REVIEW: A + X #1

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This title promotes a simple concept: one Avenger and one X-Men member team-up on an adventure. Some team-ups will draw on their similar backgrounds, like Captain America and Cable being time-lost soldiers. Other team-ups will share a history together, like Wolverine and the Hulk. However, can these two different sides get along after Avengers versus X-Men?

A + X #1
Writer: Dan Slott and Jeph Loeb
Artist: Ron Garney and Dale Keown
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles and Comiccraft’s Albert Deschesne
Colorist: Will Quintana and Frank D’Armata
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in A + X: Avengers versus X-Men is over. The Phoenix is destroyed, mutant leader Cyclops is incarcerated and the mutant race is reborn. Although there was a clear “winner” and “loser” in the crossover event, the time for rebuilding has begun. Marvel’s solution for the end of the animosity: Team-Ups. This should be interesting.

NAZI SENTINELS (AND CAKE)

A + X #1 tells two original short stories involving one Avengers character paired up with one X-Men character. In the first story, we have Cable time-traveling to the 1940s to stop the Nazis from building Sentinels that will hunt down mutants in the future. He is assisted by Captain America and Bucky, who are also on the same mission. Dan Slott’s writing is fast-paced, and humorous at times. These are tools to help the reader ignore the paradoxes and sub-plots within the narrative. For instance, if Captain America and Cable destroying the Nazi Sentinel was not supposed to happen, would modern Steve Rogers remember meeting Cable? Does the memory pop into his mind suddenly or did he just forget meeting a gun-toting man from the future while he was in a frozen sleep all these years. The second part of the issue involves Hulk and Wolverine, fighting their future selves in Avengers Tower. It is very random, as future Wolverine and Hulk come out of nowhere. One problem with this story is I cannot tell if that was Maestro and Logan from the Day of Futures Past timeline. Hulk and future Wolverine identify Hulk’s future self as Maestro, but the ending leaves their identities ambiguous. It is confusing. However, similar to the previous story, humor plays a key role in keeping the narrative interesting and lighthearted. Hulk and Wolverine arguing over the last piece of cake is priceless. It is disappointing that these stories do not deal with the aftermath of the last crossover arc. There is also little animosity between the characters that have just fought a war against each other. Due to the length of the stories, I wonder if the plots introduced will ever be explored in further issues or in other comics. Overall, both parts are fun but typical time-travel stories.

TRADITIONAL NORM

Both artists do a good job capturing the heroes and action of their respective story. Since their art styles are similar, the transition between the two is not abrupt. You can see the time and planning that was put into the frames and panels. Each page is well-designed and executed to its full potential. Still, I would have liked to see more creativity from some of the artists. With these side stories, there is more freedom for the comic art to branch away from the norm. Neither artist does this.

BOTTOM LINE: LOTS OF TIME TRAVELING

Some of Marvel’s famous storylines involve time-travel. It is a difficult plot device to use. You need to close all plot holes you created in the narrative in order for the comic to make sense. In A +X #1, humor allows you to ignore some of the ambiguity and inconsistencies. Since the stories are so short, you are left with a lot of questions and very few answers.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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