While not as blatantly offensive as Civil War or Fear Itself, the whole of Avengers Vs. X-Men is starting to unravel into the abyss of annoyance. The main series follows its own plot line; it lives within its own set of events. Instead of allowing the event series to be its own thing, with maybe whispers of the events in other books, Marvel has half-assed the involvement of the rest of the Universe. Hulk, Daredevil and Spider-Man don’t even acknowledge that the battle is going, something especially off for Spider-Man who plays a major role in AvX. Even Captain America, Thor and Iron Man, three central figures to this conflict, pay no attention to the goings on in their respective books.
Meanwhile, the X-Men titles and Avengers titles all play into the AvX storyline. I suppose an argument could be made that being a series called Avengers vs. X-Men, those titles would have to be involved. Okay, then actually involve them. Stop putting out issues of these books that have unnecessary side stories or, like Avengers #29, have nothing to do with anything. There is a major plot point here that could have been used to drum up real tension and make the last panel AvX #10 something pretty remarkable. Nope, instead Avengers #29 is a lot of wasted space and money.
The Avengers set a trap for Rachel Summers, a telepath they believe they can turn to their side in an attempt to thwart how the X-Men always seem one step ahead. That idea seems really out of left field, but okay, desperate times call for desperate measures. The Avengers spring the trap and, wait for it, Rachel had a trap of her own, so she brought Namor and some other X-Men to capture Wolverine. Yet another big battle breaks out with lots of tough talk and big artwork. At the end, it turns out Professor X was helping the Avengers, but suddenly he has second thoughts and decides to wipe his involvement from the minds of everyone involved and vanish.
First off, this all had to have happened before Namor lost the Phoenix power. It also apparently happened before Professor X screamed out telepathically to Cyclops to stop his world assault or he would stop it. Finally, the end of AvX #10 (the most recent issue) has Magneto mentally calling out to Professor X to come help defeat the power-hungry X-Men. With all the wacky time lines and the end of AvX #10, Avengers #29 was just another in a long line of big battle issues. It’s another sense of “who cares” and at $4 a pop, I’m tired of saying “who cares.”
The one reason to rejoice over Avengers #29 is that Walt Simonson does the art. Like John Romita Jr. and Frank Quitely and a few others, Simonson really just inherently gets comic books. The way he approaches the art is so perfect, this spectacular blend of larger than life and yet easily acceptable. Simonson’s pencils are so fluid, but carry so much weight. Each action shot is so detailed that you can spend five minutes on each panel. I still buy Avengers simply because Simonson’s art is some of my favorite in the world.
(2 Story, 5 Art)