Avengers vs. X-Men #3 Review
- Published on Monday, 07 May 2012 03:02
- Written by Kevin
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Avengers vs. X-Men is an event with the potential to be one of Marvel’s best events. The first two issues have delivered some fun sequences between the two biggest Marvel superhero teams. At the same time there have been a lot of flaws that have popped up with how certain characters have been portrayed. I wonder if this may be due to having so many hands working on this 12 issue event or if it is something else. In any case, Avengers vs. X-Men #3 sees Ed Brubaker take on the writing duties with a cover that promises two Avengers will come to blows. Will this come to pass? Let’s find out.
Story Writers: Jason Aaron, Brian Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and Jonathan Hickman
Script Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: John Romita Jr.
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: Laura Martin
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: An hour after the big battle on the Utopia beach, Wolverine wakes up after his flesh has fully grown back. Spider-Man hands him some clothes to put on and informs him that the X-Men have surrendered. Wolverine does not believe this and goes to see what is going on.
On the Helicarrier, Iron Man and Captain America discuss what to do next now that the X-Men have surrendered. Iron Man thinks that Cyclops gave up for a reason and that they can’t just lock up all the X-Men without real cause other than being in the way of finding Hope.
Captain America reasons that at least it gets them out of the way of finding “the girl” and saving the world. Iron Man says that Captain America is starting to sound like Iron Man did during Civil War.
Doctor Strange appears on the scene with an unconscious Magik. Wolverine appears on the scene and smells through the illusion and it is really Magik who won the fight. Magik quickly teleports the X-Men off the Helicarrier before Wolverine can do anything. Wolverine states that now Cyclops' crew has a head start on them.
Arriving in Long Beach, Emma Frost quickly masks the appearance of the X-Men so that the people don’t see them. Magneto wonders what their next step should be. Cyclops confidently states that he has someone on the inside working for him.
Back in San Francisco, Hope is in some tech shop fixing her wrist device. Upon fixing it she sees the reflection of the Phoenix in the mirror that causes her to run outside. Once outside, she composes herself and begins searching to fly in.
Switching scenes to Avengers Tower, Rachel Grey informs Captain America and Wolverine she found Hope’s energy signature in five different locations. Wolverine tries to question her but Captain America cuts him off and thanks Rachel for her help.
Afterwards, while Rachel walks through the school, she contacts Cyclops and gives him the same information she gave the Avengers.
On the Helicarrier, Captain America splits all the Avengers into different teams assigned one of the five locations. As all the Avengers go to their respective Quinjets Captain America tells Wolverine he is coming with his team.
Once they are in the sky Captain America and Wolverine talk in a secluded room in the Quinjet. Their Captain America tells Wolverine he does not approve of the fact that he tried to kill Hope. Wolverine tells Captain America that if he doesn’t kill Hope everyone dies.
The two begin to brawl all over the jet. The brawl is even with neither hero getting the advantage over the other. With both men exhausted Giant Man attacks Wolverine from behind and kicks him out of the Quinjet. Captain America tells Sharon to take him to the Savage Land.
Landing in a snow covered area Wolverine stands up and says that it looks like it is all up to him. End of issue.
The Good: There have been a lot of comics that I hope that I would grow to love given the concept of the series. Avengers vs. X-Men is one of those comics. The premise of the Avengers and X-Men racing to catch the Phoenix is something that I want to enjoy. Unfortunately, for every positive step forward this event has taken there has also been a negative one. Avengers vs. X-Men #3 was no different.
What was really enjoyable about Avengers vs. X-Men #3 was the fact Cyclops and the X-Men seem to be the ones to have one up on the Avengers. Up until now, the X-Men have been on the receiving end as they played defense against the Avengers. It was almost unfair how weak the X-Men were looking in the first two issue of this event.
Ed Brubaker turned all that around with this issue. For the first time, Cyclops showed why he is the leader of the X-Men. From when Magik reveals herself to have defeated Doctor Strange to Rachel Grey showing herself to be Cyclops' inside source everything worked to make Cyclops and the X-Men look strong.
This does not come to much of a surprise given the fact that the few times Brubaker has been able to write Cyclops back in his X-Men run he did so extremely well. Cyclops came off looking confident and for the first time is the one ahead of the game. Now that the tables are turned I want to see how Cyclops can turn this and make Captain America and the Avengers play defense.
While she was only given a couple pages in this issue Brubaker handled Hope’s struggle as she is on her own. Brubaker did a good job showing that while Hope is looking for the Phoenix that she is also afraid of its power. It adds more depth to her part of this story as you wonder if that fear will lead into something else for the character in her eventual possession of the Phoenix Force.
Iron Man was also well handled with him taking a stance against Captain America. It was nice to see Brubaker show that Iron Man has learned from past experiences with what happened in Civil War. He knows the repercussions of putting himself against the hero community may mean. It gives Iron Man the role of voice of reason which is needed for this event with how Captain America, Cyclops and Wolverine are dead focused on what they each believe should be done with Hope.
John Romita Jr. turned in his best art on this series so far. The art had a nice clean look with the character reactions carrying this talking heads heavy issue. The shocking fear look on Hope’s face told the story when she saw the Phoenix in her reflection. The battle between Captain America and Wolverine was also nicely done with a strong progression from move to move with each character.
The Bad: While Avengers vs. X-Men #3 made Cyclops and his X-Men look stronger in this issue it comes at the cost of making Captain America act like the villain. The majority of this issue has Captain America imposing his authority over everyone, including some of his Avengers teammates. Captain America should be the last character to take away someone’s freedom and not try to work with others but that is exactly what he does here. Like with Civil War, it makes Captain America look blind to the greater threat of the Phoenix Force as he thinks he is the only one that is right.
Though understandable that Captain America would be mad with Wolverine going rogue with how to handle Hope, kicking Wolverine out of the Avengers Quinjet did not make sense. From when Cap brought Logan in during Avengers vs. X-Men #1 Captain America knew what stance Wolverine had with Hope. Wolverine even made it clear that his solution to stop Phoenix was to kill Hope. It makes Captain America look like someone you are forced to follow instead of want to follow, especially with what Iron Man said in their conversation.
Also, for a comic book based on heroes taking sides there is very little development for the majority of the characters. Outside of Captain America, Cyclops and Wolverine other characters do not get to voice their concern for what is going on. With each of these characters making extreme choices on how to handle things having some lines for other characters, even throwaways, would help give importance to everything that is going on. Right now all the heroes outside those three as well as Iron Man and Spider-Man have been no better than mannequins standing in the background.
Overall: Avengers vs. X-Men #3 was an issue that continues the trend of having some unbalanced character work. Just as Cyclops finally shows himself as a strong leader Captain America is turned into an authoritative asshole that you do not want to follow. The lack of development for the majority of the cast for both the Avengers and X-Men does not help things. As much as I want to love this event there are major flaws that continue to hold it back from it reaching its fullest potential.