Written By: Jonathan Hickman, Scott Hanna
Pencils By: John Romita Jr.
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: OUT NOW IN STORES & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD (VIA COMIXOLOGY)
Issue #4 of Avengers vs X-Men is a mixed bag. What starts off as a very cool introduction to Wolverine in Antarctica (covered in a dead polar bear to keep walm -raising the question - Did Wolverine kill an endangered species?). We soon see Hope back in to the front and centre of this story and slow burn our way into where this next chapter might be going. Before we know it we’re whisked off to space with Thor’s team wiped out as well as a very cool stand off between The Phoenix and the God of Thunder himself (albeit one that isn’t entirely clear – is The Phoenix destroying another planet?).
The middle section with Emma Frost using her abilities to search around the world for Hope is pointless. Just a lot of pretty Avengers fighting X-Men images (hinting at this months waves of spin offs) and nothing that feels like anything more than page fillers. Then we’re back with Hope and we discover her master plan that involves sacrificing herself in a very “out there” environment (man this issue is a hard one not to mention spoilers for) and before you know it we’re facing down with X-Men vs Avengers…AGAIN.
Sorry for being so vague but this issue has a lot of turns that I don’t want to spoil. It offers up nothing new or all that spectacular but the Marvel comics event of the summer suddenly feels like it’s got a level head and this is our last breather before the Phoenix gets it’s first swing at the character we love in three weeks. The last few pages finally puts our two sides in a situation that can only unite them (or the writers will pull some other tenuious reason for everyone to fall out) and Avengers vs X-Men suddenly feels like it’s found it’s feet somehow.
Maybe its because Hope has grown a backbone, maybe it’s because something bigger than some squabbling heroes suddenly feels more pressing or it could just be a good month for the the side stories in the regular Marvel Comics that warmed me to this event or maybe it’s because all this silly fighting has been relegated to individual titles to enable this mini series to get a bit of drama and story on its side. I dunno, maybe I’m simply wanting to find out what happens next for once. Either way this issue has some pretty artwork (I love the image of Hope at this end of this review by the way) and the plot has hit a less chaotic pace and seems to have found a way out of just finding reasons to throw stuff at Cyclops. This wasn’t the best issue of the run so far but somewhere in here it had the most promise. Avengers vs X-Men suddenly feels as if the first act is done with and the second act almost feels like it has a lot more to bring to the table. Let’s wait and see shall we?
Hope, where’s that rush of excitement I was looking forward to with Avengers vs X-Men?