Comic Comments – AvX Conclusion

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So I’m getting back in the blogging saddle with comics. They are comforting and I have a box to review. Before we get on with that I want to thank you for all the support from friends during our family’s losses. Of course after such an emotional blow our immune systems were low and we battled the cold from hell. Never bad enough to toss in the towel and go to bed but bad enough that life was work and sleep until we healed. We are well now, Spring is attempting to spring and life is blooming again.

Now to the comic – a limited series to wrap up the Avengers vs X-Men shenanigans or as I liked to call it AvX Interruptus because many good titles were interrupted in their strong story lines to tell this weak story that was an excuse to undo M-Day. Honestly this was a weakly veiled Marvel marketing ploy to sell more comics trying to get people to buy comics across titles. Unfortunately the title samples they are buying weren’t as strong as the story that was interrupted by the ploy. Don’t get me wrong I like a well done cross title story (see House of M and M-Day, Don’t see Civil War or World War Hulk) but forcing one at least once a year not to expand the universe but to push sales is lame and gives you at best something like Civil War that started out strong and ended weakly or just stupid.

I wasn’t going to get this title due to my avoiding of the whole cross over except when it intruded into my normally subscribed titles. Yet I saw a few sample scans of the scenes between Logan and Scott and wanted see how they played out. I do like how they officially switch roles. Yes it had happened with Schism but this solidifies it with Scott truly a criminal and Logan the experienced headmaster proving to be Xavier’s real disciple.

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Now for the credits: Kieron Gillen, Script – Tom Raney, Art Issue 1 – Steve Kurth, Pencils Issue 2 – Scot Eaton, Pencils Issue 3 – Mark Books, Pencils Issue 4 – Gabriel Hernandex Walta, Art Issue 5 – Jim Charalampiois, Colors – Allen Martinez, Inks Issue 2 – Andrew Hennessy, Inks Issue 3 – Mark Brooks & Andrew Hennessy, Inks Issue 4 – VC’s Clayton Cowles, Letters – Patrick Zircher & Dommo Sanchez Aymara, Cover Art Issue 1 – Paolo Rivera, Varient Cover Issue 1 – Ron Garney & Jason Keith, Cover Art Issue 2 & 3- Shane Davis, Danny Miki, & Morry Hollowell, Variant Cover Issue 2- Adi Granov, Variant Cover Issue 3-5 – Salvador Larroca & David Curiel, Cover Art Issue 4 & 5 – Jordan D. White, Assistant Editor – Nick Lowe, Editor – Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief – Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer – Dan Buckley, Publisher – Alan Fine, Executive Producer.

The ever present US legal disclaimer: All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique. No more than three pages total from any one issue is reproduced.

WOW! Look at the artists that contributed to this 5 issue run. Lots of them and honestly I don’t have a complaint about any. They all have their own quirks and styles but I like them. They aren’t overly stylistic so that it becomes painful (yes I’m thinking of the first few issues of Wolverine and the X-Men, OUCH) nor are they too cartoony. All these artists hit that balance I look for in a comic, realism with just a toe over the line to make it fantasy (trust me boobs don’t do that on their own). So reading this I didn’t cringe and cling to the script for the story nor did I stop astounded at the artistic beauty. The art completed the tale, added dimension, and made it a full experience. I have my personal favorite Tom Raney and personal least favorite Gabriel Hernadez Walta. But still I enjoyed them all. Cudos all the way around!

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Now the story – or stories I should say. It’s a follow up on the Phoenix 5 focusing mainly on Scott in jail. We get glimpses of other aftermath but the central thread is Scott Summers. We see Tony Stark dealing with the illogic of the Phoenix. Hope Summers try to be a typical girl who goes out to hunt for her partly cyber foster father from the future. Kitty Pryde and Emma Frost exchange zingers at each other. We learn what the fugitives Namor, Magneto, and Magik are up to. Also get the low down on Agent Brant and Hank McCoy’s relationship status. We see Colossus dealing with part in the whole thing, poor woobie. Oh and Danger the AI droid from the previous declared “totally separate” Ultimate universe is here throwing in with the fugitives. (I hate hate hate that Ultimate has crossed into 616 cannon really enjoyed the separate takes for separate generations of fans). Storm takes her place at the Jean Grey School and Logan chats with Capt America. (does Steve Rogers ever get out of costume? I think he wears it like Bobby Drake runs around iced up in every day life)

Since I’m a Wolverine fan you’ll know I’ll spend the most time there. I liked the dynamic between Logan and Scott. It was interesting to see reluctant partners with totally different approaches in life, personal life differences, still go after agreed upon goals for the common good. But as they matured and one lusted after the other’s wife you knew it wasn’t going to work long term. As a Logan gal I can see how Xavier’s dream appealed to the man who had high goals and morals but always fell short of them. Honestly you take in the whole of Logan’s path and Xavier gave him a way to mature as a man into the son of John Howlett not the biological pup of Thomas Logan. When you get down to it that’s Logan’s story nature vs nuture. He chose to be more than his genes. Xavier helped him see how to do that. While Scott always lived the good boy dream raised to be a superhero, and was the expected heir. I’d say he rebelled when he dumped Jean for Emma. That he was always prone to rebel to the dark side as part of his growing. So no surprise he’s now thrown in with Xavier’s arch nemesis Magneto. I can see the progress of the two down these paths. I could also see how it could have gone the other way with Scott never rebelling and Logan becoming say a Nick Fury like black ops go to guy for mutant issues. But then neither gets much character growth from that scenario. I always contended once Logan got back his memories and processed them he’d have to be more mature than any of the other X-Men because you can’t have over a century of life experience and not become more than what those with less than half a century are. So it makes sense that out of the two Logan would be the most mature adult about dealing with things.

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It’s not that Logan doesn’t deal with the feelings. He admits to Capt America that his emotion is to deal with Scott by killing him but he learned from Xavier what he should do and that’s why he gave Xavier’s eulogy. He can be what Scott called in issue 5 “the better man” but it’s a struggle. That’s why I like Logan he’s honest about his internal struggle between wanting to just go with base reaction rather than reason. Yet he has matured enough to know when that’s called for and when it’s time to grow up and do what you should instead of what you want. Which is what leads to the Issue 2 and the conclusion note to Logan from Scott in Issue 5. It’s previews of those two scenes (you’ll see a my preview choices from them below) that drew me to purchase the arc. Both characters make choices that if they hold as long as Jean’s death, Logan having his memories back, and a few other things have these developments will change the characters significantly. I also like it because it follows what has been my impression of the characters for years. It also nicely mirrors the Xavier/Magneto split of the generation before, former teammates now arch enemies.  I wonder who will be the two for the next generation- will Quire follow in Xavier/Logan footsteps or Magneto/Scott?  Who will be his balance Evan?  or have we not yet met the two future leaders?

That leads me to say to be an all around trying to gather up loose ends and point to the new directions and arcs of multiple titles the writing in this is good. Gillen succeeds in his labor intensive task of staging the relaunch/launch of many titles under the Marvel NOW! banner. Not only does he achieve his corporate directive but he writes some great scenes that redefine characters as well as give them the starting point for new growth down divergent paths. As a writer who knows the difficulty of fusing your contractual assignment with the art of writing I give him praise for taking what could just be a through the paces move characters about to get them where they need to be for the title launches into a true story that can be used a defining moments for the storylines to come.

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Over all if you are into the Marvel universe and want to keep abreast of what changes were wrought by the AvX Interruptus these 5 issues are for you. They are not the jumping in point for those who aren’t familiar with the characters. It for those of us who know the characters and want to get insight into where they are now.

Next up from the Review Box – Astonishing X-Men Issue 57-58 a mini arc that centers on Warbird.

Below here there maybe SPOILERS in scans

You have been warned

Don’t want to see then stop scrolling

Really this is your last SPOILER ALERT.

AVX 01 Impulsive and mature reactions

Captain America goes to Logan and asks him to persuade Scott to have the rest of the Phoenix Five turn themselves into authorities.  Logan says he can’t do that and Capt wants a good reason why.  Logan gives it to him… I’d probably kill the man.

AVX 01 fortified for talk

Apparently Steve Rogers is more persuasive than I thought… still Logan needed a few beers to get there. Not sure that’s gonna help there buddy.

So if you don’t know by now – well there was a spoiler warning – Scott while  possessed by the Phoenix power killed Xavier in front of Logan (and a bunch of others).  So that’s what he’s referring too there.  However in the captures of Scott, Hope with the help of the Scarlet Witch dispersed the Phoenix (hopefully getting it out of the comics for GOOD) to everyone on earth causing mutants to active again undoing M-Day stuff.   So here’s my favorite panels from this chat.

AVXC 02 Cyclops was right cropped

It doesn’t go well and yes Logan goes for Scott but stops when he realizes Scott wants just that. OH and yes Quire already has been there and got that T-Shirt.

AVXC 02 Logan gets on mission

Logan shows why he’s there he doesn’t want Sentinels (mutant killing robots) out roaming again. He gets on mission and asks Scott to call in the outstanding members of the Five. Instead Scott asks after Emma (now in prison too) and Hope (now living a life as a high schooler per her own wish) ignoring the danger he’s put all mutants.

AVXC 02 F you Scott

But the talk ends like that and no information is gained. Logan goes to get himself together and report to Capt what went down as if Capt didn’t already know.

AVXC 03 Kitty and Emma

Speaking of Emma she seems to think Scott’s an idiot now. Well at least Kitty knew how not to be defined by the man she loves.

AVXC 04 Beast is a daddy

I did warn of spoilers – not only is Agent Brand a secret ally of the fugitives but she’s also preggers with Hank (Beast)’s baby.

AVXC 04 Scott wouldnt do it

This is what Logan learned from Xavier and I’d argue from his adopted father John Howlett – sure the first meeting didn’t go so well but he did get control of himself and gain a mature perspective. He wants us to do what Lincoln called for us to do answer the better angels of our nature as we move forward. (No Logan didn’t hear that speech first hand he was born in the late 1880s/early 1890s and Lincoln gave the speech in 1861).

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And this is how the relationship between the two men now stands. I think there is a lot that could be done from this point given their history and personalities. This is my least favorite art of the series too blocky, chunky for my taste but not horrid by any means.

Oh wondering what happened that Scott was gone? Danger, Magik, and Magneto broke him out of jail. Yes Scott now stands with Magneto and Wolverine is the headmaster of a school… go figure. I LIKE it.!

Until next time peeps.

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