Avengers vs X-Men (4 stars)

Avengers vs X-Men

Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron and Ed Brubaker are among the writers on this super-crossover

Every year DC and Marvel fans have come to expect a big ‘event’, a huge crossover blockbuster that ties into nearly every title they publish. They can be convoluted and pointless (such as Bloodlines or Zero Hour) while some are great (Civil War or the epic Final Crisis) and genuinely impact on the fictional universes these characters inhabit. From the title alone, Avengers vs X-Men sounds like the perfect excuse for a massive rammy between Marvel’s most powerful superhero teams.

In the red corner, the Earth’s mightiest heroes led by Captain America and Iron Man; in the blue corner, the mutants of mayhem headed by Cyclops and Emma Frost. The main problem is that both teams are good guys, but the multiple writers (including Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron and Ed Brubaker) manage to engineer a situation where there’s enough motivation of this superpowered conflict.

The Phoenix Force is returning to Earth with the X-Men believing this could be the rebirth of mutantkind while the Avengers fear it could destroy the world and so attempt to take teenage ‘mutant messiah’ Hope into custody (she’s the predicted host for this cosmic power). If you don’t follow events in the Marvel Universe you might end up scratching your head as various lycra-clad weirdoes punch each other across 13 issues. But if you have tapped into their world this is a hellishly exciting protracted fight-scene that deals with some interesting ideas on themes of power and corruption.

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