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“There were parts that I read where I couldn’t help but literally call Scott Summers a dirty bastard, and he’s a character that I’m fond of.”

-BOX O'CREDITS-

Reviewer:
"Sweet" Can Sweet
Writer:
Matt Fraction
Artist:
John Romita Jr.
Publisher:
Marvel Comics
Shipped On: 060612
Reviewed On: 060612
MSRP: $3.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
AVENGERS VS. X-MEN ROUND 5
AvX…AvX…Avengers Vs. X-Men… Avengers, or X-Men? Pick a side, any side, just buy the book, and the tie-in series (of which there’s really only one) and watch in awe at the fireworks that ensue. That’s the pitch, as I seem to recall; as I drift weightlessly through the World Wide Web, from comic-gossip site to comic-gossip site, week in and week out, reading interview after interview with any of the bevy of creators it’s taken to pull off this massive slobber-knocker, there’s only one thing that every single one of them seem to steadfastly believe: The readers haven’t seen anything yet.

Issue five, or Round 5 as the cover would have it be known, has been referred to as the end of Act One by all parties involved (from what I’ve read at least); as such I was quite excited to get my hands on a copy to see what all the hype was really about. I prefer to keep my reviews spoiler-free, so if you’re looking for the deets you’re going to have to go elsewhere, but what I will try to do is quantify the amount of love I have for this title, if only for readers who may still be on the fence (and let’s be realistic, if you’re in at this point, you’re probably in for the long-haul).

‘Event-fatigue’ is a made up, nonsense buzz-word that really doesn’t mean anything to me. Comics are comics, and stories lead up to bigger stories, and arcs are composed of longer over-arching plots, and so on and so forth forever and ever. The idea that fans of Spider-Man are going to get tired of seeing Spider-Man involved in bigger stories, doing bigger, more spidey-erier things is just asinine. If you’re one to complain of ‘Event-fatigue’ than you’re probably the same kind of kid who would remind the teacher that they forgot to assign homework; or you hate America and everything in it. It’s probably one of those two apt characterizations that best define who you are.

To be clear, this isn’t just another summer event, this is THE summer event. This is “Civil War” on TEN, this is “Secret Invasion” without the cop-out, Skrully stuff, this is “Secret War” except nothing about this war is secret. This is the Avengers, current stars of the third highest-grossing movie of all time, and the X-Men, household names that rival Batman or Superman in the public consciousness. Get it yet? This is the AVENGERS VERSUS THE X-MEN; they’re gonna fight, and fight, and fight, and fight, and fight (to turn a phrase). Oh, and there’s the Phoenix Force energy that’s either going to save everyone or destroy everything, no pressure, really.

Certain questions are answered in ‘Round 5’ (and for the record I’m only calling it that because that’s what’s on the cover, not because I think it sounds cool, because I don’t) and other more doting questions are raised, ones that seem to require more immediate answers to unforeseen problems. Drastic situations abound by the end of the issue, and one can only imagine that as rosy as things might have first seemed for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, there are no more easy wins to be had here. The Children of the Atom are not planning on laying down for anyone.

Perspective plays such a role in this crossover it’s not even funny. There were parts that I read where I couldn’t help but literally call Scott Summers a dirty bastard, and he’s a character that I’m fond of. I can only imagine those same scenes, when read by a fan of the X-family of titles, depict Cyclops as a hero, or in the very least a charismatic rebel unwilling to compromise his stance for anyone, even old allies. Where I see an old, stubborn bigot, many may see a man with more clear vision than his namesake would imply.

So are you an Avengers fan, or an X-Men fan? Do you roll with mighty or the meek? I don’t think it matters much, really, because at its core it’s less about the battle taking place between the two teams of heroes, but rather the battles they’ll both face when the dust is settled. IF this is as HUGE as everyone says it is, and the staff shake-up at Marvel is everything it’s being made out to be (which in all honesty is ‘mum’, but I’ll take ‘journalistic license’ for $500, Alex, and speculate like a 90’s fanboy *rimshot*) I’m guessing that this, as so many that came before it, is more of a stepping-stone and less of a spectacle.

But let’s be honest, it’s quite a bit of a spectacle so far too, and the star hasn’t been on the page, but rather humping pages out at a breakneck pace. John Romita Jr., who already illustrated the first four of this twelve issue series, shows up once again for issue, er, Round 5, stepping in to pick up the slack for whomever it is that’s coming late to the party. Romita is an artist’s artist; pumping out five issues in less than three months’ time is a feat in and of itself, but to do it with such keen attention to detail and dedication to the storytelling, well, his professionalism is truly unparalleled.

Should you buy “AVX Round 5”, well duh, yeah you probably should; and in case you haven’t yet, you should be sure to pick up the first four ‘rounds’ and read them before this one. Do yourself a favor and grab the ‘VS’ miniseries that’s running concurrently with this series, as it seems there are too many fights to be had, and they needed a whole other title just to contain the extra punching. At first I was skeptical too, but it’s been a real treat, and it proved to be a really smart tactic instead of trying to lump everything under one banner, or making twenty different tie-ins when all you need is one. One! One is all you need. ‘Event-fatigue’…pffffffffffffft…I’ll never understand that.
"Sweet" Dan Sweet is a Chicago-based aspiring writer and long time customer at Alternate Reality.

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