Saturday, April 21, 2012

AvX: VS #1 of 6

Writers: Jason Aaron & Kathryn Immonen
Artists: Adam Kubert & Stuart Immonen
Company: Marvel Comics

While I think the title of this mini is a little on the confusing side and a mouthful to boot, what appears beneath this flashy and hero emblazoned cover is something that I think many people will want to get their hands on. AvX: VS is a book that is completely devoted to the smashing and bashing fisticuffs of this summer crossover/blockbuster event. On the very first page of this thing, in a Previously On page that resembles the letter colums from Nextwave, it states quite plainly that if you want story, you've come to the wrong place. Listen to the truthful narrator, whoever he is. It/He/She isn't lying to you.

Like I said though, I really do think that this is a series that people are going to want. Who didn't, as a kid, lie on the floor with a bucket of action figures and play out dozens of scenarios that pitted hero versus hero for hours on end? I know that I did and whether or not the situations that we came up were complex or simply that they were fighting for the sake of fighting, it was always fun. AvX: VS captures that feel.

Split into two battles, the first one is written by Jason (Wolverine & the X-Men) Aaron and drawn by Adam (Wednesday Comics/Uncanny X-Men) Kubert and sees Iron Man tangle with the Master of Magnetism, Magneto. The second fight, written and drawn by the husband and wife team of Kathryn and Stuart Immonen, is between Namor and the Ever Lovin' Blue-Eyed Thing. Because this is all about the fighting and not heavy on story, these fights are actually thought out and rise up to that next level that we don't typically see. The pacing is thrown out the window and you get what feels like the comic book version of the 45 minute car chase from the original Gone in 60 Seconds. There's humor in the dialogue that is being spit-balled between our duelists in each story and each one gets to use their powers in more nuanced and interesting ways. That's something that I always appreciate because it doesn't happen often.

The art in both stories is stylish. Adam Kubert's versions of Iron Man and Magneto are wrought with crispness and cool. His storytelling, a much needed bit of talent for a book like this, is dead on and easy on the eyes. There's never a time when things get too jumbled or so mixed up that they stop making sense. It's exciting. The same can be said for the chameleon that is Stuart Immonen. His style always varies on whatever project he's working on. Here, it's not unlike the type of things he was doing for Fear Itself or Nextwave. There's an animation like vibe to it and in a battle between Namor and the Thing, that sensibility really adds to the affair. The medium of comics, with its endless budget, is able to go over the top with the action and both of these artists really take that advantage of that.

AvX: VS isn't essential reading for the whole Avengers vs X-Men storydoes, but as a comic book, it certainly does what it sets out to do. The fights are big, fun, loud, and in your face. If you've ever just wanted to see Magneto bash Tony Stark or have wanted Thing to finally punch out Namor (or vice versa), this is the book for you.

This is an advance review. AvX: VS hits comic shops next week 4/25/12

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