sense of authority and Iron Man’s cocksure attitude. Nothing is revealed or learned. It’s banter with no meat on it, essentially.

“…and in this corner, weighting 780 pounds (with armor): Iron! Man!”

The battle lasts ten pages, properly splitting this book up equally between the two battles. The other battle is between The Thing and Namor.

Q: Wait, does that mean the book is only 20 pages and costs $3.99?
A: We’ll get to that, little one.

I thought he bleeds rocks?

Instead of a first person perspective the second battle is a lot more interesting, largely because it’s two loudmouth characters with some fun and bubbly banter. The first battle had banter, but it was all self-righteous drivel. At least the second battle makes you smirk.

I love to swing my big fish…unless he means penis…uh oh.

Typically books like this fly by and you’re done before you hit the cash register. I’ll admit that will probably happen here as well, but there’s a new addition that is greatly appreciated: The book offers “fun facts” throughout. They sometimes add a layer of humor, but typically try to give the reader an impression of the force of punches and damage being dealt.

Based on speed I take Thing. But Namor is probably more agile. Somebody break out the Marvel Trading Cards to see who has more!

Since this issue takes place between Avengers vs. X-Men #1 and Avengers vs. X-Men #2, this battle means something…because we probably won’t see the losers of each battle in the next issue. Keyword “probably”. If they end up back in the series in an issue or two this comic is pretty pointless, at least as far as stories go. But really, is there any story here anyway? The point is good art and nice choreographed fighting.

Doesn’t the Thing need to breathe? Seems Namor should have an advantage.

Adam Kubert definitely delivers the visual prowess, but the Iron Man vs. Magneto battle is a little clunky with a lot of close up shots that are too simple to be interesting. It’s also annoying how there are no other heroes in the book. Shouldn’t they at least be in the background? I suppose the focus is on the challengers, but it comes off a tad lazy. Stuart Immonen does a much better job with the choreography in the Namor vs. Thing battle. Things flow nicely, but again no other heroes make into the backgrounds. It’s mano-a-mano, but seriously I thought this was a war.

Science fun fact = no bueno.

By book’s end you’ll probably shrug your shoulders and ask yourself why. Why make a six issue series focused on fights? Do people actually go for this stuff? I’m going to go on a limb and say yes, but for 20 pages an emphatic no. Marvel expects me to buy a comic for $3.99 and I get only 20 pages? At least make the battles long enough to care!

I actually like the model Marvel has set up by expanding on the fights from Avengers vs. X-Men. I might be the only one, but I found the main series to be weak on the fighting, especially since there are so many characters and storylines going on. Don’t expect this to be in our budget in ComiX Weekly later today. Judging by next issue’s combatants, those being Spider-Man vs. Colossus and Gambit vs. Captain America, I expect another lukewarm issue at best.


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