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Avengers vs. X-Men

Review

Avengers vs. X-Men

Team-ups are a time-honored comics tradition. Get the superheroes together, have them slug it out, and then have them unite against a common enemy. It’s simple enough, and it’s been fueling comics “events” for decades. Avengers vs. X-Men (AvX if you’re hip) is one of the latest of those events.
 
The story unfolded in miniseries form throughout 2012 and has been collected in a gigantic trade edition. It begins with the news that the Phoenix force --- a cosmic entity of almost unlimited power that one fed on a star, killing several billion residents of a nearby planet --- is returning to Earth. This is disturbing news for the Avengers, who want to make sure it doesn’t happen. That seems sensible enough, but mutant superheroes the X-Men have a different take. The Phoenix force has long had a special tie with the women of the Grey family --- beginning with Jean Grey/Marvel Girl/Phoenix and continuing with Jean’s daughter Rachel --- but this time, it’s aiming for Hope Summers. Hope’s all right with that; she’s pretty sure she can handle all that power. The X-Men are fine with it as well.
 
And thus begins the setup for perhaps the greatest war in Marvel history. Superhero fights superhero to bloody and violent effect. If you’re a fan of epic comic battles, this is a series to love (and so are its plethora of tie-ins, where the major battles really take place). Also, smartphone-enabled readers will get a big kick out of the interactive tags throughout the book, which provide tons of fun extras.
 
While this series seems like an excuse to have major heroes fight each other (and act somewhat erratically), it has a larger storytelling purpose: It redefined the teams of both the Avengers and the X-Men and changed events permanently in the Marvel universe. This series sets up the future of Marvel for 2013 and beyond.
 

Reviewed by John Hogan on June 18, 2013

Avengers vs. X-Men
by Brian Michael Bendis, Jonathan Hickman, Jason Aaron, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, and John Romita Jr.

  • Publication Date: April 9, 2013
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel
  • ISBN-10: 0785163182
  • ISBN-13: 9780785163183