After Avengers vs X-Men #6 brought the event back from certain doom, #7 sadly goes back into some of the faults that burdened the first five issues. But this issue does show that the event can be saved, and is still a fun read.
Matt Fraction spends most of this issue focusing on strategy. While yes, the reader could see that this angle was going to be touched upon eventually, it’s still written well. Fraction slowly shows how much the Phoenix is fraying the Five. It’s not blatant, and something that has been slowly revealing itself over the past couple of issues. This is in stark contrast to the wild character points that have reared their ugly head again. Cap’s outbursts aren’t as bad as they were, but they still seems out of character. Tony’s sudden need to die is slightly out of character as well. Again, these aren’t as bad as Ed Brubaker’s one issue. These are more acceptable character outbursts, as they slightly change to fit the plot. Fights take up a chunk of this issue, but they feel necessary. Instead of stupid battles for the sake of the stupid battles, they move the plot along also. That was a big concern for me, and I’m glad to see that my fears have been quelled. More and more these issues seem to be playing off like a big chess game. While not surprising, the writers are using the angle well.
Fraction continues to make the event feel more cohesive. Ku’un Lun continues to play a big part, making this event feel like it’s taking up all of the Marvel universe and not just the Avengers and their friends. The rest of the writers of this event need to reread Hickman’s issue and see what he did right. But Fraction’s issue shows that the event can be, and is being saved. The event’s premise is still working well, and the double shipping format has continued to prove that it was a great call. There is still a lot to like about Avengers vs X-Men, and with the event slightly over half over, the event could turn out to be one of Marvel’s better events in recent memory.
If the plot still isn’t going the way you hoped, the cover price is worth it for the art. Olivier Coipel’s artwork is pitch perfect, with the couple of problems in #6 being worked out. Except Hope still looks like a thirteen year old, when she has been identified as eighteen quite a few times before. The action is epic, the quiet scenes are full of character, and not one panel seems rushed in anyway. The Phoenix Force Five look like gods, and have the aura of one as well. I love Andrew Kubert’s art, but I wouldn’t be sad if Coipel penciled the rest of this series. Mark Morales’ colors help Coipel’s art pop off the page. When one of the Five are covered in fire in particular.
The biggest point in the “good” column is that the book has become more self contained. While reading tie-ins would help, it’s not necessary with this issue (and #6). While I have been reading a fair number of tie-ins, it’s good to see an event become more self contained.
Avengers vs X-Men #7 gets 3.5/5.
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