Some huge things go down in AXIS #7…but this event has fallen so far off the rails I don’t think there is any hope for recovery.
This issue, like many of it’s predecessors, feels like a train wreck. There is so much going on in this comic that any strong aspects of the AXIS storyline, and much of what Rick Remender has been building toward for years, are lost in all the noise. There are so many different sub plots being maintained in AXIS that significant moments feel hurried and like they are being rushed along so that the next storyline can progress, with too much frantic movement for anything to ever sink in. There are two huge moments in this comic that will have lasting impact in the Marvel Universe, and I’m sad to report that I found both felt hollow. One seemingly comes out of the blue and screams “change made for film synergy”, and the other fell flat, possibly impacted by the hurried nature of the first revelation. Due to the inverted state of the characters and topsy-turvy-ness of the this entire storyline both events also feel like they could very well be undone next week, reducing their impact dramatically. This entire issue suffers from the confusion that has enveloped the event, and many of the inverted characters still feel like stock characters rather than inversions of their former personalities. The characters appear brainwashed rather than truly inverted, and every single page feels like it is biding time for a giant reset button to be hit and wiped out, like what happened to most of the events of Age of Ultron. Whether the events in this comic are corporate mandated, the product of an event being blown up to a proportion it cannot sustain, or just straight up missteps, the net result is stories that fail to hit their mark.
The artwork by Adam Kubert certainly conveys the chaotic nature of all the situations, but does little to wow. Kubert is an artist who is certainly capable of dropping pages with the “wow factor” but I didn’t find any in this issue. His art is never poor, but it is never astounding either. He handles the massive cast well, and pencils a mean and powerful Apocalypse, but there is so much going on at many times that the artwork looks as visually panicked as the story is. That frantic energy does not enhance the story, and takes away from the weight of the big impact moments. There are some interesting layouts throughout and the storyline in Latveria is the strongest, but the art does not bail out this issue, by any means.
Avengers & X-Men: AXIS is an event that has been fraught with issues and this newest installment is no different. Based on this issue, it feels like the story needs to slow down and ground itself before continuing so that the dramatic reveals actually have some weight and don’t feel like they are randomly occurring.
The Verdict: 5.0/10