Avengers vs. X-Men: Versus #1 Review
- Published on Thursday, 26 April 2012 13:27
- Written by Kevin
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When it comes to mini-series that tie-in to company-wide big events I stay away from the majority of them. All the tie-ins we get take away what is supposed to be special about the main event book, which is an epic scale story contained in one book. With that said, I would be lying to you if I did not say that I wanted to buy Avengers vs. X-Men: Versus to see all the brawling going on in the story given more time. I just want to see superheroes punching and kicking each other and that is what hopefully Versus #1 does. Let’s find out.
Writers: Jason Aaron (Iron Man vs. Magneto); Kathryn Immonen (The Thing vs. Namor)
Artists: Adam Kubert (Iron Man vs. Magneto); Stuart Immonen (The Thing vs. Namor)
Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger (The Thing vs. Namor)
Colorists: Morry Hollowell (Iron Man vs. Magneto); Jim Charalampidis (The Thing vs. Namor)
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: On Utopia, Magneto drops part of the X-Men’s base on top of Iron Man. Barely escaping from being crushed Iron Man uses 2 million anti-magnets in conjunction with his repulsor beams to buy himself some time. Iron Man executes his plan as he has gathered energy from various satellites to give himself some magnetic powers.
Seeing this, Magneto ups the stakes by taking various satellite parts to create his own armor. The two begin to slug it out until Iron Man is the only one left standing. Floating in the sky, Magneto whispers to Iron Man “Wanda. Find Wanda. You’re going to need my daughter.” Winner: Iron Man!
Over in the Pacific Ocean Namor has blasted The Thing with a punch that sends him flying through the Helicarrier. The two then take the battle underwater where they brawl by a pirate ship. The Thing plays dirty and throws a chest full of gold coins at Namor. A giant fish suddenly appears and Namor decides to use it as a baseball bat and swings it at The Thing.
Holding onto the giant fish The Thing rips out two of the the fish’s fangs. He uses the fangs to pin Namor to the ocean floor. The Things comes out of the ocean covered in seaweed thinking he is the victor but Namor can be seen flying out of the ocean in the background. Winner: Thing!
Score: Avengers: 2 X-Men: 0. End of issue.
The Good: Sometimes to be an entertaining comic the writers and artists involved should know what role the book is supposed to play. That is specifically important to tie-in comics that are supposed to enhance the main event’s reading experience. That is exactly where Avengers vs. X-Men: Versus #1 is able to succeed.
As I mentioned in my opening, I came into this issue not expecting any sort of deep story that is layered with various sub-plots. I just wanted a good old fashion slobber knocker of an issue and that is what Jason Aaron and Katherine Immonen delivered. As you can see from my synopsis of this issue the story did not have much going for it in terms of content. But what Aaron and Immonen understood was that the roles of the battles they wrote were about being hard hitting non-stop fighting.
The battle between Iron Man and Magneto was surprisingly even. That was both a good and bad thing. What I did like about the fight was that Iron Man was not holding back at all. Aaron did a nice job showing that Iron Man is not just about having the best armor but about being prepared for any sort of fight. Iron Man having anti-magnetism weapons ready was a great way to show he is not just about the repulsor rays.
At the same time, Magneto did get to flex some of his muscle in the fight. His counters to every one of Iron Man’s moves were a great reminder of how badass Magneto can be. There were small signs of Magneto using his villainous side in the battle with some of his dialogue. It reminded me of how great Magneto is as a bad guy with a fantastic backstory.
As for the Namor and Thing fight, that was just a straight up brawl plain and simple. Where the Iron Man and Magneto relied on various tricks Namor and The Thing just used their fists. Immonen’s part of the story provided a good contrast for the two fights. It made it so each fight stood out much more because they were different.
The setting was also well utilized as Namor had the upper hand with the fight being underwater. The Thing using Namor’s own overconfidence was a nice touch for The Thing to use his strength to pin down Namor.
Above all the true stars of the show for The Avengers vs. The X-Men: Versus #1 were Adam Kubert and Stuart Immonen. The artwork is where this issue was going to live or die but you knew that with Kubert and Immonen on art the issue would be the former. The artwork carried all of the action. Both artists delivered all the impact the Iron Man vs. Magneto and Namor vs. The Thing should have during their fights. The action was all very fluid and the subtle facial expression changes throughout the fights added to the fight all four characters were in.
The Bad: While I enjoyed this issue I am not 100% sure that it is a comic that is worth the $3.99 cover charge. For that amount of cash I have come to expect more from a comic in terms of story. This could have been easily done if both sides of the story pushed the history of these characters. All four characters have shared history with previous battles but it is never brought up. There was not even a throwaway line that could have added some depth to the story.
It is especially disappointing considering that The Thing and Namor have been involved in various conflicts with one another over in Fantastic Four. These two are tied to one another as they have traded blows for over 40 years now. Unfortunately, the reader would never know that reading this story. It almost felt as though it should have been Luke Cage in The Thing’s role because it would not have changed a thing. The same dialogue could have been used which goes to not weaving the history into the story.
I was also not a fan of some of the dialogue Aaron wrote for Magneto. Magneto’s opening joke to Iron Man felt completely out of character. Magneto is one character that is not about joking around. He is one of the more serious X-Men characters and should be treated as such.
It did not help that the character was seemingly powered down just so Iron Man would win. Whether the character was holding back or not it just seemed as though Aaron wanted Iron Man to win that he made Magneto weaker than he actually is.
Overall: I will not lie by saying that The Avengers vs. The X-Men: Versus #1 was not entertaining because it was. I had fun reading the two fights that were in this issue. But the question is not if the comic was fun but if it is worth the $3.99 cover price? The answer to that is a definitive ‘No’.
While AvX: Versus #1 was enjoyable, the fact remains that when I am paying $4 for a comic I expect much more than brawls that lacks any sort of depth or history to them. There needs to be some form of character work within the story which The Avengers vs. The X-Men: Versus #1 did not do. So even though I found the Iron Man vs. Magneto and The Thing vs. Namor fights to be well done I would have liked to see more from this issue.
Kevin started reading comics as a kid when he watched the first episodes of Batman: The Animated Series and Spider-Man: The Animated Series. After that his parents bought him a few random Spider-Man and Batman comics and he has been hooked ever since. When he is not reading and writing about comics you can find Kevin as the destroyer of worlds, champion of fighting tournaments and ace Madden player on the PS3. You can catch up with Kevin and all his thoughts at the following links: