Comic Reviews: Avengers vs. X-Men #1 and Danger Club #1!
Avengers vs. X-Men #1
It’s here. Marvel’s latest blockbuster summer event has arrived, and after all of the hype and lead-up, is it any good?
Yes. Yes it is. For those who don’t know, Avengers vs. X-Men has been plotted by the Marvel “architects”, with each member taking on a different section of the 12 part miniseries. This first issue, and the three following it, are penned by Brian Michael Bendis. the Marvel mainstay lays the groundwork for what looks to be a (hopefully) epic confrontation between the two teams, and he doesn’t waste too much time getting everything thing in motion.
The issue starts with the Phoenix force destroying a planet on its way to Earth, then cuts to the Avengers meeting up at their NYC headquarters. After noticing a mysterious object hurtling through the skyline (which destroys a plane, the Empire State Building, and other inanimate objects), the Avengers discover that it’s Nova, who gives them this message before passing out:
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Cyclops is putting Hope through a rigorous training routine. Since Cyclops believes that Hope is the saving grace of the mutant population, he believes that she needs to be able to fight without relying on her powers. However, as she becomes more frustrated, Hope lashes out, causing a mysterious fiery bird to erupt around her. Naturally, this intrigues Cyclops, who believes that Phoenix using Hope as a host will lead to a rebirth of the mutant population. Of course, Captain America thinks that the Phoenix is going to destroy the planet before it restarts the Earth and needs to be stopped. Cue the two meeting on the shores of Utopia, and……FIGHT!
John Romita, Jr. handles the art duties for these first few issues, and I can happily say that he’s much, MUCH better than he was on Avengers. There is nothing here that even remotely touches on the phone-in work he pulled on that title, which is good, because I think he is one of the best artists in the business. His panels depiciting the destruction of New York city are really well done, even if some of them are ruined by Marvel’s stupid “AR” Augmented Reality tags that you can scan with your iPad. I get the point Marvel, no need to put it on EVERY PAGE.
But I digress. This is a very well-done start to the event. None of the characters act like they shouldn’t, the art is great, and for once, the plot actually gets going in the first act of a Bendis-written comic. We may not know how Avengers vs. X-Men is going to turn out, but this first issue holds promise.
Danger Club #1
I’ll admit I had no backstory behind this book at all. However, there is a lot of hype around the interwebs about it, and after Rich’s recommendation this afternoon, I decided to give Danger Club a try. And holy hell, I’m glad I did. Essentially an HBO version of “Teen Titans” (or Lord of The Flies with superpowers), Danger Club follows a team of sidekicks who must find their way through a world after Earth’s heroes went off planet and never returned. 3 months in, it’s not going well. A former Danger Club teammate named Apollo is gathering followers, and Danger Club members lead by Kid Vigilante aren’t going to allow this to happen. What follows is one of the best superhero fights of the year, and a stunning ending that definitely leaves you wanting more. Writer Landry Quinn Walker and artist Eric Jones’ previous collaborations included DC Kids titles like Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in 8th Grade and the Batman: The Brave and The Bold tie-in comic, but Danger Club is NOT something that should be given to young readers. Image has been on a roll lately with it’s new releases, and Danger Club continues that hot streak. Get this before it’s gone!