(Editor's Note: Comic Shops are already selling "Avengers Vs. X-Men" #1 this week as Diamond sent copies with this week's regular batch of comics, not in a separate box, not part of the AvX party, and not embargoed. With that, Cosmic Book News offers this following spoiler free review.)
This is it! The moment all Avengers and X-Men fans have been salivating over, is finally here! The Phoenix Force is taking the fast track straight for Earth once more, forcing friends against each other for the fate of a single girl — Hope! The lines have been drawn, and there shall only be one victor — the fans!
The hype for this book has been palpable over the past six months. You couldn't read a single Avengers or X-Men book without constantly being reminded that, "It's Coming!" And finally, for once in a very long time, the hype has been worth it!
The slew of Marvel Architects that pulled this story together have done a tireless job. They created a slow burn read that sets the stage for the inevitable conclusion without glazing over any detail. Fans of Avengers or X-Men books will be obviously familiar with the ramifications of the Phoenix Force, but the writers have made sure even the first time reader of these characters, can follow along and not miss a single story thread. It is very smart and very well done.
Unlike other event books in recent years, the reasons for why these two dynamic teams of heroes are at odds actually makes sense! The Avengers see the coming of the Phoenix Force as a destructive entity that will threaten the very existence of man. But Cyclops is portrayed as a somewhat religious zealot, seeing the return as a chance for mutant rebirth across the globe, and using Hope as a catalyst for it. I, as a huge X fan, thought this was too far removed from Cyclops patriarchal role to the mutant race, especially after the Phoenix embedded itself in Jean Grey last time. It kind of sets Cyclops, not his entire Extinction Team, up as the villain of the series, but at least the writers thought process is well paced, and I can eventually agree with their decisions.
I will give no spoilers - got that Marvel- but I will give you this: stories like this one are why I have read comics for over twenty years! It is well paced, smart and engaging, and even though it is truly just a set up issue, you are engrossed in it and not just waiting for the next issue to get the ball rolling. By book's end, you are more than chomping at the bit for Round 2 and everything else that comes with it! And I have to tell ya, it took five writers to give it to us — but the ending is one great, "Hell Yeah!" moment!
So, where do you stand? Mutant or super human, god or angel? With twenty-four Avengers against six X-Men, I stand with the Merry Mutants! I always loved the underdog!
(Editor's Note #2: I stand with Captain America! - Cosmic Avenger Fan Matt)