Comic Reviews: Avengers vs. X-Men #0 and Superman!
Avengers vs. X-Men #0
If you’re going into this special issue 0 of Avengers vs. X-Men expecting first punches between characters to be thrown, you’re going to be disappointed. However, this issue still delivers some pretty good character moments, and sets the stage for what looks to be a fairly solid event.
Split between two writers, the issue catches readers up to date with two characters who will presumably play large roles in the upcoming event: Scarlet Witch and Hope. The Scarlet Witch story, penned by Brian Michael Bendis, is the weaker of the two, as it deals with the fallout from her return in The Children’s Crusade, an event that I started reading but dropped due to its insane lateness. After stopping a team of AIM M.O.D.O.K.s, Scarlet Witch is dragged back to the Avengers Mansion by Spider-woman and Ms. Marvel. Believing that everyone will be happy to see her, the two women are sorely mistaken when The Vision lashes out at Scarlet Witch, banishing her from the mansion forever.
The second story, written by Jason Aaron, focuses on Hope on the island Utopia, the safe haven for all mutants in the Marvel universe. Hope has been secretly leaving Utopia every night and enacting some sweet vigilante justice of her own. Cyclops has been on to her, and tonight is the night he confronts her about her actions. After arguing, Hope heads off, leaving Cyclops behind to follow her. After a pretty sweet fight with the Serpent Society (which really shows off Hope’s powers in a cool way), Cyclops and Emma Frost find Hope and bring her back to Utopia.
While both of these stories aren’t entirely compelling (or even necessary), they both helped paint a picture for me of where some of the main players of the upcoming battle between the Avengers and The X-Men before next week’s issue #1. However, despite the stories being a little lackluster, the art by Frank Cho is phenomenal. His characters, with the exception of Cyclops, all look extremely powerful, and the action scenes, while few, are drawn excellently. While people following the worlds of the Avengers and The X-Men may find this issue unnecessary, Avengers vs. X-Men #0 is a solid preview of what’s to come for those walking in off the street to find out what all the fuss is about.
It’s out with the old, in the with new for DC’s new 52 Superman series. As opposed to Grant Morrison’s head trip that is Action Comics, the regular “Superman” series takes place in the current DC continuity, and this issue, the start of new creative team Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen, introduces the Man of Steel to a villain he’s never met before: Wild C.A.T.S.‘s own Helspont!
The issue starts with Superman being attacked by a mysterious, robotic creature, which then leads him to being brought to Helspont’s lair, who intends to turn Superman into one of his minions. Jurgens and Giffen get points for introducing the villain in a pretty cool way, and even though I barely remember WildC.A.T.S., Helspont is a sweet villain who’s motivation is pretty straightforward. I really liked how he broke down the differences between Earth’s heroes and other planets in the galaxy. In fact, it makes me hope that we might see some sort of event where Helspont goes after other DC characters (maybe in a Justice League story-arc?).
Superman #7 is a nice diversion from the Superman in Action Comics that I’m used to, and even if there were some parts that I didn’t particularly care for (Clark basically acting like an idiot at the Daily Bugle), I’ll be back for issue 8. Jurgens and Giffen did a good job of presenting a straight-forward Superman story, and it’s leaps and bounds better than the first issue of this relaunch (no pun intended).