Wednesday, 10 October 2012

AVX: Consequences #1 review

Avengers Vs X-Men is over and the consequences are:
  • The Black Panther's people don't want help from the X-Men to rebuild Wakanda after it was razed by Namor.
  • Cyclops is in a regular prison, his powers kept on a leash via a new inhibitor collar the Government intends to roll out now the mutant population is once more on the rise.
  • Having fulfilled her supposed destiny and sent the Phoenix Force packing, Hope Summer tells Captain America and the Scarlet Witch that she just wants to live a normal life - likely as a cover to go looking for her foster father, Cable.
  • Iron Man and Captain Marvel are searching for Cyclops' ally Magneto.
  • Cap suspects a traitor in the ranks is helping former Phoenix Fivers Namor, Emma Frost, Magik and Colossus stay one step ahead of efforts to find them.
Basically, it's subplot after subplot, all of which could - and likely should - be addressed in one of the several dozen existing X-Men or Avengers books. Kieron Gillen's script is decent, but at base this reads like the result of a 'Get more product out there' memo; there are none of the character flourishes or wacky concepts with which Gillen can dazzle when he's on an under-the-radar book. Never mind Scott Summers, it's the writer who's in chains here. 

Tom Raney pencils and inks and the results are variable. The pages with Wolverine, Storm and the Jean Grey kids are exemplary, really good looking. A scene with Wolverine towards the end, coloured by Jim Charalampidis, is also excellent (click on image to enlarge). 
But then there's the less-successful sequence with Iron Man and Captain Marvel, which looks as if Raney is trying for the tone Dexter Wong evokes in the latter's own book. And the Hope scene, which reminds me of an especially wonky Mark Bagley. It's weird, I think of Raney as super-dependable, one of the unsung heroes of mainstream comics. Was he rushed, experimenting with styles or simply having an off-day? I don't know - but I still reckon him underrated.

As a Legion of Super-Heroes fan, I'm a bit of a sucker for 'traitor within the team' stories, but with five more issues of Consequences at $3.99 for 20pp of story, I think I'll pass. I don't doubt Gillen and Raney will make this entertaining, but at the prices Marvel charges, books need to feel essential.

4 comments:

  1. The last page was a bit much. Wolverine who has a body count in the hundreds, including when he set a pack of Sentinels on a mutant group with the words 'stomp them into paste', taunts Scott by calling him killer. Pass.

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  2. Hi Ric, it is rather rich, Wolverine taking the high ground. And anyway, didn't Scott organise an X-Force assassination team with Logan on it, or something?

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  3. I've said it before, but it bears saying it again: that Marvel continues to sell comparably sized comics at prices 33% higher than what DC and Image sell theirs for is equal parts insane and insulting. They are not going to stop this until people just stop buying their comics and instead by the $2.99 comics put out by DC, Image and other brands. I grew up reading Marvel almost exclusively but I'm not supporting their mad pricing scheme...

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    1. It is bonkers, Marvel blatantly try to rip us off, and eejits like me forget to check the price before buying.

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