Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pull List Review: Avengers vs. X-Men #5

What Avengers vs. X-Men needed more than anything was a shake-up, a shift in course. It gets it here, and even though I don't exactly love this issue's resolution, I was glad to see something unexpected. Matt Fraction does a good job examining Hope's take on this Phoenix situation, making her sound both as intelligent and as young as she's meant to be. And though no one can save Scott Summers from sounding fanatical, Fraction at least gives him some emotional depth beyond being extremely angry or stoic.

John Romita, Jr., for his part, delivers stronger material than the previous four issues. There are still some awkward figures and faces scattered throughout, but the baseline quality improves. And the biggest moments, like everything with Stark's giant disruptor robot and the X-Men being empowered by the Phoenix at the end, all looked great for a change.

This event still hasn't hooked me, but with slightly more than half to go, and this chapter feeling like a possible turn in narrative inventiveness and quality, I'm actually feeling what might be described as optimistic. Cautiously so, of course, because even Avengers vs. X-Men #5 wasn't a knock-out, but it was a solid superhero tale with a likable and relatable lead and a truly surprising twist at the end. So maybe all is not lost. Or maybe they got lucky once.

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