AvX Hits the Stands!

Artwork by me!

Avengers vs. X-Men #0 was released a few days ago at your local comics shop. This is the first issue of Marvel’s latest big crossover event. The “big two” comics publishers, Marvel and DC, have been known for orchestrating big events ever since the 1980’s starting with Marvel’s Secret Wars and DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths. These events are known for shaking the foundations of each respective super-hero universes with epic earth shattering battles, and deaths of established fan-favorite characters! Both publishers have ramped up the frequency of such events in the last 15+ years to help increase revenue and interest in a shrinking comics market. Fans have been loyal to Marvel and DC, continuing to gobble u p whatever the “flavor of the month” event is while being more often disappointed with less meaningful storylines and the return of just about every character that’s been “killed off”.

DC raised the bar last year for meaningful events when they essentially hit the reset button with their series Flashpoint. The fan response has been overwhelmingly positive for the DC re-launch, dubbed “The New 52”, and their sales have reflected it. The industry waited with bated breath at what Marvel’s inevitable response would be to the threat by DC to their established dominance of the superhero comics industry! Thus, we have Avengers vs. X-Men or AvX for the nerd hipsters reading this. At first glance, this event doesn’t seem like a very big deal. We’ve seen the X-Men grapple with the Avengers ever since the Silver Age of the 1960’s. There was even a limited series back in the 1980’s called The X-Men vs. The Avengers! So, the concept of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” battling it out with the “bad boys…and girls” of the Marvel Universe isn’t a new one, but there are a few reasons why we should care.
First off, it should be noted that some incredible talent is contributing to this series. Writer Brian Michael Bendis, who successfully breathed new life into Marvel’s Spider-Man with Ultimate Spider-Man back in 2000 and has been the torch bearer for just about everything Avengers-related in the last 8+ years, and writer Jason Aaron, who despite being the new kid on the block, has already established himself in the industry with his original series Scalped and his work on Marvel’s Wolverine and The X-Men, are spearheading this event. Throw in talented artists like Frank Cho, John Romita Jr, Jim Cheung and Stuart Immonen ,and you have an event worthy of such bigger than life characters! Secondly, is the fact that this event is 12 issues long, which is fairly long in comparison to other similar events ,and will take place over 6 months. This leads me to believe that this event will be more meaningful than just watching Wolverine throw a claw pie in Captain America’s face! Lastly, is the simple fact that Marvel would like to outdo DC at the big crossover event game, and Axel Alonso, Marvel’s Editor in Chief, has alluded to this being only the beginning of much bigger changes in the Marvel Universe.

Of course, this could all be just hype and conjecture. Marvel could just be cashing in on the buzz from the upcoming Avengers movie and recent X-Men movie franchise reboot. Only time will tell if fans’ expectations will be met, or if this will be just another underwhelming plot twist in the ever-convoluted history of the Marvel Super-Heroes.
Avengers vs. X-Men #1 will be released on April 4th at all fine comics retailers everywhere.

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