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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars “Power corrupts. Absolute Power corrupts absolutely” All Phoenixes are monsters.
This storyline, running through issues #0-12 of Avengers Vs. X-Men, is written by all the big guns, and drawn by other big guns, and is collected in Avengers Versus X-Men. It begins with the return to action of the Scarlet Witch and ends with the arrest of Cyclops for crimes against humanity. Nova crash-lands in New York bringing news of the approach of the Phoenix force,...
Published 23 months ago by Squirr-El

versus
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dumber than Lou Ferrigno's pants
Phoenix - the fiery and all-powerful being that possessed Jean Grey in the "Dark Phoenix Saga" - is returning to Earth because the "creative" directors at Marvel have run out of ideas and are desperately ransacking past, greater storylines for their new books. The vessel Phoenix is going to choose, everyone thinks, will be Hope, the first and only mutant...
Published on 20 Dec. 2012 by Sam Quixote


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dumber than Lou Ferrigno's pants, 20 Dec. 2012
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Avengers Vs. X-Men (Hardcover)
Phoenix - the fiery and all-powerful being that possessed Jean Grey in the "Dark Phoenix Saga" - is returning to Earth because the "creative" directors at Marvel have run out of ideas and are desperately ransacking past, greater storylines for their new books. The vessel Phoenix is going to choose, everyone thinks, will be Hope, the first and only mutant born after Scarlet Witch's "No More Mutants" curse. Captain America and co. remember the devastation brought about by Phoenix the last time it visited Earth and bonded with Jean Grey, so they are understandably terrified of this happening again. If Hope is to be the new Phoenix, she must die. But Cyclops and co. believe Phoenix's return will signal the rebirth of the mutant race and undo the damage caused by Scarlet Witch. If Hope is to be the new Phoenix, she must live. And so we have Avengers Vs. X-Men, a massive Royal Rumble of superheroes sparked by an argument about a being nobody fully understands and a possibility nobody knows will happen for sure.

I did actually find the first cycle of fighting exciting and thought that with the fighting out of the way so early, maybe this predictable scenario would take a different turn? However, that initial burst of interest was long eclipsed by the sheer banality of the rest of the story and unrelenting tedium of the endless fighting.

Superhero comics are more than just fighting but that's all this superhero book is: fight fight fight. And despite having a massive cast of characters, all of whom have decades of defined personalities, this book essentially wipes away all traces of them so they're all monotone dullards. Spider-man (in his brief appearances) doesn't crack jokes or say anything witty or interesting because all this fighting is all so serious. Iron Man is basically relegated to the side-lines to scientifically figure out how to beat Phoenix (by the way, where's Reed Richards?) so when he appears he's talking boring science crap; his charming, roguish personality is entirely absent.

Instead, arguably the two most boring characters in the Marvel U are given centre stage: Cyclops and Captain America. Cap is whiter than white bread and with his no-nonsense manner of speaking is about as interesting: he is practical, dull, and unimaginative, repeatedly yelling "Avengers Assemble!" way too many times. Cyclops has the personality of a brick. When he's not being told what to do by his girlfriend, he's whining about mutants being an endangered species for the billionth time, wittering on like a fussy hen and glumly looking into the middle distance. These have got to be the most tedious men to ever headline a superhero comic. Long before this book was over I wanted both of these dudes dead, never to return.

My edition was the mammoth 568 page hardback. After the Avengers Vs. X-Men #0-#12 main issue story arc comes the #1-#6 AVX issues which are just fights. At least with the main storyline there are respites from the fighting to attempt including some sorely needed elements like dialogue, ideas, character and plot development (despite none of these things being effectively pulled off); with AVX, it's just fighting. So we get some arbitrary fights with Iron Man Vs Magneto, Magik Vs Black Widow, Namor Vs Thing, and so on. These are fights that are supposed to be happening in the main story but were separate to keep that story from slowing down. It was with AVX that I realised why Marvel had asked a WWE wrestler to intro this book - these fights were the comic book equivalent of WWE wrestling: staged, colourful, and meaningless. (The wrestler is CM Punk who incorrectly calls his foreword to the book a "forward" - yep, that's the level of intelligence this book elicits).

Finishing off this book is Infinite Comics #1, #6 and #10. Infinite was created for the sole purpose of reading comics digitally on tablets, which is a great idea. Content-wise, these comics rehash the events already gone over in the main story arc but with added pages that don't improve the story. Consequently, like AVX, Infinite feels like an unnecessary add-on.

And speaking of unnecessary add-ons, you may be wondering what the "AR" boxes appearing on every other page in the book mean - "Augmented Reality" is another innovative feature by Marvel to integrate interactive content into their comics. Because when I read comics, I always think, this is good but what I really want when reading is to watch video. It's a strange idea to insert video of artists informing the reader how they came up with a particular design choice for the panel but how interested are you in hearing about that really? It depends on the reader but I'm not one of those who needs to know everything about the creation of a comic. Also, I read to read - I'm not some ADHD kid who needs to flick from reading to watching video and back again every few panels.

Some of the best comics writers working today worked on this book. Jason Aaron, one of my favourite comics writers, has written a great run on Wolverine and is working on the even better Wolverine & the X-Men title; Ed Brubaker wrote one of the most acclaimed Captain America books ever; Jonathan Hickman's doing stellar work on FF and Fantastic Four; and Brian Michael Bendis, whose work on Ultimate Spider-man, Marvel's flagship character, speaks for itself: 12 years of first class writing and counting, his stewardship of that character has been invaluable to Marvel and readers alike. And yet, all of them worked on this book and all of them failed to create an interesting story. Too many cooks in the kitchen maybe? But it makes me think that maybe it's not just the writers who should be blamed for this awful book but the dodgy creative direction at Marvel who steered this book into such unfathomably crap waters. Either way, despite this book having enormous talent attached, it is a massive artistic failure.

So another year, another lacklustre Marvel Comics event. "Avengers Vs X-Men" is for those who enjoy WWE wrestling and like to play with gadgets and watch videos rather than read a comic straight through. This book is dumber than Lou Ferrigno's pants. It's also for people who don't care much about anything related to good storytelling, like character development, memorable scenes and dialogue, and good writing - just superheroes punching one another. This review is already too long so I won't go into the many plot holes the flimsy premise of this book rests upon but suffice it to say "Avengers Vs X-Men" is a cynical, contrived, bloated mess of a book that, despite its immense bluster, is ultimately a very small, piecemeal story with forgettable moments offering nothing of substance.

If someone tells you this is a good book and is worth reading, be very suspicious. Chances are they're waiting for you to fall asleep somewhere around the 300th page and umpteenth consequence-free fight, then steal your kidneys. But I'd wake up! you say. Oh no - reading this boring book is far more potent than camphor. You won't awaken until it's all over. To re-iterate: read this and you will lose your kidneys to the black market and die. To avoid this inevitable fate, stay far away from "Avengers Vs. X-Men". But who wins? you ask, the Avengers or the X-Men? Nobody wins, you poor soul. We all lose by reading this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars “Power corrupts. Absolute Power corrupts absolutely” All Phoenixes are monsters., 20 May 2013
By 
Squirr-El (The Metropolis, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Avengers Versus X-Men (Paperback)
This storyline, running through issues #0-12 of Avengers Vs. X-Men, is written by all the big guns, and drawn by other big guns, and is collected in Avengers Versus X-Men. It begins with the return to action of the Scarlet Witch and ends with the arrest of Cyclops for crimes against humanity. Nova crash-lands in New York bringing news of the approach of the Phoenix force, which leads the Avengers to try and gain access to X-Man Hope. Cyclops doesn’t approve and fired the first shot in a battle that will ‘change the Marvel Universe forever’ again. It is well-written and excellently well-drawn, the plot actually makes more sense than most big events, though characterisation occasionally takes back-seat to plot development, but this is a comic book, not War and Peace. When the Phoenix force arrives, Tony Stark’s attempt to stop it causes it to split up and infect five X-Men, who use the force to create almost a House of M-style utopia - but without the bad stuff – while the Avengers descend into almost a rerun of the Civil War / Dark Reign period, which I am sure is not just a cheap copy but meant to show the corruption of power, as the Phoenix 5 slowly become corrupted by their power, and turn on each other in order to acquire more. Eventually the Scarlet Witch and Hope are able to bring the story to a conclusion, as absolute power corrupts absolutely, we get a final resolution to the House of M event, and, this being America, someone has to go to jail for it all…

I only gave it four stars because, despite the power corrupting business, Cyclops seemed to be acting out of character, though that may have been building up over the past few years of X-crises.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It has come to this..., 8 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Avengers Vs. X-Men (Hardcover)
Fanboys and schoolchildren working on the "who would win if Y fought X" will love this. Unfortunately, it is also a perfect example of how not to write in a shared world, whether professionally, as here, or in fanfiction.

Firstly, if you are going to retcon canon extensively, make sure you have given your reasons. Here the authors have picked and chosen bits of the long Phoenix/Dark Phoenix saga and dismissed the rest. It is unfortunate that the bits they have picked do not fit together. If the retcon of the original Dark Phoenix saga in 'Phoenix Rising' did not take place, and Jean Grey really did die on the moon, then, really, fellas, Jean wouldn't have married (and subsequently divorced) Scott, and it wouldn't be the Jean Grey School.

And that is just the simplest of the problems created here. I find suspending my disbelief rather difficult.

Likewise, it is not enough, when you have characters acting so far away from their normal behaviour - particularly characters like Captain America and Scott Summers - it is not good enough simply to excuse it by having another character (in this case Iron Man and Magneto) say, "Hey, you're acting like me," and expect that to cover your asses as an explanation.

As for having a polar bear in Antarctica just so you could do a call-out to 'The Empire Strikes Back' - spare me!

Setting all that aside, there is some fun dialogue, and some really nice art. Not so much on the characters - some of which look very odd - but on the splash panels.

You do get a lot for your money, though, and the production is lovely. See if you can get it discounted.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Massively disappointing end to years worth of stories, 1 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Avengers Vs. X-Men (Hardcover)
I suppose that the purpose of the big Marvel events such as this is to bring in brand new readers to the title and cut through all that has gone before - it can be the only reason for completely ignoring the personalities of the characters that are supposed to be portrayed here. Even so this book fails as it deals with the Messiah saga from the X-men - which has been ongoing for over 10 years so new readers are unlikely to understand to status quo coming into this book.
It is mainly written by decent Avengers writers (Bendis) and X-men writers whose stories were hated by fans (Fraction, Brubaker, Aaron)the good X-men writers (Gillen, Carey) are kept well away in order to increase the Avenger's status after the film.
Hilariously though in the attempt to portray one side as in the right they go far to far and actually make them responsible for everything that happens if you read the story and not just look at pictures of punching which is all the writers assume anyone reading this will do.
This should be avoided - but the new titles it has led to look to be really good so far - and Marvel can at least be praised that it didn't do a DC and treat it's readers like complete morons.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lighthearted book but unsatisfying book, 23 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Avengers Vs. X-Men (Hardcover)
It’s easy to dismiss this book as a series of mindless battles ad nauseum. The foreword is supplied by some obscure sports entertainer and the whole thing presented as a beat ’em up video game. The plot, what there is, revolves around a mutant called Hope (sister to Faith and Charity perhaps?) who will become the next host of the Phoenix force as it heads towards Earth. (The Phoenix, don't laugh, is an intergalactic bird that destroys planets quicker than Galactus. Cyclops, a character with insufficient charisma to sustain a movie franchise, acts like an jerk, repeatedly, so that the X-men and Avengers can fight, repeatedly.

In this book’s defence there are some plain silly, amusing cartoons at the back that remind you this is not Tolstoy. This is a fun book built around the concept of ‘would X (no pun intended) beat Y in a fight’. The problem with this book is that the fights aren’t very good, and you get the feeling the results are deliberately skewed and therefore somewhat predictably, provocative. I lost count the number of times Thor issues his trademark warning only to be obliterated or humiliated. Meanwhile, far less powerful characters like Wolverine and the Hulk(s) get their ‘cool’ moments. And most irritatingly, this books bears all the hallmarks of being a native X-Book with guests the Avengers...all of them.

More surprisingly, Jason Aaron is cited as the prime author, when this story clearly has co-author Bendis and Loeb’s fingerprints all over it. More tellingly, this book is Oversize Hard Cover (OSHC) size and format, while the tie-in (crossover) book is actually an Omnibus - 568 vs 1112 pages respectively. That really tells you all you need to know about the paucity of plot. Overall, the bigger crossover collection (The Companion) features, on the whole, superior story, art and production values. Whereas the Omnibus is stitched-bound, this book is glued, meaning there are difficulties reading some of the dialogue and accessing the app scan codes etc.

Of course big changes are in store for both teams both as a result of this story and also editorially, now that Bendis' reign come to an end. Those expecting more from this really shouldn't be surprised.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Decent enough read with nice artwork. A few 'odd' moments spoil what could have been an excellent story., 18 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Avengers Versus X-Men (Paperback)
First off, John Romita Jr's artwork is stunning in this. That guy just gets better with age. The other artists do a decent enough job too, but his pages in particular are a joy to behold.

On to the actual story itself.

It was built up so much, I was expecting something big and amazing. Don't get me wrong, it is still fun to read, but when you compare it to other X-Men books (Astonishing X-Men run by Joss Whedon, The Dark Phoenix Saga, even Second Coming and Messiah Complex), it just seems a little bit shallow at the emotional level.

Other reviewers hit the nail on the head when they say that the characters were written to behave differently to how they would otherwise, just to get them to fight each other. Cyclops and Captain America were made to act super aggressive, completely outside of their character.

[SPOILER]
One example, Captain America asks Wolverine to do him a big favour and help him. Wolverine puts his loyalties to Cyclops and the other mutants to one side and agrees to help him. During the mission, Wolverine goes off on his own, not sticking to Captain America's orders. A bit later, they go up in a plane with a couple of other Avengers. Captain America and the other Avengers beat the hell out of Wolverine for not following orders, kick him off the plane to plummet several hundred feet into an arctic wilderness. Erm, okay, Captain America and the Avengers have never acted like that in my entire experience of reading comics. Later on, Wolverine re-joins the Avengers and fights alongside them as if nothing happened. To me it felt like the writers put that scene in just to have an excuse for Wolverine to fight Captain America. Felt odd and very out of character.
[SPOILER FINISHED]

The above example is one of a few silly moments in the book. Besides the odd WTF moment, this is still a fairly good read. Just not the epic classic a lot of people would lead you to believe.

It is what it is. A big, fun, action blockbuster, lots of explosions, fighting, special affects, bang, bang, boom, boom, ooh pretty! Just don't expect to be deeply moved by any of the characters or story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Some points are a bit off putting and a pain,! otherwise a great book, 6 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Avengers Vs. X-Men (Hardcover)
I'd been somewhat concerned that this was going to be just a big punch `em up. I was pleasantly surprised. The plotline is one of great important to X-Men comics, dealing with the return of Phoenix and what comes afterward, and it's dealt with quite well. At times there's a bit too much plot over characters, but in many of the issues characters still manage to shine through. (I think Bendis and Aaron do the best job at various points.) My only major problem with the core store that the way that five certain characters start to act dramatically out of character halfway through the comic. Yes, there are good reasons for it, but it feels very artificial and we don't really empathize with them afterward. Still, a great story with great repercussions [7/10].

The additional books in this collection, the Infinite and the AvX issues, aren't actually that important. I think the storyline would be just as good without them, and I'm unlikely to reread them if I read the series again. Still, the AvX were generally enjoyable and I thought the last two issues were particularly good. [5+/10].

I do have two complaints about the physical hardcover. First, the idiots at Marvel mar the art throughout by pasting stupid "ARs" on it, so that you can scan them with some artificial reality program (knocking yourself out of your reading experience while you do). NOT COOL, Marvel. Leave the art be. Second, it's glue bound which means it's hard to read stuff toward the margins, which is a struggle throughout the book. I don't know why they went cheap on the binding of this £40(!!) book when they could have given it the omnibus treatment. These two elements detract enough from the comic to bring my rating down.

(If I were just reading a TPB of Avengers vs. X-Men #0-12, without the stupid "ARs", my rating would probably be higher.)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Wasted Potential, 16 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Avengers Versus X-Men (Paperback)
This was an enjoyable (if not overly long) read that delivered what it promised it would: a straight up fight between the Avengers and the X-men. The story line was good, the action was great and the drawing was frankly amazing. And for the first few issues, I was going back and forth on who I wanted to win.
The problem was, after a while there was a clear team that were the good guys and a clear team who were the bad guys.
This was my main problem with it. I was expecting something like Civil War, where there was no clear right or wrong and it came down to a matter of opinion. But this clearly presents one team who are just being evil and another team fighting for survival as the others try to kill them. No moral ambiguity. No differences of opinions. Just good guys fighting bad guys. Heck, even people on the evil team (I'm trying really hard not to say which one it is) think that they have become evil.
Still, I don't want to end on a bad note because I did enjoy reading this. And some of the themes were really well carried out, such as Wolverines and Beasts loyalties being divided and Hope's struggling to control her power and her unwillingness to embrace her destiny as the saviour of the Mutants. It's just a shame that they chose to go down to route of one team being good, the other being lead by psychopaths.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The slow burner, 4 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Avengers Vs. X-Men (Hardcover)
Xmen.....Avengers.....war. Sounds like a match made in heaven. And if you take the first two issues and the latter two together then paradise is achieved. The content in between is good, if not a little bit dense, this is not the type of graphic that can be read in one sitting. Not if you intend on being able to process and recall all of the action. Also as the story progresses it becomes less about war and more Cyclopes decent from the morale high ground. Which in terms of overall character development is great but when the leader of one army is fallible then it creates an unbalanced equation when the leader of the other is the legend that is Steve Rogers' Captain America. As expected he is the standard of greatness who as per usual stays true to his morals, which in my personal opinion is a let down, there was room for serious growth among the Avengers (and there almost limitless ranks) however the chance, in my opinion, was not taken. Although, dont miss understand my point, the action and writing is well beyond my expectation. The final act is stunning and the possibilities for development from now is an exciting prospect. All in all a very good read that I have recommended to many friends, with one simple warning. Dont try to read it all at once.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expectations not high, actual great, 30 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Avengers Versus X-Men (Paperback)
I never expect much from "team up" type stories, but they have certainly come a long way. I actually read the "consequences" follow up novel first, liked it so much I ordered this. Great story, great art. Leadership roles of Cyclops for the X-men and Capt America for Avengers contrast well. Wolverine, as Avenger, has divided loyalties.
Highly recommended .....
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Avengers Vs. X-Men
Avengers Vs. X-Men by Jason Aaron (Hardcover - 21 Nov. 2012)
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