New Comics: Avengers & X-Men AXIS #1 Review/Recap

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New Comics: Avengers & X-Men AXIS #1 Recap – The Red Supremacy


Our story begins in the skies above Los Angeles.  The Avengers descend on the city, looking to confront man-eating plants reported in the area.  The Avengers are confronted by the Plantman, who is responsible for the attack.  Though the Avengers begin to fight Plantman, Thor and Captain America soon get into a fight and the Avengers begin to turn on one another, with the exception of Iron Man.  While Plantman is confused by the Avenger’s actions, Iron Man quickly takes him down before being savagely attacked by the Hulk.

Realising the Avengers are under telepathic attack, Iron Man unleashed a wave of energy to counteract the telepathic frequencies.  The Avengers quickly return to normal, while Tony is contacted by the de-powered Steve Rogers.  Tony is informed that the entire world has just erupted in riots, and that everyone is being affected by the telepathy.  Steve then realizes who is responsible.

marvel comic books axis #1

Red Skull becomes The Red Onslaught

Meanwhile, Havok is in bed with the Wasp and their child when he encounters the remains of Professor X.  Remembering his daughter no longer exists due to an earlier incident with time travel, Havok is taunted by a vision of the Red Skull before realising he is still at the Red Skull’s death camp on Genosha.  The Red Skull begins to affect Havok’s mind, while Magneto, Rogue, and the Scarlet Witch battle the newly unleashed Red Onlsaught.  The villain takes control of the Scarlet Witch, while Magneto is attacked by a mind controlled Havok.

Knocked away from the fight, Magneto finds Quentin Quire, Cyclops, and Genesis and quickly frees them, explaining the situation.  However Havok finds them and attacks his brother before Genesis stops him.  The young Apocalypse says that the entire mutants do is fight and that they need to work together.  Suddenly, Genesis is impaled by the Red Skull’s minion Ahab.

Back at the Avengers tower, the situation around the work looks grim. Spider-Man and I team are trying to stop rioting in Midtown, while superheroes all over the world struggle to keep the peace.  To make matters worse, governments are being affected too, and every nuclear power on the planet is preparing to deploy warheads.  They agree they must find the source of the problem.  Iron Man notices Wasp crying and she explains how her and Havok’s daughter was taken by Kang in order to save the world.  Iron Man silently comforts her as she grieves.

Back on Genosha, Scarlet Witch has become fully controlled by the Red Onslaught.  With no other choice, Rogue makes direct contact with Onslaught and she sees Xavier is still trying to hold the monster at bay.  Xavier says it is all up to her to stop what the Red Skull has become, but he has absolute faith in his student.  He gives a small piece of himself to her so she can resist Onslaught’s telepathy and manages to free Scarlet Witch.  Wanda nearly gives up on the sitatuation, but Rogue insists together the two of them can take the Red Onslaught down.

While fighting Ahab, Havok is nearly hit with a spear.  But Cyclops jumps in the way and is impaled in his arm.

The Avengers and X-Men together arrive in Genosha and begin to attack both the Red Onlsaught and Ahab.  Ahab is quickly taken down, and the X-Men agree to work together as a family on this mission.

Iron Man confronts the Red Skull and says they are now immune to his telepathy.  But the Red Onslaught asks why he knew to block out his telepathic frequency to begin with, and explains he has gained all the information from Tony Stark’s head, including the Civil War files, which were thought to be long gone.  Using this information, the Red Skull influenced Tony into building machines capable of taking down the super heros of Earth.  Onslaught presents two Adamantium Stark Sentinels, ready to kill both the Avengers and X-Men.


New Comics: Avengers & X-Men AXIS #1 Review – The Red Supremacy


Hello and welcome to Comic Island.  My name is Arden, and this is my recap and review of Avengers and X-Men: AXIS #1.

So yeah… our regular viewers will be well aware that I’ve been pretty excited for this event, and based on some of the comments I’ve gotten on the prelude videos, I’m guessing I’m not the only one.

I’m pleased to say this comic really did not disappoint me one bit.  This was a great story and on the whole I like it.  It feels like there’s a lot of pay-off rather than build-up in this comic.  Given the severity of the situation, it makes a lot of sense for the heroes to finally bury the hatchet and work together to take on what feels like a genuine threat.

And I think that’s the key to why this comic works so well.  Crossovers often feel forced, where a new threat just pops up out of nowhere and is built up for five or six issues before everyone has to work together in the last couple of issues and save the day.  That’s what Original Sin felt like to me, for example, but there’s a lot of other example of this.  But AXIS was not originally a crossover, and rather just the big end game for the Uncanny Avengers.  Marvel liked the the idea so much that they expanded it into a big crossover.  That’s what they claim at least, but only now do I think there was actually some truth to this.  AXIS feels like a more natural story with an authentic depiction of the characters involved.  Everyone acts the way that a logical person would in the given situation, and it goes a long way.  This makes a tremendous difference compared to crossovers in the past and in my opinion leads to a very compelling story.

As a whole, this story feels like a crossover unlike any other.  Usually the crossover leads to a change in the status quo following the event.  But AXIS starts off with a new status quo.  We have a new Captain America already operating, while Thor is no longer wielding Mjolnir and therefore can’t fly, and the Hulk is much more intelligent and under control now, going so far as to apologise to Iron Man after attacking him.  This feels like a very different story with a new set of heroes, but one I as a whole enjoy, and we now get to see how this change in status quo will affect how these heroes deal with this new threat.  That’s really cool and makes AXIS a rather unique event compared to most major crossovers like this.

There’s some good humour in here too.  Granted, most of the story takes place on a death camp, so there isn’t a lot of joking around, but some of this is actually pretty hilarious.  I love Plantman’s reaction when the Avengers start fighting one another and ignoring him.  That’s so funny.  And I’m pretty sure Iron Man makes an Arrested Development joke too, which is also just great.  Having little bits of humour goes a long way to making this story big and epic but not brooding and dark.

marvel comic books axis #1

Red Onslaught Controling Sentinels.

Now there are some problems with this comic.  For one thing, certain scenes are way too dialogue heavy.  Comics are a visual medium, and it’s important to not get too caught up in exposition.  This is the biggest problem of AXIS, but it isn’t done too much and not to the extent that I feel like it detracted from the story.  It helps that a lot of this dialogue is rather entertaining and interesting, but it is still a bit of an issue.   The art, well, the art is kind of all ove the place.  Some of the action is done well, some of it isn’t.  Some of the facial expressions are good, and some are not, sometimes within the same page!  … it’s a little confusing, but again, it never bothered me enough to not enjoy this comic.

Also, there’s a recurring use of this AXIS banner on various pages.  It’s not that big of a deal, but it does get annoying pretty fast and it seems to me like this is a ploy to sell the AXIS name as much as possible.  Which is a shame, because I don’t think Marvel needs to resort to stuff like this as they have a genuinely good story and one that I’m really looking forward to.

All said, my final opinion of Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #1 is that it is a must read.  This was a great comic, and, although it does have some problems, it is something that I really enjoyed and you should definitely check out yourself.

I’m really looking forward to AXIS #2, coming out next week, and this comic set the stage for it rather nicely.   Evan has been impaled and might even be dead.  The Skull uses telepathy to bring the world on the brink of nuclear war.  The Adamantium, Stark-designed sentinels are ready to kill the Avengers and X-Men.  Big things are coming and I’m excited to see them in action.

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