Oh yeah, cons are also about comic books! This unsurprising revelation was brought home at Marvel’s All Access panel Saturday at the National Fan Expo in Toronto where some of the publisher’s roster of talent took part in a friendly Q&A with fans. Artists Adam Kubert, Mahmud A. Asrar and Ryan Stegman, writers Greg Pak and Charles Soule and editors C.B. Cebulski and Jeanine Schaefer were all on hand to discuss what was in the works at Marvel Comics, that diversity is working for the publisher, and what they’re looking for in their artists. (more…)
And we’ve come to the end of our journey (or at least, the end of this particular limited-series-that-gives-way-to-more-limited-series-and-also-by-the-way-go-buy-these-relaunches). Six months ago I decided to make an effort and review my first superhero event comic as it happened (I’ve reviewed more than a few retroactively, reading them all at once), and it’s been an interesting ride. Regular readers of these reviews will know that I’ve been largely impressed with the events of Avengers vs. X-Men. I’ve even defended some decisions that my fellow comics fans couldn’t stand (see issue #11). So now the tale is told, issue #12 is out, and I have to lay out my final verdict. As much as I’d like to launch into another strong defense of the book, though, I have to admit, for the first time, that for all its promise, AvX #12 ended with much more of a whimper than a bang.
For months now I’ve been touting Avengers vs. X-Men as an ambitious comic that stands to be something more than another predictable event comic, a merging of superhero badassery and truly big ideas that could have truly big consequences in the Marvel Universe. Clearly that’s what Marvel’s hoping everyone will think, but it’s up to the book to deliver on the promise, and honestly I keep waiting for something to underwhelm me. I keep waiting for the ambition to level off, for the elements to fall into a predictable place. But then the Marvel Architects deliver a comic like issue 10, and I’m even more convinced we’re heading for a truly heavy conclusion.
I was thinking today after reading Avengers vs. X-Men #9 about how important character moments are to really good event comics. I think we’ve already established that I’m not cynical about these things. I like superheroes and explosions and big displays of superpower awesome, so I can still enjoy an event just fine if it’s shallow and spangly. But those moments that tell you who these heroes are put things over the top and make good events great. I’m not ready to say yet if Avengers vs. X-Men is a great event (we still have three issues to go after all), but this week’s issue definitely packed a serious character punch.
Last issue, Avengers vs. X-Men ended on a huge act of destruction. This issue is where we have to reckon with it. As The Avengers continue to try to find a way to tame the Phoenix Five while protecting Hope Summers, the stakes are raised once again, and though issue #8 doesn’t pack the same kind of dramatic pivots that some previous issues do, it definitely keeps up the tension.
Marvel‘s Avengers vs. X-Men is so close we can smell the mutant blood, and Marvel just keeps the awesome previews coming. Hit the jump for a first look at the main story’s companion series, VS.