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Axis: Avengers & X-Men #6

Axis #6 Cover Art

Axis #6 Cover Art

Inversion, ch. 3: Awakened Like Us

Issue #6 of Axis tried a little to be interesting, but ultimately became an exposition-heavy plot movement device. There are some skirmishes between the “good” and “bad” guys–specifically in Manhattan, which the inverted mutants have claimed as their own–and some vignettes of what the inverted Avengers and villains are up to–Stark is throwing a party, Thor is “gambling”, and Dr. Doom is promising a democratic future for Latveria.

Overall, these bits are interesting and mildly entertaining. If this were a between-arcs issue, or a more lighthearted title, I probably wouldn’t mind, but as we are still “cliffhangered” on the whereabouts of the Red Skull, I’m getting impatient.

Kudos should be given, however, to the Dodsons for the great art. It’s good all the way through, but every now and then, they pop a full-page panel that just sings. Last issue it was the group of heroes at Avengers tower, this issue it is the arrival of the inverted villains. Kubert (#1-2) and Yu’s art (#3-4) was enjoyable, but mostly filled the background. I’m pleased with the switch to the Dodson & Dodson team.

Again, not impressed with this “highly anticipated” title, 3/5.

 

Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Comics

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Axis: Avengers & X-Men #5

Axis #5 Cover Art

Axis #5 Cover Art

Inversion, ch. 2: Something Clearly Went Wrong

Better.

After discovering the disappearance of the Red Skull, Cap. America calls an emergency meeting of the Avengers. He informs them that someone with Avengers-level access entered his cell, then erased the security footage. His solution is to shrink all the Avengers using some stolen Pym particles just to be safe. This scene introduces the first cool part of the issue–a tableau of Avengers in lounge mode–and the first unbelievable bit–Avengers tower has electronic access control, but not a way to identify individual access codes.

Nova and Spidey escape with the help of Magneto, who returns them to Steve Rogers. After a bit of exposition revealing that everyone who fought the Red Onslaught has had their alignment flipped (but not really, as Cap America is still trying to do good, he’s just doing it the wrong way), we segue back to Avengers tower to find the X-Men starting their takeover of Manhattan–the first prize of the “Mutant Uprising”.

The issue ends with Nova bringing the fight to Kluh, the “Hulk’s Hulk” in Arizona.

Better, by far, than the previous issue, but still rather lackluster, 3/5. If this were a monthly title, I would have given up by now.

 

Posted by on January 24, 2015 in Comics

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Axis: Avengers & X-Men #4

Axis #4 Cover Art

Axis #4 Cover Art

Inversion, ch. 1: Altered Beast

…and I’m disappointed again.

Coming down from the high of issue #3, Axis reverts again to a setup issue. Obviously setting up an Avengers vs X-Men plot, but one we don’t really get to see yet. We start with some harsh language between Cap and Fury, one punch, and then we retire to Avengers tower. Here, we have some more harsh language, after which the Avengers decide to kill the Red Onslaught / Red Skull to keep him out of trouble. Jarvis and Hulk disagree, after which the Hulk transforms again into–wait for it–the Kluh.

Yep.

Kluh dispatched, the Avengers open the vault to find the Red Skill missing. End title.

I’m hoping I don’t have to endure two setup issues for each action issue all the way through this title, but so far it looks that way, 3/5 (with a −1 just for Kluh).

 

Posted by on January 22, 2015 in Comics

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Axis: Avengers & X-Men #3

Axis #3 Cover Art

Axis #3 Cover Art

The Red Supremacy, ch. 3: Good News for Bad People

Finally! After weeks of waiting for Axis to step up, issue #3 is here, and it does a decent job thereof. Not quite enough to make up for the last two issues, but things are turning around.

In issue #3 we finally see the awesomeness of what can be when you tell a join-up story. Yes, technically, the Avengers and X-Men have been teamed up for two issues now, but nothing has really come of it–they were all preoccupied with the fight against Red Onslaught. But in #3, as the good guys are at the end of their rope, a cadre of Marvel’s greatest villains arrive to help: Dr. Doom, Mistique, Carnage, Loki, Sabretooth, Enchantress, and several others. Oh yeah, and Deadpool (but he’s not with them).

Basically, Issue #3 contains the exact same plot advancement as #2–nothing–just a giant battle scene, but now that we have a better mix of combatants, and recovering heroes that can add to the dialog, the tone is completely different. We get a wealth of humor, quick comebacks, and witty jabs between villains, heroes, and those somewhere in the middle. Ultimately, there is some resolution; the Red Onslaught and his Sentinels are defeated, and the body of Red Skull is imprisoned by the Avengers.

Overall, this issue makes great strides towards what Axis could be; I only wish it had happened sooner, 5/5.

 

Posted by on January 20, 2015 in Comics

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Axis: Avengers & X-Men #2

Axis #2 Cover Art

Axis #2 Cover Art

The Red Supremacy ch. 2: Theme to a Desperate Scene

Issue #2 of Axis is basically one long battle scene as the combined forces of Superheros and Mutants fight the Red Onslaught and his Adamantium Sentinels. There isn’t really much to say about this issue as the plot doesn’t really move along. Stark has some self-pity over designing the sentinels, and past grudges are forgotten for the greater good, but basically this issue is 13 pages of fight choreography. As Remender’s writing takes a back seat, Kubert gets to return to straightforward, linear panels that are still able to be interesting.

Again, I see the possibility of the Axis title but am disappointed; without any plot advancement or resolution, I can’t think of this issue as anything other than a picture book, 3/5.

 

Posted by on January 18, 2015 in Comics

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Axis: Avengers & X-Men #1

Axis #1 Cover Art

Axis #1 Cover Art

The Red Supremacy ch. 1: We Will All be Dead Tomorrow

In large, I am not a fan of miniseries with tie-ins.Generally they are weekly titles which tend to have a lower quality than monthly titles, and they feel like a marketing campaign for other titles. (Miniseries that tell a discrete story, start to finish, however, are awesome). But given the hype, I thought I would give Axis a shot.

Axis tells the story of the Avengers and X-Men, after the death of Professor Xavier allowed the Red Skull to rebirth himself with Prof. X’s psychic powers into the Red Onslaught. This first issue does a lot of skipping around between geographic locations, story lines, flashbacks, and false memories, making it a confusing, but relatively comprehensive introductory issue. However, for a 9-issue limited series, I’m not sure a complete issue can be spared on just introductory material.

The story shows promise–we have a blockbuster cast of almost any superhero in the Marvel universe that was ever popular, a super evil big bad, and a twist that could be used in very interesting ways. That being said, in this first issue, Remender’s story just seems hard to track. Kubert’s panels do their best to portray the vast content in this issue, but end up being small and hard to track.

Overall, there is a lot of promise in this title, and as it is a miniseries, I will probably pull all of the issues, but #1 isn’t doing much to impress me, 3/5.

 

Posted by on January 16, 2015 in Comics

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