AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #4
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by John Romita Jr.
Release Date: May 16, 2012
With issue #3 being the strongest of the series so far, I had pretty high expectations for issue #4. Sadly, I have to say this issue was the weakest of the series so far and I hope it does not set the tone for the rest of the series.
So, gloomy opening from me, but I was not floored by this book at all. The stakes are high in this series, and unlike the other issues so far, I feel like nothing of consequence happened in this book at all. The issue is filled with glimpses of what I am sure occurs in other tie-in books and reads like there is no meat to this primary story at all anymore. Rather than being the driving force of the event, issue #4 reads like a highlight reel of major moments in tie-in books rather than a comic with its own identity in any way, shape or form. The interesting aspects of allegiances being shifted becomes somewhat of a joke in this book, with character’s actions occurring as though issue #3 didn’t happen at all. Sadly, this undermines everything great that issue #3 built as a foundation, and for that this book actually made me more than a little angry. The dialogue in this issue feels canned and inconsistent with traits of the characters involved, leaving the whole book feeling like a hollow filler issue rather than a piece of a greater puzzle.
On art, John Romita Jr.’s work is not as strong as it was in issue #3, but about the same as it was in issue #1 and #2. If you read my reviews of those books, you’ll know I wasn’t floored by his art then, and I’m not now. The pencils and facial structures of these characters are once again inconsistent and the book as a whole feels rushed. This is not his worst art, but also not his strongest and with a script this weak it highlights issues in the artwork with a giant spotlight.
This is by far and wide my least favourite issue in the series so far, especially considering it undermines what has been strong about the other issues in what had been a stellar series so far. Here’s hoping the confusion and format that muddied this book gets worked out for act two of AvX.