- Hardcover: 136 pages
- Publisher: Marvel - US; 01 edition (1 Jan. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0785160795
- ISBN-13: 978-0785160793
- Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 1.3 x 26.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 872,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis - Volume 4 (AVX) (Avengers (Marvel Hardcover)) Hardcover – 1 Jan 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
You will need to read the whole AvX and its related tie-ins to get the bigger picture, like Secret Avengers for example, as part of this story sees our heroes head into space to intercept the Phoenix Force that threatens the Earth (and is the main reason we have AvX in the first place), but the main part of that mission is detailed in the Secret Avengers comic - here we just see the before and after of that. The aftermath is more interesting however; as the Protector (alien Noh-Varr) is tasked by the Kree Supreme Intelligence on a side-mission of his own, which means he has to betray his fellow Avengers.
This half of the volume is the highlight, but the second half is where it starts to falter. After the Noh-Varr part, Red Hulk attempts to infiltrate the X-Men Island of Utopia and assassinate Cyclops and then the Avengers attempt to take out the X-Men's top telepaths. Finally there's a tiresome chapter where Hawkeye and Spiderwoman intercept a raid by Mister Negative on a S.H.I.E.L.D. warehouse in New York - its only link to AvX is that the villain is taking advantage of the fact that the Avengers are busy fighting a war against the X-Men.
In my opinion this is an average volume, and arguably Bendis' worst of his run on this title. But that's ok, as Avengers Vs X-Men was just an average event in the first place. The strong part of this volume is the first 3 issues surrounding Noh Varr as he questions his allegiance to his team and also his Kree homeworld.Read more ›
I am a great fan of the Avengers as concept, a group and a title.
I have never been a fan of Bendis's Avengers work. And this is a poor trade even by his standards.
These collected issues take place alongside the crossover AvsX and even that trade is hardly `required reading', these issues are incidental even in comparison to them.
The main AvsX links here make a reference to the action seen elsewhere in the Secret Avengers trade. Although this is supposed to be the flagship title, you wouldn't know it.
Previous trades have returned the Vision to health and the team and Storm has joined, neither of which are really followed up here and with storm being such an important X-Man you would have thought she'd have played a big part in AvsX.
There is much made here of NoVar's / the Protector predicament in the battle, but that's a case of too much too late when it comes to making him an interesting member of the team.
The Red Hulk gets a spotlight issue where Bendis misses the point of Captain America's respect for Rulk's military strategy and uses him in his de-Hulked form - I would much prefer the green guy.
Another issue here is a battle between Hawkeye and Spider-woman against Mister Negative (who?) and Hydra, but really consists of a drawn out `potential-split-up' conversation between our lovebirds that gets dull after a couple of pages.
That's Bendis all round.
The artwork, for once one-artist-for-all-issues is by the much praised Walt Simonson, but I find it poor for him, his figures are blocky and simplistic, glaring and brash, it feels like a cheap imitation of the worst excesses of Simonson.
Not for nothing is the cover chosen for this trade the cover by Mike Deodato and not one of the three possible by Simonson.
I consider myself an Avengers Completest, but not any more, even I won't buy this stuff.
I strongly recommend you move on to the Jonathon Hickman stuff...
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
This collection is part of the AvX crossover, which is part of the reason why I bought it. Despite the banner announcing the crossover at the top of the book, only three of the six issues relate to the larger Phoenix storyline. The first story (#25), a waste of paper about a confrontation with AIM, and the last issue (#30), about Mr. Negative and Hydra, are each framed by a splash page showing events from AvX. Apart from that single page (and shameful marketing ploy) both of these issues ignore the crossover. A separate two-part story, which launches a group of Avengers into space to retrieve a sample of the Phoenix’s energy (#26), uses the AvX connexion to spin itself off into a character piece about the Kree Avenger, the Protector (#27). Unexpectedly, this issue is the best of the collection--but note that that doesn’t mean it’s any good.
As for the core AvX issues, the Red Hulk attempts a stealth invasion of Utopia in #28. His plan is to wait until the telepathic White Queen is off the island before infiltrating the mutant headquarters and assassinating the Phoenix-possessed Cyclops. The story is undercut by the glaring oversight that the White Queen is there to confront him when he arrives.
The next issue, #29, appears to retell the events of Wolverine and the X-Men #15 from the perspective of a telepathic battle between Professor Xavier and Rachel Grey. In this story, Xavier exhibits a reticence to oppose the pro-Phoenix X-Men that is never once hinted at in the core AvX miniseries.
Let’s elaborate a bit on why this collection does not work. Bendis’s trademark dialogue rings hollow here, and his character portraits appear stilted and one dimensional. It’s clear that Bendis’s heart isn’t in any of these issues. Could this be because he’s too preoccupied with his writing chores on the main AvX series, which was being published concurrently? (He’s never had trouble writing multiple books before.) Could it be because, at this point in his career, he’s segueing away from the Avengers franchise altogether, in favor of taking on the X-Men books? Is this a case of separation anxiety?
More likely, I think the problem is that Bendis does not jive with penciler Walter Simonson. At all. Simonson is a legendary artist, one of the greats of the 1980s. He had a seminal run on Thor, but more to my liking was his X-Factor, which he worked on alongside his wife, Louise. Near the turn of the century, he also wrote and drew DC’s Orion, which I believe is a vastly underappreciated series. I haven’t seen much of his art since that time...but these issues are not up to par with anything he’s drawn in the past. Bendis provides him several opportunities to draw Thor again, and Simonson has fun and does a fair job rendering him, but everything else he draws comes across as rushed, blocky, cartoony, uninspired, and lacking detail. A different inker may have mitigated the blockiness, but the art problem is more diffuse than that. Not only is the detail lacking, but Simonson at points loses sight of basic mechanics of scale and perspective, of foreground and background. His figures appear to have been penciled independently of one another and then glued together into the same panel after the fact, à la Colorforms. See page 1 of issue #30 for an example of this, where the red and green Hulks grapple with Cyclops in a bafflingly choreographed configuration, and page 10 of the same issue, where Spider-Woman kicks a villain sideways, in the background, only for him to bounce forward, into the foreground, toward the direction of the reader. Not only do Simonson’s characters lack human dynamism, but his broader artistic choices are way out of synch with Bendis’s script. In issue #30 Mr. Negative appropriates a S.H.I.E.L.D. bunker stocked with battle robots. Bendis describes them, via Mr. Negative, as being “an entire generation ahead of anything that the armed forces of the United States is using” and as “very high-tech,” “beautiful weapons.” What Simonson provides, by contrast, are retro robot designs straight out of a 1950s science fiction movie.
This volume was a group effort, and as such both creators bear responsibility for the finished product. On all accounts, it is a failed effort, and its results border upon unreadability.