In the wonderfully done first issue of the ‘Avengers Vs. X-Men’ crossover written by Brian Michael Bendis, the events that we’ll be seeing over the course of twelve issues were nicely set up. We found out what each team planned to do in regards to the incoming Phoenix Force and we saw the first shots fired in this battle that’s been a long time coming. In this second issue, which was written by Jason Aaron, the battle really gets started.
One thing that differed in the story telling style in this issue was the little yellow boxes. These little yellow boxes pop up in the panels with a narrative during the fight scenes and they act as sort of the omniscient voice who knows the poetic motivation for each blow. I’m not entirely sure that I like it, but I also can’t think of any other method to get those facts out there. For example, in one scene, the focus is Wolverine, who is a member of both teams. The narration points out that the battles are more personal for some since Logan is “the fiercest X-man who ever lived” and he is now fighting “an island of people he once called family”. Well, yeah. I think the reader gets that. When I was learning how to write scripts in college for plays, movies, and comic books, the key was to show the audience the story, not tell them. The more you show them, the better. It was almost redundant to show Wolverine fighting the X-Men and then tell us at the same time why it’s a lose-lose situation for him. The characters’ dialogue and the action depicted on the page was enough for the audience to come to the conclusions contained in the little yellow boxes.
Another thing about this issue is that Cyclops is a psycho. In the first issue, both he and Captain America made good arguments and neither side seemed to be right or wrong. Here, Scott Summers comes off as pigheaded and shows a refusal to talk things out. Even Magneto, the former mutant terrorist, tells Scott to step back for a second to think things over, but the leader of the X-Men refuses to let up. This could be my bias showing since I’m Team Cap all day, but Cyclops really seems like he’s unwilling to hear Cap and The Avengers’ side of things.
Regardless of which side you’re on, the issue is full of panels exploding with awesome hero vs. hero action. As much as you don’t want to see it happen, you can’t turn away. This issue set up a lot of motivations, battles, and strategies that are definitely intriguing. Despite my objection to the little yellow boxes of Jason Aaron, I can’t wait for the next issue in two weeks to see what unfolds.
AVENGERS VS X-MEN #2
Written by JASON AARON
Art by JOHN ROMITA JR., SCOTT HANNA, & LAURA MARTIN
Cover by JIM CHEUNG & LAURA MARTIN