Avengers Vs. X-men #12 – Comic Review
The major comic companies put out enough comics that sometimes it can leave your head spinning and eyes bleeding as you search the new titles each week for something worth reading. To aid in your Geeky endeavors, Speak Geeky To Me on occasion reviews new titles from the major companies to spotlight the best and worst of what’s available at your local comic shop. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a new Comic Review.
Title: Avengers Vs. X-men #12
Writer: Jason Aaron (Incredible Hulk, Wolverine & the X-men)
Penciler: Adam Kubert (Ultimate X-men, Wolverine)
Inker: John Dell (The Huntress, Zatanna), Mark Morales (The Mighty Thor, Secret Warriors), & Adam Kubert
Colorist: Laura Martin (Captain America, Fear Itself) & Justin Ponsor (Ultimate Spider-Man, X-men: Legacy)
Number of Issues: 12
Page Count: 35
The Review Bit
Today we see the wrap up of Marvels big 2012 summer event, Avengers Vs. X-men. While this event had a few intense moments, it was rather underwhelming based on what it could have been, pitting the X-men against the Avengers, and it feels even more underwhelming when it is compared to the big Marvel Civil War event a few years back, which already saw heroes fighting heroes. But in comparing this event to others, where Siege was the full circle moment that brought back the Avengers after they had been disassembled in an event several years prior, Avengers Vs X-men brings full circle the events of House of M. Of course, this shouldn’t have been very surprising, considering this was the first real Marvel event to feature Scarlet Witch since House of M (not including Avengers: Children’s Crusade, which wasn’t much of an event so much as it was an important mini-series). What disappoints me is that after a $5 conclusion to the series that was supposed to pit the Avengers against the X-men, there were hardly any memorable battle scenes. The biggest moment in the series was Cyclops hitting Captain America with an optic blast in issue #1, where as Civil War had several moments fans are still talking about (I mean, do you remember when Herc smashed fake Thor’s head in with Mjolnir?!)
The story of Avengers Vs. X-men #12 picks up directly where issue #11 left off, for the most part, as Scott Summers turns into the Dark Phoenix. The comic actually opens up 72 hours earlier, in K’un L’un, as Tony Stark addresses the army of Avengers and X-men who are intending to go up against Scott. There they lay out the basic plan most fans had figured out from the start: use Scarlet Witch and Hope to take on the Phoenix. From there it is a constant switch back and forth between the battle against Scott and the pre-battle planning/discussions with Hope and Wanda. The battle involving Scott has some rather epic panels and splash pages, full of the intense action fans would hope for in such an event, but sadly it is minimal. This is because a lot of the heroes are dealing with natural disasters Scott is creating around the world via the Phoenix Force. For the most part this is all heroes doing what they do best in saving lives, but some of it seems rather unnecessary. I mean, I’d personally much rather see the Hulks and Thor beating away at Dark Phoenix than Gambit and Hawkeye throwing cards and shooting arrows at a few meteoroids. But it does make me question Captain America’s sanity to send two rather ineffective heroes to Paris in hopes that cards and arrows can even destroy meteoroids and protect the city. Never-the-less, the fight between our assorted heroes (both Avengers and X-men) and Scott takes up a good chunk of the issue, even returning the new Nova into the fray after his last appearance in Avengers Vs. X-men #1. But in the end we just have some subtle nods to the Dark Phoenix saga and other Dark Phoenix storylines before the entire event is wrapped up just as most fans will have predicted. It isn’t truly anything epic, nobody of importance dies, and for the most part the Marvel universe returns to way it was prior to this event with one major exception. The major exception? Well, it involves the mutants and their status quo on multiple levels, but I’ll leave it at that and make you buy the issue to find out exactly what happens (though once again, many of you likely saw this coming).
Though the ending of this event could easily be described as predictable, and the whole series as just being a fan’s wet dream of heroes punching each other, it wasn’t entirely a bad series. However the ending is just saddening, as it is exacerbated by a horrible epilogue with Captain America and a certain mutant. The fate of Hope is nothing spectacular, though she seems to have fulfilled her role started in Messiah Complex. The series saw only one death, and though Charles Xavier was once an important character, the timing and presentation of his death were utterly underwhelming as well. In the same, I don’t feel Jason Aaron, who scripted this specific issue, could be blamed for dropping the ball here. It seems like from the start this event was going to have an ending that would either shock us all with major changes in the Marvel Universe that would likely piss off many fans or just cop out like many previous events have. Those who hated how life seemed to return to normal after House of M will probably be even more disappointed here. But to give Aaron some credit, the finale of this event reads decently enough that it becomes an acceptable ending. There was fighting, there was closure, there were some universe changing moments, and even if it was all rather predictable it was enjoyable.
Much like the story of Avengers Vs X-men #12, the art was also enjoyable but nothing amazing. I am normally quite the fan of Adam Kubert and believe he produces some brilliant artwork. I would even say Adam has produced some incredible artwork in Avengers Vs. X-men. But for whatever reason, be it a rushed schedule or multiple inkers on issue #12, it feels like Adam Kubert phoned in the series finale. Some of the earlier pages of the issue have Adam’s spectacular detail and perspective, with a brilliant double page splash for the opening battle (that oddly features Toad…likely to tie into Christopher Hasting’s funny page in AvX: Versus #6). However, much of it seems sub-par having seen the creator do much better work in other comics. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy this a lot more than I did John Romita Jr.’s opening issues of Avengers Vs. X-men, but you can tell there is just something holding the art back.
The Rating Bit
Avengers Vs X-men #12 is an enjoyable story with decent art, but sadly comes off as predictable and underwhelming after such a build up of being the conclusion to a big summer event pitting such strong Marvel fandoms against one another. It lacks the emotional conclusion many other events such as Civil War and Crisis on Infinite Earths had, leaving its biggest selling point as a few splash pages that featured Avengers punching X-men and several notable changes to the Marvel universe. Enjoyable, but not anything epic, AvX #12 gets a lukewarm 6 out of 10. Maybe the next Marvel event will make universal changes that provoke more feelings.
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