Or – “If They’re All Geniuses, Aren’t They All, Thus, Equally Stupid?”

There has been an interesting tendency in the Marvel Universe for power creep to turn many, in fact darn near all, of the founding members of the Universe into super-geniuses.  Bruce Banner, Peter Parker, Charles Xavier, Anthony Stark, Henry Pym, Reed Richards, Henry McCoy…  All are now superhuman minds, each with an inexplicable, untrained wild mental talent, be it in robotics, genetics or manipulation.

So why is it that their first solution to anything is to punch the $#!+ out of it?

AVX VS. #1
Writer: Jason Aaron/Kathryn Immonen
Penciler: Adam Kubert/Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger
Colorist: Morry Hollowell/Jim Charalampios
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously, in AVX Versus:  It has been more than ten minutes in the Marvel Universe, which means that Captain America’s stand in Civil War has completely reversed itself, and he now takes pretty much the exact same position that Iron Man did in this crossover, with Cyclops in his own old role as leader of the rebelling group.  In the interests of truth and justice, he has assembled a strikeforce of super-heroic footsoldiers and invaded Cyclops island fortress.  This is the story of the fights that happen in between the panels of that book.


My inner sense of fairness and justice reminds me that Lee & Kirby used to take page after page, even the occssional entire ISSUE, just to lovingly render mayhem and combat in the Mighty Marvel Manner, so it’s not as if there’s no precedent for what this series is doing.  And honestly, when crossovers are so prevalent, having a book devoted to more-in-depth telling of things that might only get a panel or two in the main book are a welcome concept to me.  And this issue does earn some fun points for the fun fact captions sprinkled throughout the fight (“Magneto has magnetic counting powers!”) But the battle between Iron Man and Magneto is not only too brief, it is ham-handed in it’s foreshadowing of the big things to come and commits the cardinal sin of making both characters WAY too powerful, and their abilities commensurately ridiculous.  Any story that tries with a straight face to tell me that Magneto can tell that Iron Man is channeling the power of the planet Jupiter’s gravity by the way the energy “tastes” just isn’t playing with a full deck…


The second half of the issue reunites the art team from nextwave, which makes me happy, and features funky dialogue from the Thing as he fights one of his oldest foes in Namor, the Sub-Mariner.  There are more captions, though not as funny (the one merrily claiming that The Thing’s impact on the Avengers helicarrier will cost over 3 million dollars is particularly tone-deaf to me), and the battle itself is ridiculously short and inconclusive.  It feels like (and honestly, probably is) the first fight in a wrestling feud, where the writers aren’t going to give either Sheamus or Randy Orton a clear win until they get us to the next pay-per-view.  But, I don’t suppose that there’s much complaining to do, as the introduction page of the issue promises (albeit in a tongue-in-cheek manner) that there’s nothing but fights in the issue, much as the solicitations did, and on that score they completely deliver…


On most other levels, though, I have to say that the issue is a disappointment.  Art-wise, nothing stands out as bad or wrong, and the Immonen portion of the book is well-crafted in it’s farcical sub-aquatic glories, but I all transitory questions of that value pale to the realization that that the book is 20 pages of battle for $3.99, without even a “Previously” page to put it all in perspective.  Sound and fury are both present, and the usual Shakespearian significance sadly applies.  AVX: Versus #1 is, at best, a DVD extra, put forward and sold as a full episode in itself, earning both utter dismay and 1 out of 5 stars overall.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. April 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm — Reply

    It was ridiculous to me that the Thing beat Namor – the Sub-Mariner, mind you – in a battle under water.

    I have a sneaky feeling that the most popular character will win all of these, but maybe that’s just me being cynical.

    • Mike
      April 27, 2012 at 2:09 am — Reply

      Well then, here’s to cynicism, cuz that’s pretty much exactly how I feel about it.

  2. April 27, 2012 at 3:36 am — Reply

    Well, they DID say it’s “the fight book”. It’s where they’ll flesh out all the fights in the main AvX book. It wasn’t meant to HAVE a story, I would think. If you wanted story you go for the main AvX. I’m leaving this to the comic book fight fans who just want to see superpeople punched in the face, no context whatsoever.

    Hey, Clave up top is already talking about it exactly how they wanted Versus to be talked about. :)

    • April 27, 2012 at 10:32 am — Reply

      Well, they DID say it’s “the fight book”. It’s where they’ll flesh out all the fights in the main AvX book.

      And, unfortunately, this issue didn’t even effectively accomplish that, as even ten pages made both of these fights seem rushed and cramped…

  3. krypt0
    April 27, 2012 at 5:49 am — Reply

    This event is Clone Saga bad. Amazons Attack bad.

    • April 29, 2012 at 3:49 am — Reply

      Okay, that’s just plain inaccurate. The Clone Saga took several issues before the stories started falling apart. This thing is starting to break down from the get go. Heck, it started to smell back during X-Sanction, before the event proper started.

  4. April 27, 2012 at 6:12 am — Reply

    I knew Tony would beat Magneto but the way it was resolved was poorly handled. And its only ABSURD that Namor would lose underwater! Hey…WTF happened to Quicksilver and PowerMan!?? I know its all about fighting but don’t just screw up continuity for the sake of action

  5. ~wyntermute~
    April 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm — Reply

    It feels like (and honestly, probably is) the first fight in a wrestling feud, where the writers aren’t going to give either Sheamus or Randy Orton a clear win until they get us to the next pay-per-view

    The problem here is …. We don’t have Free TV to progress the storylines until the PPV. We’re being expected to pay for the filler issues, and pay just as much for them as for the “PPV” issues.

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