Review: AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #1

AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #1
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by John Romita Jr.
Release Date: April 4, 2012

Last week we got our first taste of Avengers Vs. X-Men with issue #0 and this week, amidst pre-launch parties and shops choosing sides, the main event begins. Avengers Vs. X-Men has a lot riding on it, to say the least, and for the most part I’ll come right out and say that it delivers. This is not the best comic to be released so far in 2012, but it is far from the worst and definitely provides a platform for what will most likely be the biggest event of the year.

Brian Michael Bendis has the honour (or burden) of starting off this hugely anticipated event and provides a solid script that drips tension. From the teaser images and the very name of the comic itself we know the gloves are coming off and Bendis does an excellent job of slowly increasing the tension of the situation page after page. The dialogue is straightforward and Bendis approaches the situation well by backing off and letting the art and actions of the characters speak for themselves rather than hand-holding readers through the entire issue. This is a well written first installment and I look forward to Bendis’ next turn in the writing rotation.

While the script was strong, I found the art to be the low point of this issue. John Romita Jr is an industry heavyweight and veteran but I found myself wondering throughout the entire issue why Frank Cho was tapped for issue #0 and not this book. The pencils in issue #1 appear to be rushed in many places, awkward in others and by no means the crisp and polished style a high profile superhero book like this should have. Romita definitely does some things right with this issue, pencilling a menacing Phoenix that is simmering with a lust for destruction. His art never actually detracts from the story, but I do find myself hoping for stronger pencils in issue #2.

In the end, the issue is a strong start for an immense series that promises to be absolutely explosive. The final pages are a fanboy’s and fangirl’s dreams come true and this book definitely has something to satisfy any long time superhero book readers.

Verdict: 8.0/10

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