It has been quite some time since we’ve discussed ‘A+X’. Originally launched as the ‘AVX: Versus’ limited series during the ‘Avengers vs. X-Men’ storyline, the book has since evolved into a collection of short stories featuring members of each team joining forces. Overall, the book is a fun little slice of comics to check out for the casual reader as it isn’t really grounded in continuity, but I decided to cut it from my pull list after a few issues because I didn’t feel the need to keep up with it as much as I did with other books. However, I was particularly inclined to pick up this week’s installment because of Max Bemis, the front man of the band Say Anything who has ventured into the comic book industry with his first series from BOOM! Studios called ‘Polarity’. With only one credit to his name, he’s already writing for Marvel Comics, so I just had to pick up the issue to see if it was any good.
In Bemis’ story featuring the artwork of David Lafuente and Edgar Delgado, the musician brings together two former villains, the Superior Spider-Man aka Doctor Octopus in Peter Parker’s body and the former mutant terrorist turned X-Man Magneto. The two cross paths on a rescue mission to save a young boy who has been captured by MODOK and his A.I.M. cronies because his recently discovered mutant abilities make him extremely powerful.
After reading the solicit for this book, I was intrigued. But then after I read the story itself, I was impressed. Having not read his other work (though I have plans to), Bemis showed that he had some interesting things to say with these characters. The whole thing was a very compelling look at supervillains and the tropes that they’ve developed over the years. Both of these heroes share their unique perspectives on the matter in a very entertaining way. Then, by the end of the story, we get a twist that isn’t necessarily expected in a way related to their conversation.
My favorite part of the banter was when they discussed the devastating tragedies that villains usually undergo that make them turn to a life of crime. When Magneto shares that he was in the Holocaust, Spidey’s reaction is just great.
Another thing that I loved was the 8-bit style art in the scene where the two are discussing their plan of attack. I liked how it was laid out like a video game, even with descriptions of the henchmen and bosses that they’d encounter on each level. It was a very clever way to show us where the story was going.
While I enjoyed the story all together, it wasn’t without it’s faults. This may be just me being nitpicky, but the dialogue from the ancillary characters was a bit redundant. Sure, it’s not really as important as the conversation the Master of Magnetism and the former Doc Ock is having, but it was just something that stood out to me as odd. But it was almost a complete non-issue because of how great all the other dialogue was, especially when they use the villain that their currently in the process of thwarting as an example to prove their various point.
Basically, I found this short tale to be very entertaining and definitely a great first story for the House of Ideas by an extremely talented individual. Although I’m a fan of his music, I find that I’m more excited to see what Bemis’ next move will be in terms of comics. Hopefully he has something in the works for the world to check out soon.
As for the other story, we found ‘AVX’ opponents teaming up as Captain America and Cyclops joined forces in a story by Gerry Duggan. ‘A+X’ has always been advertised as the book without continuity that contained one off stories, yet this half of the book carried over from the last issue. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about the story at all. Though I didn’t read the first part of it, I was still able to keep up enough to get through it, but just the fact that it’s in here kind of defeats the purpose of the book. Marvel knows it too and they make note of it on the recap page. Again, this isn’t a huge problem, but it just seems to be a bit weird and is definitely defeating the purpose of this series.
As a whole, this issue is worth picking up for the Max Bemis story alone. It’s a nice little read that really makes you think. Plus, we don’t get enough MODOK in our lives at the moment, so it’s almost mandatory that all True Believers pick this one up.
Written by Max Bemis & Gerry Duggan
Art by David Lafuente, Edgar Delgado, David Yardin, and Andres Mossa
Cover by David Lafuente