Comic Reviews: Avengers vs. X-Men and The Comedian!
Avengers vs. X-Men #6 (of 12)
Now this is what I’m talking about! We’re just now entering “Act Two” of Avengers vs. X-Men, Marvel’s latest big summer event, and I can honestly say that this is the best issue of the series so far. All of the gripes I’ve had about the pacing and feeling like I’ve missed important events mid panel are gone here, as writer Jonathan Hickman weaves a surprisingly complex tale. With five of the X-Men being given access to the Phoenix Force and using them to solve every major problem that the world has, The Avengers are placed in a very compromising position. They know that the Phoenix will probably overtake the five X-Men and cause massive destruction, but how can they convince everyone else?
Easy, they don’t.
Conspiring against everyone, the Avengers lead an all out attack on the new Utopia, created by the cosmically powered X-Men. If they can retrieve the mutant Hope, the Avengers believe that they’ll be able to use her to figure out how to stop the Phoenix from eventually destroying everything. Of course this doesn’t go to plan at all, but it does lead to a great confrontation between the Avengers and the Phoenix-powered X-Men, including a jaw dropping moment between Thor and the awesome looking Phoenix-Cyclops.
The art duties for this issue (and the following four) are handled by Olivier Copiel, who knocks it out of the park with this issue. From the opening pages depicting Charles Xavier’s arrival on the new Utopia, to the fight at the end of the issue, there’s not a wasted panel here. More so than Romita, Jr, Copiel’s art is perfect for this type of event book, and I can’t wait to see what else he’s got planned.
From the opening issue, to the awesome U.N. scene, to the final pages, issue six of Avengers vs. X-Men is extremely exciting, and I’m finally looking forward to the next issue, something I haven’t been able to say a lot while following this title. Let’s hope this momentum keeps up.
Before Watchmen: Comedian #1 (of 6)
Before Watchmen keeps chugging along, haters be damned. This week sees the first issue of the Comedian spin-off, and it paints a cool tale featuring a mix of historical fact and historical fiction that is a staple of Watchmen. Focusing on the days just before JFK’s assassination, this opening issue starts with Eddie Blake (aka The Comedian) playing a game of football with the Kennedy’s. We then cut to a quite scene with Blake and Jacklyn Kennedy, who gives him a “job” to deal with a certain famous flame of JFK’s. A job that Blake takes on due to his respect for the family. Later on, Blake is given an assignment to break up a narcotics ring run by Moloch The Mystic. After dispensing of the Moloch’s goons, the two enemies notice the news break on Moloch’s TV: JFK is dead.
Writer Brian Azzerello deftly weaves the Watchmen universe into the real-world. The scenes where Blake is talking football with JFK are jarring at first, but really drive home the friendship that Blake feels towards this family, something that he doesn’t have a whole lot of in his life. The art by J.G. Jones is great. His takes on such well-known people as JFK and others is recognizable, but also his own as well. The sequence in which Comedian takes out Moloch’s men single handedly is expertly done, and a prime reason why Jones is one of the best in the business.
Like Minutemen and Silk Spectre before it, The Comedian is a rock-solid book that compliments the original source material beautifully. Of course, like with the others, time will tell if these minis will be remembered as fondly as Watchmen, but as it stands, we’ve got some pretty damn good comics out of this event so far, with some awesome creators.