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Avengers Vs. X-Men #2 – Cyclops has lost his mind

Avengers Vs. X-Men #2
Writer:  Jason Aaron
Art:  John Romita Jr. [Pencils], Scott Hanna [Inks], Laura Martin [Colors]

[We’ve tried our best to be as spoiler-free as possible here, but nobody’s perfect.  Read at your own risk.]

Defying Captain America’s request to take Hope Summers into custody last issue, Cyclops fired the first shot in the X-Men’s war on the Avengers against the Star-Spangled Hero himself.

As the Avengers take Utopia’s beach, Emma Frost moves Hope inside–assuming the girl, with more questions than answers regarding the Phoenix and what its return means regarding her, will stay put.  In short order, the most epic battle in comics since the end of 2008’s Secret Invasion or 2006’s Civil War commences.

Jason Aaron sets up several of the fights to take place in the accompanying Avengers Vs. X-Men: Versus mini-series beginning next week, with several moments in this issue hinting at the outcomes of those fights.  He brings Quicksilver into the fray, revealing where the son of Magneto stands in the fight (HINT:  There isn’t going to be a reunion of the original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants anytime soon), and teases the entrance of Magneto’s daughter, the Scarlet Witch, with no hint of who she’ll side with.

The highlight of this issue is arguably Aaron’s insights into the match-ups, like calling Emma Frost’s organic diamond form punching Tony Stark’s multi-billion dollar armor the “most expensive punch in history,” playing up the marital dramatics in a fight between Storm and the Black Panther, or pointing out that Wolverine is fighting against an island of characters he once called family.

This initial battle is all for naught, but it does skirt on the idea that Cyclops might potentially become a villain.  Much of what he says in this issue sounds like things reformed X-Men über-villain Magneto would say, and he does have his own Juggernaut now in Colossus.  With 10 issues to go, the only things that are certain are that several characters are bound to switch sides, Civil War-style, (Hell, it’s even teased in the Cap vs. Wolverine cover for AVX #3) and that things will spiral further out of control.

At this point, my biggest hope (aside from wanting a Cyclops villain turn) is that we at least get a Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 video game out of this in a year or two.

– Roger Riddell

Follow me on Twitter @RRiddell3 

Mike DeVivo’s take forthcoming

Alright Roger Ive Assembled here!

So, two issues into Avengers Vs. X-Men and I can say I’m underwhelmed. What I thought was largely going to be a collaborative effort in bringing two different teams and their vantage points to light has thus far turned into “Cyclops is crazy and the Avengers aren’t.” I don’t buy the angle that Cyclops is losing his mind, or that he’s taking things too far. It paints every X-Man and woman as blind sheep fighting for the cause of a crazy man. Maybe I’m rooting for the little guys, in which case i feel the X-Men are warranted to protect one of their own. The characterization feels off, especially with Cyclops and Wolverine. Again, maybe it’s because I’m in Cyclops’ camp here, but I can’t help but feel like this story feels off.

I do love John Romita Jr.’s work in this series so far. His facial work with females has improved very much. His pencils give all of the energy and intensity you’d expect between a battle of the two most recognizable factions in Marvel.  Aaron’s script does provide great narration as Avengers and X-Men beat the hell out of each other. Also, kudos for him creating the Magnetic Fastball Special. Those moments are what I’ve enjoyed about this series so far. He also gave Emma the best line in this issue reflecting the tone I think most X-Men have towards their Avenger counterparts. After Iron Man refers to Hope as “the girl,” Emma responds by telling him that the girl’s name is Hope and that they never requested help in the first place.

We get quick glimpses of Quicksilver and Wanda ,with Quicksilver rushing to join his Avengers team and Wanda walking away from her journal not joining the fight just yet. The journal by the way is called “Wanda’s Dream Journal” (slap forehead with hand) there are more than a few of these moments in this issue that make you cringe. As I said in my opinion this book hasn’t delivered the goods just yet with the story. It’s a pain to see characters like Quicksilver, who was actually  insane (anyone remember House of M?), fighting along side Avenger’s while Cyclops is characterized as a mad man losing touch with his reality.

I’m hoping next issue improves a bit and makes the reason for this fight a bit less one-sided. With the cover to issue #3 showing Cap fighting Wolverine, it will be interesting to see why he defends the X-Men after dropping down and beating up the same students he defended during Schism.  As I said, as a fight book this is fun. As an event that is supposed to change Marvel’s landscape for the next year…not so much.

– Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots


 

Review: Avengers Vs. X-Men #1 – ‘Nuff Said

Avengers Vs. X-Men #1
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Art:  John Romita Jr. [Pencils], Scott Hanna [Inks], Laura Martin [Colors]

After what has felt like an eternity of build-up (but was really more like just over six months), the event to end all Marvel events has finally arrived on shelves–but was all of the hype worth it?

So far, it’s a toss-up.

The premise, in case you’ve been living under a rock or reading some other company’s books, is that the Phoenix is coming to Earth and has chosen the would-be-mutant-messiah Hope Summers as its host.  Hey, she looks like Jean Grey, so who else is it gonna pick, right?  Anyhow, the Phoenix is a cosmic firebird that leaves devastation in its wake on a planetary scale wherever it goes in the Universe.  It chose Jean Grey as its host once and she almost destroyed Earth, but that’s “The Dark Phoenix” saga and you can read about that elsewhere.

Avengers Vs. X-Men #1 opens with the Avengers hanging around Avengers Tower doing the sorts of things you’d expect powerful people in tights to do (but not those things, sicko!) when all of a sudden, the intergalactic superhero Nova conveniently crashlands in New York City after falling from space.  He warns the Avengers that “it’s coming,” and Iron Man deduces that he’s referring to the Phoenix.  He and Captain America then brief the President on the danger.

Meanwhile, Cyclops–who has known all along that the Phoenix was on its way back–is training Hope and trying to prepare her in the hope that she’ll be able to control its power when it does return.  This entire conflict centers around the Avengers’ belief that the Phoenix will use Hope Summers as its vessel to try to destroy the world again versus Scott’s belief that if Hope can somehow control the Phoenix’s power, then she can undo the “no more mutants” spell that Scarlet Witch decimated the mutant population with.

Scott believes that Hope is the savior of the mutant race, and he’ll stop at nothing to see her fulfill that destiny–perhaps to the point of taking things too far during his particularly ruthless training sessions.  During the time that has passed since he joined the X-Men, Magneto has pointed out that Scott is growing more and more like him than his mentor, Charles Xavier.  This trend continues here, as Magneto–watching the training from a distance–comments to Emma Frost regarding the difference between “taking it seriously” and “compulsion,” perhaps foreshadowing things to come.

Anyhow, Hope is finally pushed far enough and releases a flare of Phoenix-like energy strong enough that the Avengers notice it.  Traveling to Utopia to see about taking Hope into Avengers custody until the Phoenix situation is figured out, Captain America is greeted by a particularly hostile Cyclops.

Thus, the first shots in the battle are fired, so to speak.

Over all, this is a solid start to the event, but it is by no means perfect.  Despite being packed with action, the dialogue pulled me out of the story on a few occasions, most notably during the conversation Captain America has with Wolverine regarding the Phoenix.  Given Wolverine’s history with Jean Grey and how he felt about her, I have a hard time believing that he wouldn’t just refer to her by her first name.  Using her entire name felt a little unnatural, especially after the previous scene already established her history.

Aside from that, though, anything else I noticed here would just be nitpicking.  Bendis’ first chapter draws you in and gives new readers a primer on what’s going on, and the art here is phenomenal.  The facial expressions of everyone standing in the vicinity when the first blow of this battle is landed were perhaps the highlight of the entire issue.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, especially when your bluff is being called, and that panel alone sells that idea absolutely.

After event fatigue had fully set in following last year’s Fear Itself (which, no offense to Matt Fraction, fell short of expectations), I swore I’d never drop $3.99 an issue on another “event” book again.  Despite being highly skeptical of the idea of Avengers Vs. X-Men, I have to say I’m impressed so far and actually looking forward to where this goes from here.

STORY:  8/10
ART:  9.5/10 

Comic Art Show 2: Electric Boogaloo


The second Comic Art Show is in three days! I look forward to having a great time will you all this Saturday night.

We have more raffle prizes to announce and Chef Bobby over at 42N Latitude is working on some awesome appetizers for Saturday.

Dave Schiedt one of the artists featured in our show gave the Comic Art Show a nice write-up in the Huffington Post http://huff.to/wJHWgc

Comic Art Show 2 – Saturday, January 28th (6 – 10pm)
The goal is to fill 42N Latitude with as many people as possible and create a connection between the artist and the masses. Also, to sell tons of artwork!

Featuring the work of Chris Burnham, Dave Losso, Tom Stillwell,
Dave Scheidt, Matt Fagan, Aaron Pittman and Michael Moreci!

Tickets to the show are $5 and are limited to 100.
Your ticket includes admission, appetizers and 1 raffle ticket.
Each creator will donate one item to the raffle.
Additional raffle tickets are available for purchase.

42N Latitude Kitchen & Cocktails is located at 4500 North Lincoln Ave.

(You might need to click twice to get to Paypal, sorry.)

Comic Art Show 2 ticket

Raffle Tickets

[nggallery id=7]
Creators
Chris Burnham:
Chris Burnham makes his living by drawing comic books. He wishes that his teachers and relatives would have been less supportive so that he could shove his relative success in their faces, but to his eternal regret everyone was very encouraging. Career highlights include co-creating Nixon’s Pals and Officer Downe with Joe Casey, drawing the Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch fighting Nazi robots in the Marvel Mystery 70th Anniversary Special, and working with Grant Morrison on Batman, Incorporated.

Raffle Prize: Sketch cover

Michael Moreci:
Michael Moreci’s comic series, Hoax Hunters, in currently running backup to Hack/Slash with Image Comics. His début graphic novel, Quarantined, will be released in April, 2011. It will be followed by Reincar(Nate), which is being released in the fall through Viper Comics. He is currently working on the OGN Terminus, as well as a few other projects.

His shorter comic work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in various anthologies, including FutureQuake, Something Wicked, Accent UK’s Victoriana, the Sleepless Phoenix, and Reading With Pictures. His freelance journalism has been published in Wired, the Huffington Post, Gapers Block, North Shore magazine, In These Times, and Earth Island Journal.

Raffle Prize: I have a copy of Quarantined and the SDCC exclusive Hoax Hunters preview.

Dave Losso:
Dave Losso is a genius that lives in Chicago with his friends and a cat named Ted. He also loves food, fireworks and Huey Lewis & The News.

He’s the creator of the comics The Great Sandwich Detective, Kill The Wonderhawks and How Stuff Happens and has also done illustration work for bands like The Number 12 Looks Like You, Man Man, Arsonists Get All The Girls, Cochise Soulstar and publications like Time Out Chicago.

Raffle Prize: I have 4 celebrity coaster paintings.

Dave Scheit:
Dave Scheidt is a writer from Chicago. He’s the writer and co-creator of Monster Dudes. He writes about comics for The Huffington Post. He also is the Editor of Dead of Winter: A Comics Anthology. He is really into breakfast.

Raffle Prize:“We are the 99%” monster painting

Tom Stillwell:
Tom Stillwell is the creator/writer of the Spinner Rack Comics books Honor Brigade and Toy Boy. His latest book, Underneath, is about a group of homeless people fighting trolls underneath the city of Chicago. Tom lives and works in Chicago with his wonderful wife and daughter.

Raffle Prize: I have two pages of original art by Chris Burnham from when he was slated to illustrate Underneath.

Matt Fagan:
Matt Fagan is an artist from southern Oregon who now resides in Chicago. He has written and drawn since he was old enough to spell and grip pencils, and holds an MFA in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Raffle Prize: Hey Dave S.! You know I painted the “We are the 99%.”

Aaron Pittman:
Aaron Pittman is a comic artist who lives in St. Louis with his girlfriend and two furry sons. He’s famed for his work on “Percy The Nazi Killer” and a slew of other comics that went absolutely nowhere. He also drinks a lot of Mountain Dew and watches a lot of cartoons. Usually at the same time.

Raffle Prize: I’m going to give is the original watercolor art for the cover of my new book SWEET GESTURES and a copy of the book.

Plus a few more surprises donated by the Comic Vault.

Comic Art Show 2 in the Huffington Post!


The second Comic Art Show is just 7 days away! Dave Schiedt one of the artists featured in our show gave the Comic Art Show a nice write-up in the Huffington Post http://huff.to/wJHWgc

Comic Art Show 2 – Saturday, January 28th (6 – 10pm)
The goal is to fill 42N Latitude with as many people as possible and create a connection between the artist and the masses. Also, to sell tons of artwork!

Featuring the work of Chris Burnham, Dave Losso, Tom Stillwell,
Dave Scheidt, Matt Fagan, Aaron Pittman and Michael Moreci!

Tickets to the show are $5 and are limited to 100.
Your ticket includes admission, appetizers and 1 raffle ticket.
Each creator will donate one item to the raffle.
Additional raffle tickets are available for purchase.

42N Latitude Kitchen & Cocktails is located at 4500 North Lincoln Ave.

(You might need to click twice to get to Paypal, sorry.)

Comic Art Show 2 ticket

Raffle Tickets

[nggallery id=7]
Creators
Chris Burnham:
Chris Burnham makes his living by drawing comic books. He wishes that his teachers and relatives would have been less supportive so that he could shove his relative success in their faces, but to his eternal regret everyone was very encouraging. Career highlights include co-creating Nixon’s Pals and Officer Downe with Joe Casey, drawing the Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch fighting Nazi robots in the Marvel Mystery 70th Anniversary Special, and working with Grant Morrison on Batman, Incorporated.

Michael Moreci:
Michael Moreci’s comic series, Hoax Hunters, in currently running backup to Hack/Slash with Image Comics. His début graphic novel, Quarantined, will be released in April, 2011. It will be followed by Reincar(Nate), which is being released in the fall through Viper Comics. He is currently working on the OGN Terminus, as well as a few other projects.

His shorter comic work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in various anthologies, including FutureQuake, Something Wicked, Accent UK’s Victoriana, the Sleepless Phoenix, and Reading With Pictures. His freelance journalism has been published in Wired, the Huffington Post, Gapers Block, North Shore magazine, In These Times, and Earth Island Journal.

Raffle Prize: I have a copy of Quarantined and the SDCC exclusive Hoax Hunters preview.

Dave Losso:
Dave Losso is a genius that lives in Chicago with his friends and a cat named Ted. He also loves food, fireworks and Huey Lewis & The News.

He’s the creator of the comics The Great Sandwich Detective, Kill The Wonderhawks and How Stuff Happens and has also done illustration work for bands like The Number 12 Looks Like You, Man Man, Arsonists Get All The Girls, Cochise Soulstar and publications like Time Out Chicago.

Raffle Prize: I have 4 celebrity coaster paintings.

Dave Scheit:
Dave Scheidt is a writer from Chicago. He’s the writer and co-creator of Monster Dudes. He writes about comics for The Huffington Post. He also is the Editor of Dead of Winter: A Comics Anthology. He is really into breakfast.

Tom Stillwell:
Tom Stillwell is the creator/writer of the Spinner Rack Comics books Honor Brigade and Toy Boy. His latest book, Underneath, is about a group of homeless people fighting trolls underneath the city of Chicago. Tom lives and works in Chicago with his wonderful wife and daughter.

Raffle Prize: I have two pages of original art by Chris Burnham from when he was slated to illustrate Underneath.

Matt Fagan:
Matt Fagan is an artist from southern Oregon who now resides in Chicago. He has written and drawn since he was old enough to spell and grip pencils, and holds an MFA in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Aaron Pittman:
Aaron Pittman is a comic artist who lives in St. Louis with his girlfriend and two furry sons. He’s famed for his work on “Percy The Nazi Killer” and a slew of other comics that went absolutely nowhere. He also drinks a lot of Mountain Dew and watches a lot of cartoons. Usually at the same time.

14 days till Comic Art Show 2


The second Comic Art Show is just two weeks!

Comic Art Show 2 – Saturday, January 28th (6 – 10pm)
The goal is to fill 42N Latitude with as many people as possible and create a connection between the artist and the masses. Also, to sell tons of artwork!

Featuring the work of Chris Burnham, Dave Losso, Tom Stillwell,
Dave Scheidt, Matt Fagan, Aaron Pittman and Michael Moreci!

Tickets to the show are $5 and are limited to 100.
Your ticket includes admission, appetizers and 1 raffle ticket.
Each creator will donate one item to the raffle.
Additional raffle tickets are available for purchase.

42N Latitude Kitchen & Cocktails is located at 4500 North Lincoln Ave.

(You might need to click twice to get to Paypal, sorry.)


Comic Art Show 2 ticket





Raffle Tickets




[nggallery id=7]
Creators
Chris Burnham:
Chris Burnham makes his living by drawing comic books. He wishes that his teachers and relatives would have been less supportive so that he could shove his relative success in their faces, but to his eternal regret everyone was very encouraging. Career highlights include co-creating Nixon’s Pals and Officer Downe with Joe Casey, drawing the Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch fighting Nazi robots in the Marvel Mystery 70th Anniversary Special, and working with Grant Morrison on Batman, Incorporated.

Michael Moreci:
Michael Moreci’s comic series, Hoax Hunters, in currently running backup to Hack/Slash with Image Comics. His debut graphic novel, Quarantined, will be released in April, 2011. It will be followed by Reincar(Nate), which is being released in the fall through Viper Comics. He is currently working on the OGN Terminus, as well as a few other projects.

His shorter comic work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in various anthologies, including FutureQuake, Something Wicked, Accent UK’s Victoriana, the Sleepless Phoenix, and Reading With Pictures. His freelance journalism has been published in Wired, the Huffington Post, Gapers Block, North Shore magazine, In These Times, and Earth Island Journal.

Raffle Prize: I have a copy of Quarantined and the SDCC exclusive Hoax Hunters preview.

Dave Losso:
Dave Losso is a genius that lives in Chicago with his friends and a cat named Ted. He also loves food, fireworks and Huey Lewis & The News.

He’s the creator of the comics The Great Sandwich Detective, Kill The Wonderhawks and How Stuff Happens and has also done illustration work for bands like The Number 12 Looks Like You, Man Man, Arsonists Get All The Girls, Cochise Soulstar and publications like Time Out Chicago.

Raffle Prize: I have 4 celebrity coaster paintings.

Dave Scheit:
Dave Scheidt is a writer from Chicago. He’s the writer and co-creator of Monster Dudes. He writes about comics for The Huffington Post. He also is the Editor of Dead of Winter: A Comics Anthology. He is really into breakfast.

Tom Stillwell:
Tom Stillwell is the creator/writer of the Spinner Rack Comics books Honor Brigade and Toy Boy. His latest book, Underneath, is about a group of homeless people fighting trolls underneath the city of Chicago. Tom lives and works in Chicago with his wonderful wife and daughter.

Raffle Prize: I have two pages of original art by Chris Burnham from when he was slated to illustrate Underneath.

Matt Fagan:
Matt Fagan is an artist from southern Oregon who now resides in Chicago. He has been writing and drawing since he was old enough to spell and grip pencils, and holds an MFA in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Aaron Pittman:
Aaron Pittman is a comic artist who lives in St. Louis with his girlfriend and two furry sons. He’s famed for his work on “Percy The Nazi Killer” and a slew of other comics that went absolutely nowhere. He also drinks a lot of Mountain Dew and watches a lot of cartoons. Usually at the same time.