AvX has been living up to its promise from the start, but with need to move the plot forward can it still keep the fight? Find out in the Major Spoilers review after the jump.
AVENGERS VS X-MEN ROUND 5
Story: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, and Jonathan Hickman
Script: Matt Fraction
Artist: John Romita Jr.
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Artist: Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Previously in AVX:Cyclops and Captain America don’t agree on how to handle Hope and the coming of the Phoenix. In the ensuing fight, Hope escapes to do her own thing and after Wolverine is dumped in the ocean by Cap for believing that killing Hope is the only option. Hope rescues him in Antarctica and offers a plan of going to the moon to try and control the Phoenix away from people. When they arrive on the Blue Area the Avengers are waiting as Wolverine clued them in. Before they can take Hope into custody, Cyclops team shows up. Before the fight can start the Phoenix shows up.
THAT FIGHT, IT STARTS
Finally, the fight I’ve been waiting for, Captain America versus Cyclops. Too bad they only get about a couple panels, and we don’t even get it in the Vs. tie-in this month either. For the most part the book focuses on the very imminent arrival of the Phoenix and Hopes struggle to try and accept it as the new host. The other focus is on Tony Stark and Hank Pym as they build a new giant disruptor for Tony to try and kill the Phoenix. We do get some truly great moments as Tony and Hank doubt what they are doing and the same phrase used by both Cap and Tony when the weapon is launched. Cyclops is shown to have at least as much situational awareness, if not more, as anyone else preventing the death/capture of Hope three separate times and fighting both Cap and Wolverine at the same time. Even Hope’s narration comes off as suitably desperate towards the end and the twist ending is very interesting and I am curious to see where the story will go from here.
My only complaints with the story were that it was both too short and too long. There are two or three plot points here: Hope giving up, Tony not killing the Phoenix, and the Phoenix’s arrival into the twist. This would have been fine, but everything happens too fast. Almost half the book is splash pages or vastly large panels, some going across both pages. Most of the fights are focused on in one or two panels and nothing more. For a book called Avengers Vs. X-men there isn’t a whole lot of fighting between the two groups shown. We could have broken things down a bit more for more fight scenes, or maybe show fights behind fights instead of two characters per panel. Or we could have extended this into a second issue and gotten more action amongst the two teams. Either way, I want more of the fighty-fighty, especially when we have someone like Romita Jr. on board.
Romita Jr. has a huge fan base for a reason; he’s good at what he does. The characters all look great. Those big splash pages are absolutely gorgeous. I don’t have anything here that I could call less that great, and most of it is better than that. Again, the only thing I wanted from the book was more.
BOTTOM LINE: Want More
Avengers Vs. X-Men Round 5 gave me much of what I wanted from the title, an extension of the story and a real reason to keep fighting. It has me looking forward to round 6 and much of the tie-in work. Again, my only complaint was, despite being quite well paced, I wanted more. We are given some great character moments spread across a number of individuals, but the focus seemed to linger on the wrong spots for too long. Despite this, Avengers Vs. X-Men Round 5 earns a healthy 4 out of 5 stars.