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Customer Review

on November 8, 2012
To be honest this is one of the cases where I wish Amazon had a more robust rating system. I really feel this book is a solid C grade, 7 out of 10, 3.5 out of 5 stars, however you want to put it. Since I can't pick that option I have to go with the lower end of the spectrum.

Avengers vs X-Men doesn't have the most logical premise in the world, it is after all just an excuse to see the Avengers fight the X-Men. The Phoenix is returning to Earth and no one really knows what to do about it so the Avengers decide they should attack the X-Men and kidnap a girl who is the most likely host. With the Avengers decision making being as ludicrous as it is the X-Men aren't very happy about it and conflict ensues. The fighting eventually devolves into marvel characters chasing Hope across the globe, pretty standard for an X-Men event (see Messiah Complex and Second Coming). These issues are loud and fast, you get a lot of action but not much in the way of character development. If that's your thing don't get too excited because just 5 issues in Avengers vs X-Men changes things up...well somewhat.

Once the Phoenix finds its host you see an even bigger (but no less logical) divide come between the Avengers and the X-Men. The X-Men proceed to go about fixing the world's problems (whether the world likes it or not) and the Avengers continue with their strategy of attacking the X-Men based on nothing more than suspicion. From this point the X-Men are portrayed as the villains of the series though it could easily be argued every villainous action they take is a direct reaction to aggression brought on by the Avengers. These issues move a little slower (not much) and there are a few attempts at character development. We get a few surprises along the way but don't kid yourself, this is a non-stop action story plain and simple. As such the main area where the event shines is artistically, marvel brought along some of its biggest names and Coipel and Kubert really do a great job with the fight scenes. Aaron, Bendis, and Hickman all do well enough with their scripts; Spider-man's funny, Wolverine's grumpy, Cyclops isn't particularly likable, the writers know their characters unfortunately there isn't much story to be had over so many issues.

The AVX issues span the length of the event and are of widely varying quality. They first issue is probably the weakest since it appears to have been done entirely for shock value (its battles are even mocked by the far more enjoyable issue 6). But overall the quality (and pacing) is fairly consistent with the rest of the event.

In typical marvel fashion the collection department makes no effort to integrate the various "series" together. The Avengers vs X-Men issues are separated from the AVX issues and the infinite bonuses so if you want to read the stories in order, you're going to have to do the leg work on your own (marvel could have at least included a reading guide). There are also a few added bonuses at the end at least one of which is some sort of fight guide I found to be just as confusing as it looked after fully reading through it.

I've already seen complaints the 'included' digital codes are not included, that being said mine was printed plainly on the dust jacket. Of course the code expired on 11/7 and I received my book 11/8 so technically it's not valid but the codes usually remain activated for months beyond their expiration date. As a final side note there is an add for the Marvel Augmented reality app on the last page which while I understand the purpose I found to be disturbingly tacky. Minor Ads are sometimes included at the end of trades but this is the first time I've seen it on a deluxe hardcover and it just doesn't feel the same.

Bottom line, you don't get the depth of storytelling you'll find in Civil War but if you just want to see Super Heroes beating one another up this is your book.
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