(Editor's Note: Tread Lightly, This Way There Be Spoilers!)
This is going to be painful. Not as painful as reading this book, but painful enough!
When the premise of this Versus book came out, a battle royale of fights too big to fit inside the A vs. X series, I was psyched! Childhood daydreams would finally come to fruition and Marvel was promising that these battles would have definitive winners! As a matter of fact, this is what Marvel says on page one of this book, quote: "Did you read the cover? This is Versus #2, the comic where Avengers and X-Men pound the snot out of each other one-on-one until there's a clear victor!" end quote. I don't exactly know if Marvel knows what a "clear victor" is, but out of four total battles they have given us in the past two books — only one is definitive!
So let's get out the score card, shall we?
Book One of Versus has Iron Man vs. Magneto. Cool premise, better fight — no clear winner! Magneto lies there in awe of the coming Phoenix Force and plays possum so Iron Man will leave! Winner: Iron Man. Second fight is Thing vs. Namor. A classic battle of two characters that hate each other — no clear winner! Both characters emerge from the ocean at the exact same time, but the Thing is declared the winner! Wait, what?
So, issue two has Gambit vs. Captain America by Steve McNiven. This one had very cool moments by Gambit. Charging Cap's shield was cool, but when he charges a smug Cap's chain mail — it is awesome! Except, Marvel would never let anything happen to Cap, so the explosion does nothing to him but tear his costume! He then knocks Gambit out with a single punch while talking to Tony Stark on his Bluetooth! Really? I'm afraid so! Winner: Cap.
Fight #2 is Colossus vs. Spider-Man by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca. Strange choice for combatants and an even stranger battle. Pretty much, it was Spidey shooting webs and spewing banter in Colossus' face while he swung with all his might! Colossus gets some wallops in, but Spidey finally just swings off with Daredevil as Colossus stands seething! Winner: Colossus!
How is someone swinging away as another one stands there a "clear winner?" Am I wrong about this, does anyone else find this an utter cop-out? If I am paying four dollars for a smash mouth battle royale with a "clear winner," I want someone broken by the end of it! Not someone feigning sleep or following another combatant and certainly — NOT RUNNING AWAY!
Marvel may excel at making completely amazing movies, but their books have fallen by the way side! If they expect to continue to have a fan base that is true to their product, then they should begin by standing by their word. Give readers what we want and deserve, we've been loyal to you all these years — it's about time for some reciprocation!