First Look for January 11, 2018
In today’s first look, I actually get 3 stories for the price of 2 comics and it’s interesting how the three basically layout different perspectives of events. In Avengers vs. X-Men #0, the first story shows the after effects of an event that occurred before the issue. Scarlet Witch caused some serious damage to the Avengers and since this issue shows her first visit back to the mansion we can see how much of an impact she had. Particularly with Vision who will not forgive her for using him to attack the Avengers. In the second story of AvX, we see Hope Summer in basically a state of anticipation. Events in this story are prologue to the coming of the Phoenix. Hope knows it and Cyclops is trying to coddle her before that big conflict, but it causes trouble in the present. Scott needs to let Hope live her life and deal with the Phoenix whenever it gets to Earth. Finally, in Letter 44 #12 we see things happening in the middle of a key event. The ship is invaded and aliens have taken half the crew. Three perspectives on events, one leading up to an event, one in the middle of the activity, and one dealing with the aftermath. I kinda like how this worked out and the fact that I enjoyed all three stories is definitely a plus.
Letter 44 #12
Redshift Chapter 5 by Charles Soule and Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque. Published by Oni Press, 2014.
Things are getting pretty serious. In the last issue, Gomez beat up the Colonel and Willett and somehow brought the Clarke closer to the alien ship. This issue depicts a full attack on the ship from the aliens. Willett, Overholt, and Charlotte try to fight them off while Pritchard and Kyoko try to save baby Astra who’s still undergoing surgery.
Back on Earth Isabel confronts Congressman Higgins about his betrayal and he simply falls back on the fact that he has to protect the country more than the President. Well I know we haven’t seen the end of the impeachment storyline but I think Isabel is really going to get some revenge against this congressman.
In Afghanistan, the two remaining soldiers of the Blades Brigades are falling apart. They’ve got serious radiation poisoning but they’re determined to track down the guy who did this. They find the terrorist a short way away, blowing him to pieces, but before they let him die, they’re able to find out who gave him the nuclear bomb. As they stare into the sunset on a beautiful mountainside on the day which will probably be there last, they inform President Blades that it was…Germany who gave him the bomb.
With all the stuff going on, I could have expected that to be the end of the issue but more is heaped on. We see that ex-president Carroll was the one who encouraged Germany to attack and he’s fully treasonous now. We also take time to see what may be the end of the crew of the Clarke. The aliens stage a major assault and breach the medical lab capturing everyone except Willett, Manesh, and whatever Gomez has become. Even baby Astra is taken by the aliens.
This can’t be good but I love this story. The ability of Soule and Alburquerque to keep things flowing at such breakneck speed for so long is incredible. I can’t wait for the next issue so it’s lucky I’m reading this a few years after it came out. I would be crazy if I had to wait a month or more for the next issue.
You can find first looks at other issues in this title linked in my January Reading List.
I rate this issue a B+.
Avengers Vs. X-Men #0
Prologue by Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron, and Frank Cho. Published by Marvel Comics, 2012.
This issue is actually two stories contained within a single book. The first one deals with the Scarlet Witch, daughter of Magneto, while the second one deals with Hope Summers, daughter of Cable and granddaughter of Scott Summers.
In the first story, written by Brian Michael Bendis, we see M.O.D.O.K. attacking a Wakandan convoy escorting Dr. Udaku through Washington DC. Apparently he was an A.I.M. scientist who has turned on the criminal organization and they don’t seem to appreciate traitors. They attack, easily take down the convoy, and are about to kill the doctor but for some reason the main M.O.D.O.K. is unable to fire his weapons. We turn the next page and there’s Scarlet Witch messing with his abilities. She begins the battle pretty well but since are so many M.O.D.O.K. arrayed against her she starts to be overwhelmed and since she hasn’t done this in a while she starts to lose the fight. Thankfully Spider-Woman and Captain Marvel show up to help her finish off the bag guys.
Carol Danvers convinces Wanda that she needs to go back to the Avengers mansion with them, just to say “Hi” to everybody since nobody’s seen her in quite a while. So they fly over to the mansion and of course the first person they run into is Vision. He switches into full asshole mode and lays in to Wanda. He’s pissed that the last time he saw her she was using him to basically take down the Avengers (I believe that was in Avengers Disassembled). He refuses to forgive her and sends her away telling her that this (Avengers Mansion) is not your home anymore. Captain Marvel flies away with her as she is clearly upset and as we follow Vision away from the door, we see that he turns away from the rest of the Avengers to hide his crying. Obviously there’s a lot of emotion going on here.
The second story focuses on Hope Summers and is written by Jason Aaron. Apparently she’s tired of being cooped up on Utopia, off the coast of San Francisco, since she’s basically being held prisoner on the island. Scott and the other mutants are trying to keep her out of trouble because she supposed to be some kind of mutant Messiah but she’s going stir crazy. Scott confronts her about going into the city and beating up criminals (which apparently she’s done recently before this issue started) and when she hears a call on the police scanner she quickly zaps him with his own eye beams and takes off with his jet pack.
She quickly finds that the Serpent Society is trying to rob a bank and she proceeds to kick the crap out of them. Emma Frost and Scott show up in the aftermath of the fight and demand that she had back to Utopia. Apparently the big deal is that Cyclops wants to protect her since she’s still a kid and somehow she supposed to save them all from the Phoenix next time it comes around. Well that’s all good and I’m excited to see the Phoenix integrated into another story line, but my real excitement is that I finally got to see what Hope’s powers are. Apparently she can take any mutants abilities and use them as her own, as she did with Scott’s eye beams. It’s a pretty cool power. Anyway, the last couple pages are really cool as Hope washes the blood off her hands from the battle and we zoom out…out beyond San Francisco, beyond the Earth, and beyond the galaxy, and we see the Phoenix out in open space. Apparently the Phoenix is on its way.
Both stories are pretty good in my view and I like the fact that they set up some pretty interesting situations. I think they do a good job at laying out what the current status of things are for a new reader and that increases their value in my opinion. Frank Cho’s art is pretty good, though I still am not used to Cyclops’ current uniform. I’m sure he’s worn it for a while but that’s not what I’m used to seeing the leader of the X-Men wearing. As this is the prologue of the Avengers vs X-Men event I feel it was pretty good and looks like it could lead to a very interesting story arc.
You can find first looks at other issues in this story arc linked in my January Reading List.
I rate this issue a B+.