December 9, 2012 by Ish
So, just a few hours ago, I finished the Avengers vs. X-Men trade, as it was pitched to me as a strong starting point for Marvel’s recent company-wide effort to refocus their books with the Marvel Now! push. I shelled out the full $75 MSRP for this thing, and hated every page of it. I want to like Marvel, I really do… But they seem bound and determined to make me want to give up comics, in general, and not just their books.
I considered writing a full fledged review of this book for the blog. But about twenty pages into it, I realized I would just end up quoting Roger Ebert’s infamous review of North, to paraphrase:
I hated this comic. Hated hated hated hated hated this comic. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting panel of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the readers by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it.
Look, it’s not like DC has been perfect. The New 52 reboot was, in my opinion, using a bazooka for a fly swatter… Some of the rebooted titles have been hits, many misses. But, lord, at least DC gets the idea that I want to read superhero comic books about superheroes. Marvel seems more interesting in fighting video game logic and manhood measuring contests between “heroes.” This might explain why the Forward to Avengers vs. X-Men was written by a professional wrestler.
The idea of long-time allies coming into conflict because each has an equally strongly held, but conflicting, goal is a powerful one. Tales of “brother turning against brother” abound in all forms of story-telling, but Avengers vs. X-Men only gave this about four panels worth of attention in 200+ pages. Hafta get back to the wrasslin match as soon as possible, forget all that borin’ talking, feeling stuff. I mean, sure, it’s a giant cross-over comic book, the main draw is going to be watching these two teams fight. It’s not going to be The Blue and the Gray, but I wasn’t expecting it to have less emotional impact than Contest of Champions… And to follow this up, apparently, the next big thing for Marvel is ripping off Battle Royale with its “heroes” murdering one another.