Thursday, 17 May 2012

Review: Avengers Vs X-Men Round 4

A VS X Round 4 By Hickman (Script) / Aaron / Bendis / Brubaker / Fraction / Romita 

It is quite strange to feel as though it is my own fault that I haven't particularly enjoyed a comic book. Really, I should not have much expected much more from Avengers Vs X-Men - and when you stack it up against past events there is little to choose from between them. Perhaps they are simply not for me. It is hard to shake the feeling however that this series is less than the sum of its parts. Composed by a group of Marvel's top writers, with pencils supplied by arguably the top artist in modern comics (arguably guys, arguably) this is a blockbuster series if there ever was one, and that is without mentioning the fact that it starts virtually every single major Marvel character, several of which in direct competition with each other. I

Once again the issue's core plot deals with Wolverine hunting down Hope, and eventually leading her to the Moon, where we are greeted with another confrontation between the Avengers and the X-Men, with an ominous looking Phoenix force bearing down on them from above. The issue opens well enough and Wolverine's role in the series has been by far its most interesting facet. His relationship with Hope promises much, but ultimately proves to be a disappointment. Pairing Logan with somewhat more vulnerable female characters has worked well enough in the past but her character is not given enough depth to make their interactions, or even her wider fate remotely compelling.

Much of the rest of the issue is extremely disjointed, and utilises the irritating tactic of reminding readers that several events significant to the series' wider plot are taking place in other titles. As a result, this issue has a half finished quality to it that is reminiscent of most recent Marvel events. The main plot is clear enough however, but unfortunately fails to do anything particularly exciting, despite a series of plot twists. Character work is scant, and even the cliffhanger fails to impress, given the Phoenix Force's presence throughout the rest of the series.

This series is all too quickly falling afoul of the same criticisms that made Fear Itself such a laborious read for me, although Romita Jr's artwork is far more uneven than Stuart Immonen's beautiful pencils on last years event. There is still time to save Avengers Vs X-Men, but a pedestrian, disjointed issue has done little to whet my appetite for its concluding six issues.


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