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Collecting: Uncanny X-Men #11-14

Bonus: Issues #12-13 Letters Pages
Issue #14 Layouts and Tapestry Design
Issues #11-13 Cover Sketches, pencils, inks
Sinister Designs

In this graphic novel a war breaks out. The war that Magneto has been trying to start for 50 years and the X-Men have been trying to avoid comes to pass when the Avengers arrive on Utopia to take Hope Summers into custody. In Namor's words: "This is a species of 200 declaring war on the United States of America".

The opening salvos of this war occur between two titans: Red Hulk and Colossus. The frightening aspects of the Juggernaut power come to the fore as these giants pound each other into bloody pulps on the sea floor. In the mayhem, Hope escapes which sets the stage for a series of Avengers vs X-Men battles at Tabula Rasa: Namor, Sunspot, Hepzibah vs She Hulk, Thing, and Luke Cage. The AvX ends in a cliff hanger as the X-Men and Avengers face off over the Phoenix Force on the moon.

Several sub-plots are also churning in the background. A maniacally evil "peace" robot named Unit is orchestrating events by manipulating Hope, Danger and the mutants from Generation Hope. And Sinister is preparing for the aftermath with an egotistically evil trap for the X-Men.

Marvel has unleashed their big talent for these episodes. Writer Kieron Gillen makes multiple plot threads work together brilliantly. I was hooked from the moment Captain American set foot on Utopia. The battle is insanely lopsided as the combined forces of SHIELD and the Avengers face down a fractured X-Men. These are the kind of desperate odds that make the X-series come alive!

Artist Greg Land creates the high-energy AvX issues #11-12. I understand there is a vocal group who dislikes his work, but his art is absolutely superb. The close-ups are fantastically detailed to the point of being close to photo-realistic comic art. Hepzibah's flirtatious face is spot-on. Land has a particular talent for drawing the women of Marvel. Even without a single caption, Land's art conveys the emotions the characters are feeling.

Artist Billy Tan takes over at issue #13. Like Land, Tan's artwork is gorgeous. Readers who appreciate attention detail will linger on the panels of Magneto and Storm as they discuss the outcome of the battles. Magneto's face show's how despondent he is to learn that battle between the X-Men and Avengers on the moon may occur without him. Storm and Magneto's eyes speak volumes.

Finally artist Dustin Weaver concludes this novel with Sinister episode (issue #14). Weaver creates unbelievably detailed panoramas of Sinister's insane world. With unmatched talent Weaver manages to make each Sinister clone distinct. The full-page panel of Sinister and his 'courtesans' alone is brilliant.

AvX is perhaps not a place for new readers to start. There is a lot of Marvel baggage to deal with if you hope to understand what is going on. I do not follow the Avengers, and so I was only vaguely aware of of a few characters (no idea why Hulk is red, and very little idea about who Luke Cage is). But I do regularly read Uncanny X-Men and I have read the Generation Hope series. With Uncanny X-Men and Generation Hope as background, readers will be able to enjoy this novel thoroughly.
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on October 15, 2012
I was a little perturbed at how many series got sucked into AVX this year, as events tend to draw the quality of titles down. However, this was not the case for Uncanny X-Men. Gillen chugs along at his usual excellent pace and the issues fit in just perfectly to his previous ~8-9 issues of the series.

Gillen is destroying with this X-Men run. Seriously: if you are not reading this, go pick up the entire new Uncanny X-Men starting at #1 and enjoy.

Just know that, going in, these aren't issues that you can zip through. Invest yourself and immerse your brain in his writing...there's so much going on here that it's best enjoyed by fully grasping the story and plot. Also, Greg Land. Wow....I don't care what ppl say about him, the guy's a genius. Breath-taking art... This series has been blessed with fantastic art - not a single bad artist thus far.
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on March 15, 2016
Really good
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on February 16, 2014
in this one you get to know the red hulk so overall it was a really story with good art work.
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on April 5, 2015
Great book , enjoyed it
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VINE VOICEon September 23, 2012
AVENGERS VS. X-MEN is the latest cash-grab "event" comic in the pantheon of bad Marvel event comics, and it's also probably one of the worst yet. Sadly, tie-in issues are a big selling point of the "main event" and since UNCANNY X-MEN is an X-Men comic, it has to tie in to what's going on, and that is mostly where this particular collection is barely readable.

Firstly, we have to deal with the titanic underwater smackdown with Red Hulk vs the Juggernautized Colossus, which is terribly unfortunate that we have to have that silliness in a supporting title, especially since there's already a tie-in comic called AVX, which is supposed to have all of the big solo Avenger vs. solo X-person fights in them. Why waste an issue of this comic with that?

Then we have more adventures in Tabula Rasa and the AI known as Unit. Unit is an interesting character who is a very unknown entity on the board here, but that ends up leading into a place that I think is bad for any book (and this happens a lot in tie-ins) is the requirement to be up on characters that are in a completely separate book, and I didn't know which book these particular characters were from, so it does hurt the flow of the issue. Billy Tan's artwork here is marginally better than Land's.

But after all that is set on its path, we get some exceptional insight into the first villain this book had: Mister Sinister and his Sinister World that is apparently miles below London. The level of detail that artist Dustin Weaver puts into the world Sinister has created is pretty breathtaking, and it allows Kieron Gillen to continue in the manner of the precedent set by Jason Aaron and Brian Michael Bendis who had their respective tie-in titles (Aaron with WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN and Bendis in particular with NEW AVENGERS) to do more character-based work that takes place outside the VERY restrictive confines of the AvX world. Of course, characters from that world show up, but they are in for a rather fascinating and wickedly evil surprise.

Sadly, this is the only place this collection shines. Apart from that, unless you're a big fan of him, you might want to avoid the issues with Greg Land as artist in general because his facial expression close-ups (particularly with female characters) are so similar, and his art just feels so overly slick that it actually becomes distracting from the storytelling. Really, just look at the Dustin Weaver issues and then look at Land's work. It's night and day, and Weaver's work is the real shining point of this collection.

I have to respect Gillen and the direction that he chose to take mid-tempo during the sound and fury of AvX (which truly is going to signify nothing other than the sounds of cash registers), and some of the character work is really nice when it doesn't necessitate that you're reading more than one other X-title, but I think there was a little too much editorial oversight that led him down to tying somewhat directly into what would ultimately be another in Marvel's long line of failed event comics.
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on May 9, 2013
Like the whole thing with colossus and the red hulk fight surprised that red hulk won the first battle and thing and Namor battled forgot Namor had super strength.
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