The end of the line for Avengers & X-Men: Axis draws nearer and nearer. We have reached the penultimate issue of the event and things are heating up even further… to the point where I’m questioning how this event will even wrap up in two issues. Is it good?
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #8 (Marvel Comics)
With the Inverted Villains down, who is left to fight Inverted X-Men? Why, the Inverted Avengers of course! So they fight them! Then a few more Inverted Villains get back up and fight as well. Oh the fighting that will go on throughout this issue! Also, things sort of happen at the end.
And with that, we’ve successfully removed Carnage from Marvel Comics for a couple of months until he can be brought back in another storyline.
Like with the last issue, this issue can be summed up like this: Fighting, and on occasion, things happen. It’s another long fight scene with little plot unless required and man, is the plot dealt out lazily in this issue. Plot points, like whatever happened to the Red Skull or the whole gene bomb situation are handled rather quickly and abruptly. Nothing is really handled well, with most of the comic rushing through plot points so it can get to the ending quickly, causing a major lack of gravitas and things just happening out of nowhere, with the exception of Carnage’s “death” that was spoiled in the preview. Then again, he didn’t really do much in this comic and thus his death feels more like a plot device than having anything near the emotional depth it should have.
Probably the worst thing in the story is Brother Voodoo and his brother’s appearance. Dr. Doom disappeared in the last issue and then randomly popped up again in this issue with the two. Apparently he made some pact with a demigod to resurrect the two to solve the Scarlet Witch problem. I admittedly don’t know much about the characters, but I knew at least Brother Voodoo would be back given that he was going to be in the relaunched Uncanny Avengers. However, he and his brother’s own appearance here and their apparent purpose just comes right out of nowhere with no buildup and feels so much like a random deus ex machina. The “heroes” & “villains” can’t solve this problem, so here are some characters with powers than can possibly fix it that have not been remotely built up or introduced up until this point. It feels so lazy, poorly thought out, and bad that it is even worse than Captain Universe was in Infinity.
So Enchantress’ entire role was to make out with Loki and then simply teleport Thor away. Such a useful and purposeful character in this comic. I’m glad she was here!
The writing isn’t much to comment on here. The pacing is very quick due to the book being one long extended fight scene with the occasional moment of plot, so you’ll get through this very quickly. The dialogue is alright, though it can be rather corny and melodramatic at points. The story structure and flow are perfectly fine, everything fitting together with no bad transitions. The characterization is the same, fitting with the Inverted personalities of everyone, though there’s no standout moment besides maybe Carnage. The ending offers potential, but considering everything that has happened up to this point, the next issue is going to have to be rather rushed.
The artwork is by Leinil Francis Yu once more and his work this time around comes with three separate inkers and two different colorists. To the credit of the team, it’s not too obvious when there is a change between them, so it won’t be distracting like previous issues (there are some small exceptions, but nothing too bad). That being said, the artwork feels off in areas. Besides the usual shameless fanservice you get from Yu, the musculature and body poses people have look really unnatural. People have way too many muscles and there’s so much detail on them that it looks like their skin is going to rip open to reveal all of their muscles. Finally, with a last note about the art, there’s an error in the cover. All of the Inverted Villains fighting for good are on one side, while all of the Inverted Heroes are on the other… except for Apocalypse. For whatever reason, he’s on the Inverted Villain side despite the fact that he ripped Deadpool’s head off last issue. Oops.
It’s flashy and all, but I’m rather concerned that he may have overdone it with the steroids.
Is It Good?
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #8 is one long extended fight with a contrived and rushed as hell plot. As this event nears the end, I can only shake my head in disappointment and wonder what could have been for this story. It’s been such an underwhelming and lackluster experience that with the last issue coming, I have serious doubts this series will end in a remotely satisfying manner. We’ll find out next time I suppose.
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