Written By: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Kickman and Matt Fraction
Pencils By: Adam Kubert
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: OUT NOW IN STORES & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD (VIA COMIXOLOGY)
Namor is down. The other four Phoenix powered mutants have an equal share of his power and it’s winning the war against the struggling Avengers (but don’t tell Cyclops it’s a war because he still thinks it’s not). Emma Frost is beginning to lose control. Colossus and his sister are bickering and Hope is getting bored of always training (well it is with Iron Fist now, so can you blame her?). This issue sees the remaining Avengers and a handful of X-Men set out on a rescue mission to save their captured team-mates (I still don’t buy why the Phoenix muties aren’t just killing Avengers) but given the opening tease, someone is going to get hurt by the end of this issue.
Once again this issue of AvX was a much better balance of fighting and actual character. Spider-man is the centre here for the most part and despite him always feeling like a spare wheel whenever he’s with the Avengers, he gets his place in the sun here.
Given the extra stories between the AvX core issues that appear in the monthly Marvel comics, I always come back to AvX feeling like there’s been a big gap of things I haven’t seen. I have read pretty much all of the other comics but I still come back to this central miniseries not sure how much everyone knows or how much of the other stories play a part in where AvX is heading. This issue starts by recapping on what happened with Namor but there’s a sense that the remaining Avengers have been up to loads in the “7 Days” since Namor went rogue. They feel more defeated, more thin on the ground, more beaten and I just don’t feel this is going to sit right when reading the collected AvX run without including the other stories in the monthly Marvel run. I guess I’ll have to wait and see if I ever do a re-read of this bloated crossover event.
Anyway, Tony Stark is put on hold while he figures out a way out of all this for The Avengers, Hope gets impatient, Charles Xavier gets his hands dirty (always an odd sight to see) and Spider-man takes a pounding that honestly felt like it was going to be a big deal but I’m left with a sense it won’t be. I enjoyed this week’s AvX, despite the treading of water. Emma Frost had a good/dark moment, the reduced Avengers are really beginning to feel like they are losing the battle and we’re left on cliffhanger that will either feel exciting or like we’ve come full circle, so what was the point of the last five or so issues, depending on what side of the AvX fence you are currently sitting on.
With three issues to go and the numbers of characters that can fight depleted, the last stretch of AvX needs to pull a sense of importance out of the bag because at this stage it feels like the Marvel Universe is so divided it would be impossible for any Avenger and X-person to ever be on speaking terms again. Whatever the hell is coming, it’s got to be something to unite everyone back to a common ground, right? Where’s Ozymandias when you need him?
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