Written By: Brian Michael Bendis (Scarlet With Story) Jasan Aaron (Hope Story)
Pencils By: Frank Cho
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: OUT NOW IN STORES & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD (VIA COMIXOLOGY)
This is it folks, hold on tight because this hop on point is the big Marvel crossover pitting it’s two major teams against each other. This issue ‘zero’ generally feels like an introduction to the players and is split into two stories. A sad tale about Scarlet Witch’s return to the Avengers’ mansion and Hope sneaking off to fight crime and having a bit of a face off with Scott Summers.
With artwork by the legend that is Frank Cho, it’s easy to call this comic book ‘perfection’. The man’s work is as great as ever, drawing every character just about as perfect as they will ever look. The big reveal shot of Scarlet Witch is classic Cho and the way he handles action is as always cinematic and exciting. Adding to signature Cho, the lonely image of a saddened Scarlet Witch on the white background midway through the book is wonderfully Liberty Meadows feeling and all this greatness is before we even reach the X-men half of the comic, where Cho’s work on The Serpent Society is fantastic and when Emma Frost turns up looking awesome, it’s hard to think who would be a better match to this project.
The big deal here is Hope’s talk of ’The Phoenix’ and her preparation for it’s arrival. Despite the fight with M.O.D.O.K in the first half of the issue and Hope kicking the ass out of The Serpent Society in the second half, this issue feels like the calm before the storm. The emotional turmoil between Vision and Scarlet Witch is very much felt (even by me, who is really only a passing Avengers reader) and the sense of impending doom between Hope and Cyclops really felt like a classic 90s X-men event (as opposed to the battle of attitudes the current X-men titles feel like they recycle). The final panels of the issue should get all X-fans ready to go for the event and this issue zero feels ready to kick off into issue #1.
So where will this big event go? Is it going to be more heroes arguing about being heroes like Civil War turned into at times? Is it going to just go for the big epic action event with very little in the way of depth like DC have been doing with Justice League relaunch? What’s going to happen to the characters that are both X-men and Avengers? (hopefully we’ll stop all this moonlighting). Who knows but at this stage this all feels right (thanks largely to Frank Cho and a nice steady bit of story telling from the writers). It’s certainly been more accessible than Uncanny X-men and Wolverine and the X-men has been of late and as a reader solidly on team X-men, I’m hoping this is a return to form for the Children of the Atom, even if they have to bust some Avengers heads to get there.
Issue # 1 of Avengers vs. X-men hits April 4th 2012.