I’m always happy to be proven wrong when it comes to something being terrible. My thoughts last week on AvX were pretty harsh, and I stand by them. I was ready to write off the whole cross-over event, but it was a light week so I picked up the first issue of Avengers versus X-Men on a whim. Congratulations, Marvel, you have convinced me that this series has some worth to it.
The naming can be a little confusing, especially since “AvX” is just the shorthand for an entirely separate book. Frankly, I think the name is confusing, or at least frustrating for making it impossible to use shorthand. But trust me, this is the far superior cross-over book.
I had my problems with AvX’s central conflict, but it was a mess structurally as well. It flittered from fight to fight with the attention span of a goldfish, so we never got much time for any one conflict. Beyond the more serious underlying problems with the X-Men being totally, completely wrong, the pacing was just all off. If they wanted to make a big crazy fight book, I thought, focus on one fight per issue and make them worthwhile.
Wouldn’t you know it, Avengers versus X-Men is basically that. Technically it’s two fights, but the point remains. It doesn’t really further the overarching plot, but it spends several pages on one brawl, and then several pages on another brawl. And to that end, it’s just on a whole other level. The art looks crisp and dynamic, while AvX looked rushed. The writing is sharp and clever, even downright funny sometimes. It knows what it is and unapologetically goes for it. You want a big crazy fight book? Sure. You want tongue-in-cheek “fun facts” sprinkled throughout? Right here. You want pages upon pages of superhero banter, including pitch-perfect Tony Stark smarm? Yes.
And for a big crazy fight book, it actually ends the Iron Man vs Magneto fight with a more poignant moment than anything in AvX. We get to see Magneto react to realizing the consequences of their incredibly stupid decision. It’s a moment of seriousness amid levity, which gives it more impact than pages upon pages of ham-fisted chest puffing.
(The second fight, Namor vs Thing, was fine. It entertained me despite not caring much about either character, so that’s saying something.)
I’m not sure if I’ll give AvX another chance or not, but if Avengers versus X-Men #2 is half as strong as this issue, I’ll keep following it through the arc.
I also picked up The Flash #8, which I still don’t understand but it’s so damn pretty, and Daredevil #11, which finished out the Avenging Spider-Man arc with some fantastic Matt Murdock grandstanding. All highly recommended this week, oddly enough.
The companion piece to my Best Glitches article went up today on 1UP. Behold, the worst glitches! Commenters have chimed in with some great ones as well.
- The Stalker 2/Survarium announcement was certainly a surprise. I didn’t follow the game closely but less than a month ago everything seemed on-track.
- I could be wrong, but it sounds like he gives a pregnant pause on the “F” sound when he says “not a fat chance” about Crysis 3 on Wii U. And who says “not a fat chance”? The expression is “fat chance.” Point is, I think he might’ve been considering a different F-word and thought better of it.
- Considering I just got a Vita, a price drop would be poorly timed right now. But the arguments in favor of one are solid, so I wouldn’t be surprised. I’d just want in on the Vita Ambassador program.