Thursday, April 19, 2012

Avengers vs. X-Men #2

Excuse the slight detour here, but this Avengers vs. X-Men series reminds me - in a good way - of pro wrestling.

I've run hot and cold in my interest in the "sports entertainment" known as professional wrestling (it's a bit cold right now), but the event I always enjoyed most, generally, was the Royal Rumble.

The idea is simple enough. Two wrestlers face off in the ring, and every two minutes, another wrestler joins the match. A total of 30 wrestlers take part. Contestants can only be eliminated by being thrown over the top rope and to the floor below.

The format offers many variations - there can be one dominant wrestler who keeps the ring clear, or there can be more than a dozen in the ring at once. It allows for lots of action, team-ups, double crosses, near misses, surprising twists, that sort of thing.

And that's really what Marvel has oh-so-cleverly set up here. We have two super-teams hammering each other. There are obvious match-ups (Iron Man vs. Magneto) and some not-so-obvious ones (Namor vs. Luke Cage).

Both teams have the best of intentions, of course. The X-Men think they're trying to save the mutant known as Hope from being taken over by the world-destroying Phoenix Force. The Avengers want the same thing, but (natch) they each have their own idea about the best way to accomplish it, so LET'S FIGHT!

'Tis all in good fun. We get lots of action, some of the best art in recent memory by John Romita, Jr. (with Scott Hanna inking), a few surprising twists and a good hook at the end.

There's not a lot of thinking required, but I have to admit that it's a lot of fun to sit back and see who's next to get tossed over the top rope.

Grade: A-


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