Unlike many of the major crossover events as of late there is a LOT going on in ‘Avengers & X-Men: Axis’ #1 and unless you’ve been following all of the events leading up to this crossover it may be a little confusing to jump into. Thankfully, I’ve been following most of the Marvel comics and anyone in my shoes is going to be thrilled at how much is touched upon and how many ongoing events are referenced. For those of you that are casual readers, I could see this event being a bit much to try to follow straight off the bat.
Now, while that can give you a mixed review, if you have been following the arcs in the ‘Uncanny Avengers’ and ‘Magneto‘ books, this is a fluid continuation of the comic. Not only that, but it makes references to a ton of events that have been going on in the X-Titles and in a very strange way shows us that Tony Stark may have been quite manipulated as of late. Only, it was hard to tell exactly when that began.
Rick Remender is clearly on top of what is going on in the various comics in the Avengers and X-titles and is able to take this knowledge and put it to great use in the first issue of ‘AXIS.’ You jump right into the action in a different part of the world from the main events but it gives a great way to introduce how powerful the Red Skull’s influence and use of the late Professor Xavier’s power is becoming.
Adam Kubert is able to brilliantly illustrate all of the characters from the two teams and bring them together seamlessly. While a lot happens plot wise in the book there is even more action going on which only adds fuel to the fire and what could have become a convoluted mess really was a fluid action packed thrilled ride.
On a smaller scale this is a story of The Avengers joining with the X-Men to take down the Red Skull who has taken over Professor Xavier’s mutant powers for his own nefarious ends. Only, it’s so much more than that. Years of stories are being drawn upon and heroes that don’t get along are being put into impossible situations.
If there was ever a time to redefine Marvel characters and possibly get some things back to status quo while also developing new takes on characters, this is it.
Side note here, what could have been a shockingly climactic moment when Magneto takes on the Red Skull quickly turns into a mistake of epic proportions. Pure satisfaction would have turned to shock and surprise if we hadn’t already known what was waiting from the cover alone as the Red Onslaught is born. Also I love how they hint that the Red Skull has been playing Iron Man for quite some time for the game changer in the current fight as the book comes to a close.
I’m really waiting on the next issue so we can find out how Loki will end up playing into it.
So my final verdict? I can’t give it a perfect score only because I know that anyone just jumping into the event or that hasn’t been following all of Marvel for years will not get the full picture here. That being said, for those of us who have been faithful true believers in when absurd crossover events have muddied the waters, this could be the payoff that we have been waiting for. Only one issue in and I feel fully rewarded for being a Marvel fanboy for so many years and only hope that the next few issues will continue to deliver such a strong narative with amazing visuals.
AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #1
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Adam Kubert