Here it is folks, Marvel’s main event and one of the most anticipated comic book releases of the year. Mutants are on the brink of extinction and their only salvation is a powerful mutant named Hope. While she is a boon for the X-Men, the Avengers see her as a threat to the planet due to the correlation between her and the cosmic entity known as the Phoenix. The A-team seeks to take Hope in, to minimise the threat she possesses, while Cyclops and the X-Men think otherwise and want to keep Hope and use the powers she possesses to help restore the mutant race. The two sides lock horns over her and what ensues could be catastrophic.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artwork: John Romita Jr.
Inks: Scott Hanna
Colours: Laura Martin
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover: Jim Cheung Justin Ponsor
The retail orders for AvX have been huge-by modern standards, in excess of 250 000 shipments, rivalling the opening numbers of the New 52s, Justice League #1 issue. Bendis writes a solid first issue creating plenty of intrigue and drama to further the series. The characters are written quite well although Hope’s immaturity and short sightedness, beggars belief at times, making her a tad annoying. Cyclops’ intensity and ruthlessness drips off the pages and his dogmatic belief in what Hope can do for mutants takes him down new and compelling paths for the reader. The Avengers don’t get into much action after rescuing Nova when he crash lands in New York. The stand-off between Cyclops and Captain America is a keeper, the tension is fine tuned and genuine but how either side will be able to control Hope if she is consumed by the Phoenix Force is anyone’s guess.
The artwork is good but not consistent enough. Some frames are thoroughly worked out while in others the characters look hastily drawn and configured. As an added bonus readers also get a code for a free digital copy. An icon labelled AR on certain pages allows readers to use their smart phones to view bonus material that supplements the story via the free Marvel app.