In the fourth installment of the ‘Avengers & X-Men: Axis’ event we quite literally hit the ground running and get a good look at what is happening for The Avengers, the X-Men, and a few other random heroes and villains. After the last big crossover between the two teams, I keep wanting to type in ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ and the events in this issue of AXIS makes me suspect that I may validly be able to by the series finale.
Rick Remender does a good job at taking all of the characters we know that are heroes or villains and flipping them on their AXIS to being a different point of view. At the same time they partially keep some of their traits as the Inversion spell that was cast is turning the heroes into villains and the villains into heroes. What is interesting that he does though is there is a much more profound change in how the villains are acting as the heroes, while having changed, are still thinking that they are trying to do good while the villains are outright trying to now not be bad.
Also interesting is that a previous villain turned hero seems to be turning away from his fellow heroes that are now turning villain. Does that say something about what really lies in his heart?
The art on the book goes back and forth and I suspect it is from two inkers being used on the issue. While the artwork itself is all brilliantly done, the inking goes between looking polished and sketchy as the story unfolds and I think it was a little distracting to not have a consistent style throughout.
Honestly, this issue really focuses on The Avengers and the X-Men with a brief appearance by Carnage and Spidey. Since the very first issue I’ve had more interest in the villains in the tale, possibly because we’ve seen the infighting between our heroes for so many years now that it is just getting to be tired at this point to keep up reading what almost feels like the same story with a different reason behind it. I’m hoping next week brings something new to the table, a huge surprise that none of us see coming that fits with the story and isn’t just out of left field, or another focus on the villains to really kick it up a notch and make it a truly enjoyable read.
So in conclusion this felt like more of a filler issue. We had a huge spotlight on the heroes of the story who are all turning into villains but not much of a look at the villains turning to heroes. At least, not the interesting ones. While I truly dug the X-Men portion of this as it was showing a new rising of Apocalypse, the Avengers story arc was dull and the big reveal at the end didn’t do much for me. I highly suspect it will be related to characters we didn’t see on page this month. Speaking of not on page this month there weren’t that many tie-ins being released and as this entire arc has felt fleshed out properly with the tie-ins, I really felt that it lacked on substance. A major event shouldn’t have to rely so heavily on tie-ins to work for Marvel and if it weren’t for the inclusion of Evan as Apocalypse this would have had a much lower score.
AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #4
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Leinil Francis Yu