The comics I read this week include Avengers vs. X-Men 11, Uncanny X-Men 18, Wolverine and the X-Men 16, Uncanny X-Force 31, Batman 0, X-men 35, Fantastic Four 610, Batgirl 0, Scarlet Spider 9, Winter Soldier 10 and X-Men Legacy 273. Did they release an issue of nearly every X-Men team book this week? Shouldn’t they be spaced out better? Anyway, these are my first impressions – I’ll link to full reviews as I post them.
Wolverine and the X-Men 16 was decent, but it feels like it should have released earlier during the AVX event. It’s about the new hellfire club (run by kids) and barely has anything to do with AVX. The only AVX connection is that the phoenix five show up for a couple pages (Yes, all five of them). This issue is mostly an origin story of the 12-year-old head of the hellfire club (forget his name at the moment). If that sounds interesting to you, definitely check this issue out. If not, this issue can easily be ignored.
Uncanny X-Force 31 was very good. Like the last issue, there isn’t much action in here. Instead, there are plenty of important conversations between both X-Force members and members of the new brotherhood. This issue is basically a setup for the rest of the story, and the cliffhanger promises that crazy stuff will happen in the next issue. The art is excellent as well. This is an easy recommendation for X-Force regulars.
Scarlet Spider 9 was a lot of fun. Despite his hatred toward heroism in general, Kaine fights alongside the Rangers against a very powerful opponent. Without going into depth, there’s not much else to say about this one. It’s basically about someone with Spider-Man’s powers but none of his responsibility and it takes place in Texas. If that sounds interesting, check it out.
X-Men Legacy 273 was alright, but not as good as I was hoping. Rogue ends a war through encouraging mutual understanding. I’ve noticed that Christos Gage seems to like these kinds of stories. Sure they can work, but he uses them a little too much (three out of the last four Avengers Academy stories use this kind of resolution.) Still, it’s a decent story about Rogue that has nothing to do with AVX. Check it out if you want, but I won’t quite recommend it.
Winter Soldier 10 was great. Half of the issue explains the cliffhanger from the last issue – where the brainwashed Black Widow started shooting people on the helicarrier. This issue explains exactly what happened, and the rest is Winter Soldier preparing a rescue operation. This is an easy recommendation if you like either Black Widow or Bucky Barnes.
X-Men 35 was fairly good. It ends the two-part story of Storm’s X-Men team vs. a cult lead by a war criminal. It’s fun and it has absolutely nothing to do with AVX. This is an easy recommendation. The art could be better though.
Hated WatXM. I hate that series in general, since Aaron’s characterization in it is so flat. This issue was worse than usual, because Kade Kilgore is just such an awful character. The Hellfire Brats were a stupid concept when they were introduced, and they actually manage to get more annoying every time they appear. When you compare this to the Uncanny X-Men issues Gillen did focusing on villains (Phalanx and Sinister), it’s clear just how inferior this book is to UXM.
Uncanny X-Force was meh, I thought. The extended conversation between Sabretooth and Daken felt pointless. I didn’t see the point for it.
Scarlet Spider was definitely good. I also like the Rangers. I’d love to see more of them. They’re great characters, especially Firebird and Living Lightning, and they deserve to be showing up monthly.
Agree about Legacy being meh. It was too rushed, like Gage just wanted this arc over with. And yeah, Gage does like to resolve things through dialogue. I do like that about him, myself, but it can get to be a bit much at times. Also, that fourth AA arc? That one was going to be resolved through dialogue, too, before the editor made him change it.
Winter Soldier’s always good.
Adjectiveless X-Men’s good. He’s crafting really interesting team dynamics.
And Fantastic Four was pretty decent, if not quite up to Hickman’s usual standard.
I generally enjoy WATXM, but it’s been suffering during AVX. I do agree that issue 16 is worse than usual though. The fact that this week’s issue focuses primarily on the most polarizing characters in the series certainly doesn’t help.
And I definately agree with you on the Rangers, they’re awesome.