Comic Reviews: Avengers vs. X-Men, Happy!, and Legends of the Dark Knight!
Avengers vs. X-Men #12 (of 12)
The latest Marvel mega-event has come to a close, and once again, the Marvel Universe will “never be the same”! For another year or so at least. Yes, Avengers vs. X-Men comes to a close with this issue. After all of the crossovers, hype, and fights, how does its conclusion stack up?
Pretty good when compared to other events.
The Avengers have finally come up with a plan to stop the Phoenix Five, which is now down to Cyclops. Involving Scarlet Witch and Hope, the plan is to essentially have the two characters team up against Dark Phoenixclops. Working under the assumption that the Phoenix force “created” Hope as a response to Wanda’s “no more mutants” declaration in House Of M, Tony Stark believes that by having Scarlet Witch and Hope launch a combo attack on the Phoenix that it could stand the chance of actually hurting the cosmic being.
And guess what? It does (oh yeah, SPOILERS, but I won’t spoil the rest of the issue). Yes, for those who couldn’t guess, the Phoenix is stopped, and the stage is set for the next “phase” for the Marvel stable of characters. For the most part, Jason Aaron’s script hits all of the right spots, regardless of the fact that this issue is pretty predictable, and many of the major developments were pretty much revealed by Marvel months ago. Even though Cyclops is painted like a villain towards the end of the issue, I really enjoyed the scene between him and Captain America. In a way it does make you come around to Cyclops’ side.
Adam Kubert’s art is awesome, yet gets a little rushed in spots. His double page spread that opens the battle between The Avengers and Dark Phonixclops is a sight to behold, event if there are some wonky scenes after that. The scenes between Cyclops and Cap that close out the issue have awesome emotional weight. While Avengers vs. X-Men may not have been the best of the Marvel events, it was still a pretty good ride, and miles ahead of Fear Itself. I just wish for once that Marvel would mix it up with these events. Or, you know, go a whole year without one.
Happy! #1 (of 4)
Note: this book was released LAST week!
Grant Morrison enters into the Image publishing world with a comic that I was actually able to understand on my first read through. Focusing on a grizzled and tired old hit man, Happy! is one of the strangest first issues I’ve read this year. Starting off as your standard (if extremely foul mouthed) crime comic, the book quickly takes a huge left turn a few pages before the end that makes this book like nothing else on the stands. Grant Morrison’s writing is completely different from his typical fare, and I give him a lot of credit for being able to completely mix up his style for this book.
On the flip side, Darick Robertson’s art hasn’t changed from his work on The Boys, and yes, that’s a compliment. In fact, his art has never looked better. He deftly handles the dark and dirty opening of the book, and by the time we get to the big reveal that will drive the plot of this miniseries I was stunned by how hilarious his art can be. Happy! was a book I picked up due to the hype I was hearing about it, and I’m glad I did. If you’re looking for something to mix up your typical cape and tights fare, snag this bad boy up.
Legends Of the Dark Knight #1
The classic anthology Legends of the Dark Knight returns to comic shops this month, and man am I happy to see it back. Featuring short tales by Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof and Tom Taylor, the three standalone Batman tales presented in this issue are all great for their own reasons. I was particularly pleased with Lindelof’s tale “The Butler Did It”, featuring art by Sweet Tooth creator Jeff Lemire. The other stories like Taylor’s “The Crime Never Committed”, in which Batman and Robin prevent an ex-aquarium worker from robbing his place of business, are just as good, and pack an awesome punch. Anyone looking for some good, continuity-free Batman tales would be a fool to pass this up.