Friday, 27 April 2012

New Beginnings - AvX Versus #1

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed Avengers Vs X-Men issues #0 and #1. Now the fun has started. With the miniseries underway the fight to decide who is “right” is now underway. Issue #2 was recently released as well, delving further into the story. So it’s now the Avengers fully against the X-Men without holding back just to prove a point.

Spreading out across the Marvel Universe the fighting begins, but not everyone will want to know the stories. In an interesting move marvel have created a six issue mini-series dedicated to just the fights too. Even the opening which describes itself as “the FIGHTINGEST book you’ve EVER READ” is aggressive in its own nature.

This issue takes on two fights, Iron Man against Magneto and The Thing versus Namor. Each has been given their own creative team to match.

Iron Man and Magneto have Jason Aaron, one of Marvel's Architects, with Adam Kubert providing the artwork too. A triumphant match after their wonderful Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine miniseries. Arguably, these are two extremely powerful and significant individuals within the Marvel Universe and so the heavy hitting team behind them gives further weight to it.

The thing to remember is that even though both of these characters are considered to be heroes (well at the moment), this is still a fight. There will be a winner and a loser, and considering the stakes they both mean business - so there is little time for banter. A lot of the writing is internal monologue, feeling each other out, testing the waters and finding new and alternative ways to finish things.

There is still a small tongue-in-cheek element though with the occasional AvX Fun Fact popping up with snippets of random information.

There are elements of the story which are classic cartoon fight style. The escalation keeps creeping up raising things higher each step including the last minute epiphany too. On the surface this should be a clear cut case but will it really be?

The second fight, penned and pencilled by the Immonens, is between the Thing and Namor. Not a fight I would have normally expected and potentially not a fair one considering it is in water most of the time too. In contrast to the first fight, this is heavier in conversation, despite the underwater sections where the Thing can’t speak.

Also, as an opposite end of the scale, this is an all out slug fest between the two of them rather than the chess game Tony and Erik played. The fun facts still appear but even these are more directly related to the fight. How hard each hits, how hot things are or how much braces for sea monsters cost! If anything the dialogue and side notes are also more raw than in the first fight. Even with the underlying innuendo put in for good measure.

Both fights are entertaining but the dilemma for any writer is how do you finish them without upsetting fans or making things appear unrealistic. There’s also the matter of both sides being known for not actually killing anyone (on purpose).

This is going to make for an interesting little series and a good side collection too. It may also end, or further provoke, arguments or discussions on who would really beat who in a fight.

A nice distraction from the main line and a resourceful use of six comics to support or provide levity to the main arc. It's fair to say that the end of the Iron Man versus Magneto fight certainly adds gravitas to the main series too.

Matt Puddy picks up four new titles to review next week. Exciting! Look for those reviews over the next three weeks.

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