Thursday, March 29, 2012

Avengers vs. X-Men #0

This year's most hotly-anticipated mini-series (so far) kicks things off with one of Marvel's longest-running heroines - and one of the newest.

The book is split in half between the bittersweet return of the Scarlet Witch and the attempt by Cyclops to protect the woman known as Hope.

It seems like an impossible job, because the Phoenix force is returning to Earth and it's apparently targeting Hope.

(And let me just say, if you're going to do a comic book that features several beautiful heroines, you'd be well advised to give the art chores to Frank Cho, who knocks it out of the park here. I like that he has Wanda back in her (more or less) original Scarlet Witch costume - but she and Emma Frost must go through a lot of glue to keep those costumes in place.)

The whole Phoenix plot is, of course, just an excuse for the upcoming battle that pits Avengers vs. X-Men.

It's a time-honored tradition at Marvel, of course, for heroes to fight each other. It usually happens when there's some kind of misunderstanding, an evil plot that forces a hero to do bad things, or it's a bad person playing the mind-control game.

Whatever the cause, the effect is almost always a lot of fun, and that's why fans are anxious to catch this one.

This is a good start to the series, although I didn't read the Children's Crusade, so I have no idea how Wanda is back (and they don't really bother to explain it). If you haven't been following the X-Men, you're probably just as baffled by Hope, who looks like Jean Grey / Marvel Girl, but isn't. You get just enough info to get by, but not much more than that.

Still, the characters are on stage, the conflict is set - I have high hopes for this one. Bring on the show!

Grade: A-


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