AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #5
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by John Romita Jr.
Release Date: June 6, 2012
That was my first thought upon finishing this book. After a rather disappointing issue #4, I started this book with more trepidation than I have had at any other point in the series. I am happy to say, however, that Matt Fraction has put this mighty AvX ship back on the right course by doing what this series should: focusing on the events in a single place and exploring them well. This issue takes place almost entirely in the location that issue #4 wrapped up and doesn’t suffer from the absolutely baffling sequences of jumping around in time and location. Fraction has a great voice for these characters and uses silence very well to build tension throughout the issue. These are some major events happening and Fraction is taking the time to let them happen appropriately. This issue never feels rushed – the pacing is perfect and without spoiling any of the actual events within the issue I do have to say it is a game-changer for the Marvel U. If you think the lines were blurred and confusing before, as BTO said “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet”.
If you have read my previous reviews of AvX and John Romita Jr.’s art this next section may confuse you: I actually liked the art in this book. I’ve never hated JRJR’s style, but I’ve also never been a huge fan and I’ve found his AvX work to be rather inconsistent. In this issue, he is consistent and uses some great layouts and huge panels to evoke the sheer magnitude of what is happening in this book. This act of Avengers Vs. X-Men is closing out with some pretty epic events and JRJR stepped up to the plate and delivered them. At many times I found myself staring at panels, soaking them up and processing the weight he was putting in these visuals. I was very impressed by his work in this issue, and, if this is any reflection of what Fraction and JRJR can do together, I would very much like to see these two paired on a book soon.
This issue restored my faith in the quality of this event. In a series that is this high profile there was bound to be blips, but I am happy to say all is once again well in AvX.