The Avengers vs. The X-Men: Recaps and Observations – Part 5

A new week has arrived and with it, tie in issues!

The image on this cover has nothing to do with the story inside it…or does it?

New Avengers #26

The Recap: Picking up after New Avengers #25, the young red-head girl begins her training to become the first Iron Fist in 75 years.  Leonardo DaVinci is brought in to help.  They plan on using the girl to somehow communicate with the Phoenix Force to understand its purpose.

 The Review:  This is the second issue in a row of this series that has blown me away.  Not only are we learning about the Iron Fist past, but was are also seeing that the Phoenix Force has visited Earth before.  The writing and art continue to be amazing.  The sequence of her training mirrors the training sequence in the first issue of Avengers vs. X-Men, a very nice touch.

From New Avengers #26

I love when things like this happen. From Avengers vs. X-Men #1

Important Tie In Notes:  I am still thinking that this is going to be a major key point in what is coming for the rest of the main series.  My thoughts are that Iron Fist may play the key role in helping Hope survive what is coming.  I like the way that this is playing out.

Love that reflection coming off the visor.

Wolverine and the X-Men #10

The Recap:  Wolverine returns to the school briefly to recover up but is soon joined by Scott, Emma and Magik.  Scott explains his actions to Wolverine and tries to reason with him.  Logan continues to make his stand.  Some of the other X-Men that sided with Wolverine after the events of Schism, have decided to join with Scott when it comes to the Phoenix Force.  The issue ends with the Shi’ar Death Commandos landing on Earth.

The Review:  A solid issue, one in which Scott and Logan are able to talk out the issues and explain themselves to each other.  While the end result still has them on opposite ends, the lines become even more drawn as some of Logan’s crew decides to help out Cyclops.

Important Tie In Notes:  We get to see how some of the Wolverine side X-Men join with Scott, we also see the arrival of the Death Commandos.  The biggest problem with this tie in is that it is not clear exactly when this takes place within the main series.  I am also starting to think that the Death Commandos arc may be self-contained in this title and that it will not spill over in the main book.

Any cover with Rogue on the cover is going to be awesome!

X-Men Legacy #266

The Recap:  Sharing events that take place in Wolverine and the X-Men #10, discussions are held with the mutants that are choosing to leave to battle side by side with Cyclops.  The Falcon, She-Hulk and Moon Knight soon come to the school, they are there to keep watch.  Frenzy soon provokes Moon Knight and the battle begins.  Rogue takes on the abilities of She-Hulk and Moon Knight and gains the upper hand, until Iron Man arrives.

The Review:  Based on the fact that I have seen so many Rogue flashbacks that always show her with the white streak in the center of her hair instead of the sides like it was originally presented in Avengers Annual 10, I have to love the fact that artist Rafa Sandoval drew them in.  The inner nit-picking fanboy that I am appreciates the little details like that.  A very Rogue centric issue as her past is detailed as her first appearance was when she attacked the Avengers and went too far with Ms. Marvel.

Rogue once took out Captain America!

Important Tie In Notes:  Just like Wolverine and the X-Men issue 10, there is more explanation on how and why we will see some of the X-Men that went off with Wolverine after Schism will be fighting alongside Cyclops.  We get to see a few more X-Men fighting Avengers action.

That’s it for this week, thanks for reading see you next week!

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The Avengers vs. The X-Men: Recaps and Observations – Part 4

Up until now, they have been on the same side, as the cover shows, things change!

 

The Avengers vs The X-Men #3

The Recap:  The battle on Utopia ends as Cyclops is able to trick the Avengers and he and the X-Men make a hasty retreat.  Hope manages to throw off both teams by having her signature appear in five different places at once, prompting both teams to send members to all five areas.  Captain America confronts Wolverine on his actions that he is going to kill Hope which leads them to a fight in which Wolverine is thrown out of a plane onto the ground below.

The Review:  The pace continues in this series.  This issue was scripted by Ed Brubaker and he is able to carry on the same tone that has been ongoing from the two different writers before him.  Everything from Cyclops plan to the double agent reveal of Rachael to the amazing Wolverine fight is great.  Seeing where the individual heroes are going is definitely going to be the game plan for the next few issues which means that we will continue to see even more match ups.  Romita still proves he is a master at his craft.

1st the shield hits Cyclops in the visor and now right into Wolverines neck. This shield is seeing a lot of action!

The Battles:  Wolverine vs. Captain America:  A great fight, but Cap really does not fight fair, having Sharon open the hatch and then Giant-Man kicking Wolverine out proves that the true winner of this battle was Wolverine, he didn’t need any back up.  This is twice now in which Cap. has been in a one on one match and then has called on others to help him out.

 

The cover conveys the tone, but only for a little bit.

Avengers Academy #29

The Recap:  The X-Men left Utopia but the children that lived on the island were left behind.  Wolverine and Captain America agree that the best place for them while things settle down would be the Avengers Academy.  Hercules decides that to let the tensions between the teens ease that they should compete in olympic style events.  Meanwhile, Sebastian Shaw, a former main enemy of the X-Men who has had his mind completely wiped, may not of had his mind wiped as much as people may think, as he escapes and is let loose and may be planning to do something not so good.

The Review:  Great writing by Christos Gage and extremely clean art by Tom Grummet.  The task of writing so many personalities of young ones in not an easy task and Gage seems to show that he is an expert at it as each character stands alone with their own voice.  Grummet continues to showcase his strength as an artist that can illustrate distinctive teens without them all looking the same.

Quicksilver breaks down everything that has happened pretty easily in this one panel.

Important Tie In Notes:  Not much, this one is pretty much just for those that are curious as to where the kids from Utopia ended up.  While it is fun to see the two teams interact in their own mini version of AvX with their friendly competition it is not required to get this for the main story arc.

 

That’s it for this week, thanks for reading!

The Denim Jedi

 

Avengers vs. The X-Men: Recaps and Observatoins – Part 3

This was the week of the tie ins, and they were good.  Let’s start with the big one:

Warning: Only two of the characters on this cover actually appear in this issue.

The Avengers vs. The X-Men: Vs #1

The Recap:  This six issue mini series is just going to be fights.  This issue is Magneto against Iron Man and Namor against The Thing.

The Review:  This book is just a lot of fun.  It is not necessary to get this title as a tie in to the whole big story.  The Magneto fighting Iron Man story is written by Jason Aaron who is a major fan favorite.  He continues to use not just humor in his writing but gets into scientific magnetic fields around planets that both characters start to use become so over the top that it becomes fun.  Adam Kubert is a classic artist and one of the best in the industry and he handles the artistic chores on this story amazingly.  The second story is written by Kathryn Immomen and penciled by her husband Stuart Immomen.  Kathryn is able to carry on the humorous tone set by Aaron and the art by Stuart as always remains faithful to what the readers want to see.  Marvel is definitely putting the best in the industry on this project and they are showing why they are the best.

This issue does contradict some of the outcomes we see in the main title, such as the way the Iron Man / Magneto fight finished and we don’t see Luke Cage in the Thing / Namor fight.

What does Magneto know that they don't?

Important Tie In Notes:  This is a tie in that can be completely skipped over, the only thing of not is that when Magneto is defeated and left in space by Iron Man he tries to let Iron Man know that they are going to need Wanda.

The most confusing tie in issue yet that may just be the most important issue.

The New Avengers #25

The Recap:  Years ago, Master Yu Ti of K’un Lun has a vision of the Phoenix Force consuming and taking over a young red-headed girl.  He soon leaves the temple and finds a girl fitting that description on the streets, her name is Fongji which means bird of fire.  He finds out that her mother was part of a last pilgrimage to Earth which is why her complexion and hair color is so different from the rest.  She is soon placed into the hands of Lei Kung and trained to be the first Iron Fist in 75 years.

The Review:  In a word, Amazing.  Brian Michael Bendis is a master at stories like this.  A story that is no action and all plot.  I will admit that I am not that knowledgeable when it comes to Iron Fist, but this issue made me want to know more about the character and his past. The art by Mike Deodato and Will Conrad is breathtaking to look at, seeing the redhead with the phoenix force behind her and her combo Iron Fist / Phoenix costume merge is a visual that engages the eyes and stays there.

I have no clue what this means for the future of the event, but it is beautiful.

Important Tie In Notes:  Obviously there is a link to the past of both Iron Fist and the Phoenix Force.  From the very beginning of this issue they mirror the events of the opening of the first issue of Avengers vs. X-Men.  I will have to say at this time this is the first must buy tie in issue to the event.

To attack the Phoenix Force before it makes its' way to Earth.

Secret Avengers #26

The Recap:  Captain America assigns a team to head out to space to try to prevent the Phoenix Force before it comes to Earth.  Their plan fails and they stop on the planet Hala where the Kree have used the Phoenix Force to bring Mar-Vell back to life.

The Review:  Rick Remender is a writer whose work has been a bit hit or miss with, this one is a definite hit.  I like the way he his writing Captain Britain as well as how he writes Thor in this issue.  The art will take a bit of getting used to for newcomers.  Renato Guedes has a very unique style to his art that reminds me a lot of Moebuis.  It is a style that long time fans of their comics medium will love, but new readers may shy away from.

Thor loves his mead.

Important Tie In Notes:  A must read for anyone that wants to know what is going on with the team that went into space.  There is also the whole Mar-Vell situation, is he really back?

Colossus versus Red Hulk

Uncanny X-Men #11

The Recap:  This issue takes place during Avengers vs. X-Men issue 1 and adds more detail to some of the events that are in that issue.  This issue also shows the Red Hulk versus Colossus battle

The Review:  Kieron Gillien does an excellent job writing this issue.  Going onto the minds of several characters as narrative was a very good touch that helped bring the reader into the events that are going on.  The art by Greg Land, is, well, it’s Greg Land.  His art is something that I think is nice to look at, but when he draws the smiles on characters they look creepy, he also has a way of drawing all the female characters as way too over sexified supermodels, which is really bad when it comes to Hope, who I picture as a teenager.  He does do a great job on the other hand with the two major big guys in this issue.  The Colossus / Red Hulk fight is beautiful to look at.

That smile is just creepy to look at.

Important Tie In Notes:  It is explained that the phoenix flare up that Hope let out in Avengers vs. X-Men issue one was a signal, we see the Red Hulk / Colossus fight, it is also explained that the reason why Hope is attacking her friends is that she feels that she needs to confront the Phoenix Force head on.  Cyclops also has a press release sent out that tells the rest of the world that even though in the past the mutants have implied that any attack on them would have major consequences that they are not going to act on them.  That humanity should be grateful of that.

That’s it for this week, thank you for reading.

The Denim Jedi

Avengers Vs. The X-Men: Recaps and Observations – Part 2

In this second part I am going to talk about some of the tie in books and issue two.

 

Showdown! maybe....

The New Avengers #24

The Recap:  The Avengers are still dealing with the ramifications of their mega battle with Osborn and his crew from the last arc in the series.  Luke Cage finds Jessica and their child and makes a major decision regarding his future with the team.

The Review:  It’s a great issue, especially in regards to Luke Cage and Jessica Jones fans.  Jessica is the child of Bendis and is best in his hands.  Her dialogue and situation with Cage in regards to protecting their baby is something that is portrayed in a very realistic fashion.  Mike Deodato and Will Conrad’s art is beautiful to look at and is able to capture the mood and emotion of the situations within.

It's gonna go down!

Important Tie In notes:  None, this is a tie in that can be completely skipped over unless you want to read some banter that takes place on the Hellicarrier as well as seeing the meeting in which Captain America tells the Avengers what is about to go down with the X-Men and tells Storm to go where she is going to be needed, with the X-Men.

 

 

 

Captain America uses his shield to deflect the blast from Cyclops and gets his fist ready to punch. An amazing cover by Daniel Acuna

The Avengers #25

The Recap:  The Avengers wrap up their previous arc in this issue.

The Review:  A bit confusing to readers that are just jumping into this issue for the first time.  This is basically just a finish previous story arc issue.  There is a silver lining to getting this issue though and that is for the art by Walter Simonson.  His long-awaited return to Marvel lives up to all of the hype around it.

Simonson drawing Thor again. This brought a very large smile to my face.

Important Tie In Notes:   While this issue mostly deals with wrap up, there is a major development that happens that is definitely going to effect what happens in Avengers vs. X-Men and that is Noh-Varr is ordered by the Supreme Intelligence that he is to contain the Phoenix Force by any means necessary for the Kree Empire.

Orders have been delivered, this is not going to be pretty when it goes down.

I would not say this issue is a must buy, but there are parts, especially the Noh-Varr part, that may be essential to what is going on in the main series.

 

 

Decisions, decisions

Wolverine and The X-Men #9

The Recap:  A more in-depth look at the meeting Captain America had with Wolverine regarding where the Phoenix Force was heading towards.  This issue also deals with what The Beast’s mission in space with other members of The Avengers will be as they try to stop the Phoenix Force before it can head towards Earth.

The Review:  An extremely entertaining read.  Jason Aaron has an incredible talent for humor and uses it well.   He is also able to reign the humor in for more delicate moments when needed as well.  The art by Chris Bachalo is a style of artwork that is unique and at first will take new readers to get used to, but once you adapt to it, you realize that it is extremely stylized and amazing to look at.

Important Tie In Moments:  Not really important, but compliments what is going on in the main book is the expanded look into the conversation that took place with Wolverine and Captain America, adding The Beast to the conversation so that we can see how he became involved into the space mission.  Amusing tie-in moment is watching the aliens gambling on what planets the Phoenix Force is going to destroy.  There is also a moment in which I am going to deem at this time as a might be important tie-in moment is that both Quintin and Rachel who have had past dealing with the Phoenix Force suffer from seizures and collapse.

So far we have the Avengers fighting the X-Men soon to be everyone fighting Noh-Varr soon to be everyone fighting Gladiator and the Death Commandos and we still have this Phoenix thing to deal with.

In a moment that I am going to state is just as important as the one I wrote about above about Noh-Varr is that Gladiator is going to head to Earth to help protect his son, who is a student at Wolverines school.  Gladiator has a tendency of always ending up in fights with The X-Men, so this should play out well, another thing learned from that sequence is that the Shi’ar have Death Commandos in place to deal with the Phoenix Force that are going to be sent out to fight.

Round 2, here is where the fighting really starts!

Avengers Vs. The X-Men #2

The Recap:  The two teams start to fight each other as Hope starts to show signs that the Phoenix Force is taking her over.

The Review:  This issue was scripted by Jason Aaron and as stated above, he is great with humor and drama.  The art continues to be amazing as it carries on from the last issue and the pacing is well told as we already know that to get the detailed action from the fights we need to read the companion mini series.  My one complaint is a bit of a continuity glitch, New Avengers #24 shows them jumping off the hellicarrier into battle when in this issue, Colossus is magnetically thrown into it while they are all still inside.

The Battles:  Red Hulk vs. Colossus – Outcome of this battle to be determined

Namor vs. The Thing – Namor punches The Thing right out of the water.  Winner – Namor

Namor vs. Luke Cage –  Outcome of this one also to be determined, we later see that The Thing comes back and he and Cage double team on Namor

Emma Frost vs. Iron Man – This one comes to a standstill as Magneto interrupts to attack Iron Man

Iron Man vs. Magneto – This fight is soon interrupted by Quicksilver as he decides to take on his father, Magneto.

Quicksilver vs. Magneto – We later see Quicksilver lying on the ground with what looks to be many tiny swords in his back and Emma and Magneto are shown in the same panel fighting Dr. Strange.  Winner – Magneto

pincushion Quicksilver

 

Emma and Magneto vs. Dr. Strange – Dr. Strange leaves the battle to fight Magik

Dr. Strange vs. Magik – To be determined, fight is going to be in limbo, advantage goes to Magik

Black Panther vs. Storm – To be determined

Cyclops vs. Captain America – There are some brutal hits in this fight, they kind of hit a standstill as they both discover what Hope has done towards the end.

One of the best panels I have ever seen

 

Other battles that took place in the background were:  Domino vs. Iron Fist, Spider-Man vs. Warpath, Black Widow vs. Jubilee, Wolverine vs. Sunspot and Magma and a few more that were not really worth noting, but looked cool.

Things to come:   We still have yet to see what part The Scarlet Witch is going to play in this, I have a feeling that the Phoenix Force is going to inhabit her, but that is just my personal observation, I could be wrong.

What does it mean??

Until next time, this is The Denim Jedi signing off.  Thanks for reading.

 

Avengers Vs. The X-Men: Recaps and Observations – Part 1.

The biggest event in comics is happening right now.  Marvel’s big superteams are going at it and it is not going to be a pretty battle.  The Avengers and The X-Men are at war.  I will be focusing this post along with others to come on recapping what is happening, giving my observations and going over the battles within.  I will be going through the individual issues of the main mini series, the side mini series and all of the tie ins.  I don’t need to tell you at this point that there will be spoilers.

Let’s start with the zero issue:

Avengers vs. X-Men issue 0: Hope and The Scarlet Witch, how is this going to play out?

The zero issue features two separate stories, the first of which deals with The Scarlet Witch written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Frank Cho.  Wanda (The Scarlet Witch) stops an attack on a renegade A.I.M. agent from M.O.D.O.K with the help of Spider-Woman and Ms. Marvel.  After the battle she is taken to the Avengers Mansion where The Vision treats her very coldly due to her previous actions.

Bendis does a great job in letting the reader catch up on the past 10 years of Avengers history without going into too much detail and the art by Frank Cho is breathtaking.

 

Two words with so much emotion on her face and The Vision still ripped her a new one.

The second story deals with Hope, written by Jason Aaron and also with art by Frank Cho.  Cyclops confronts Hope who has been sneaking off of their island home of Utopia to fight crimes.  Hope takes a shot at Cyclops using his own ability against him and storms off.  After a short battle with the Serpent Society in which Emma and Scott come and prevent Hope from going to far with them, she tells him that she is ready for whatever the Phoenix force can bring.

Aaron tells a story here which shows how strong Hope is and how determined Scott is to protect her.  Is Hope right about why Scott wants to protect her from Phoenix or does he have other reasons?  Again, my observations on this will follow later on in this post.

Hope is determined and not scared.

The Phoenix force is on its way to Earth, and how this is going to play out is documented in the mini series called Avengers vs. X-Men.

First issue fun!

The Recap:

Nova crashes on Earth, with a warning “It’s coming.”  Meanwhile, Scott is in a training session with Hope and he is really pushing her hard, to the point where this happens:

Back to what The Avengers are doing.  Captain America and Iron Man are having a meeting with the President of the United States and the joint chiefs of staff.  They inform them that they were able to figure out from Nova that the Phoenix Force is on its way to Earth.

Captain America and Iron Man explain the Phoenix Force to the joint chiefs

It is during this meeting in which Tony Starks programs inform him that an energy signature similar to the one that is emitted from the Phoenix Force has flared up on Earth. It was the incident that I posted above when Hope was training with Cyclops.

Captain America goes to Wolverine for help, Wolverine explains to him that Cyclops is going to have his own agenda against the Phoenix Force and agrees to help do what it takes to get Hope away from.  They know that the Phoenix Force is going to be targeting Hope as its host.  Scott believes that the Phoenix Force, should it use Hope as its host, can be trained to help bring mutantkind back.

Captain America comes to Utopia to place Hope into custody, Scott tells him that this is a mutant issue and that they will deal with it.  They continue to argue and eventually, the first punch, or in this case, blast is thrown.

The first shot.

Captain America lands in the water, and says the two words that will begin an epic battle, “Avengers Assemble”

The Review:  This issue is jammed with writers, a total of five doing the story (Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman and Matt Fraction) This issue was scripted by Bendis with the amazing art of John Romita Jr.  The writing was top-notch, Bendis has a great feel for all these characters and it shows.  Writing so many characters, sometimes a writer could get lost, and I will admit, some of the early Bendis Avengers issues, there were times in which I felt each character had the same voice.  With this issue, I can easily tell that Bendis has greatly improved and has captured the personalities of each character.

I grew up reading the X-Men in the 80’s so seeing Romita Jr. drawing them again is a major treat.  His style has changed just a little from what it was years ago but as always, looks amazing.

The battles:  In this issue we just get one hit instead of one battle, but clearly, when you have to call for backup, you did not win that fight so,

Cyclops vs. Captain America

The winner – Cyclops

This ends part one at my look at Avengers Vs. X-Men.  Part two will be up in a couple of days.