Avengers vs X-Men #6 Review

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After a few lackluster issues, it looked like Avengers vs X-Men had gone sour fast.  But out of the sky comes…..a great issue?

Jonathan Hickman finally discusses the aspect that everyone has been begging for: the philosophical debates.  Many of the characters in this issue discuss both sides of this fight, and whether anyone is actually right.  Fighting is great to read, but this series did need some conversation about what is going on.  Hickman does so, and in a very interesting way.  It also helps that the wild characterization that kept popping up in the first five issues is gone.  Everyone behaves in character, and is thinking more.  To many of the plot points in Avengers vs X-Men #1-#5 were based around people suddenly beating the crap out of each other for no reason.  The fringe aspects of this event, like K’un Lun, are brought in to make the event more cohesive. And while all this is going on, the issue isn’t bogged down or feels to busy.  And while the ending has been wildly teased, it gives the issue an epic ending that makes the reader really excited……for the first time in a while.

Wolverine was a good choice as the person on both sides of the fight, but it looks as if other characters are filling that role better.  Black Panther and Beast get some great lines in the philosophical debate, and it goes a long way to making this event more entertaining.  Of course the smartest people on Earth are going to have something to say about it.  And every hero in town is questioning if they should do something or not.  It’s still a superhero comic, so we have some fighting, but barely factors into the issue.  I will never get tired of seeing heroes hit each other, but there was a great opportunity for some debates in the first five issues and those were gone.  This new direction that the series seems to be taking is one for the best.  It’s sad to say that this is Hickman’s last issue on this event, as he clearly knows how it should be written.  His two issues have been the best of the group so far.

Side note, Hickman has been writing one hell of a great Black Panther recently.  Marvel, consider Hickman for a Black Panther book when the movie comes out.

While I love John Romita Jr., his artwork seemed rushed near the end.  But with Oliver Coipel, the issue has some new energy.  Every scene is hyper detailed, and characters beyond expressive.  These are things that we have come to expect with Coipel and his work at Marvel.  But Avengers vs X-Men needed his artwork right now.  The fight scene feels bombastic, and every time one of the Phoenix Force Five appear, they have an otherworldly look.  As if they really are gods.  It shows in the eyes of the characters as well.  The only fault is Hope herself.  While she has been said to be around 17 or 18, she looks like a child here.  Every artist pencils her differently, but she looked like a 13 year old here.

Oh, and Emma Frosts’ costume is awesome.

Event books are always constant.  If the quality starts to dip, usually it’s hard for an event to turn around from bad issues.  But Avengers vs X-Men is the first one I have seen do it.  It helps that the series is double shipped, but the quality alone has changed.  I’m actually excited for Avengers vs X-Men #7, and the event in general.  And that’s the first time since the first issue.

Avengers vs X-Men #6 gets 4/5.

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