This week Marvel’s latest event kicks off with Avengers & X-Men: AXIS, and Scott Snyder and Jock introduce us to Wytches!
Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #1 (of 9) (Marvel Comics)
The latest Marvel event is here, and it’s off to a pretty rocky start.
Wait, I should be clearer. Avengers & X-Men: AXIS is a good start to an event comic. It builds on writer Rick Remender’s stories from not only Uncanny Avengers, but Uncanny X-Force as well. However, the place this book really falters in is in the art, which was not what I was expecting from someone as well known in the industry as Adam Kubert.
Much of this first issue picks up immediately from the last issue of Uncanny Avengers, which had Havok, Rogue, and Scarlet Witch trapped in the Red Skull’s mutant internment camps. After witnessing Magneto kill the Red Skull, they believe the threat is over. That is, until the Skull re-emerges as Red Onslaught, and begins to use his powers to telepathically control everyone in the world. Due to some of their respective members being kidnapped by the Skull, the Avengers and the X-Men arrive on the scene and begin to bring the fight to Skull. Do things go well? It’s the first issue, what do you think?
I have to say, Remender’s plot is pretty good. After a two-page recap, he sets up the story and keeps it moving at a quick pace. Yet one thing that keeps bothering me is everyone’s reaction to Magneto killing the Red Skull. Of all the characters that would be justified in killing the Red Skull (a Nazi who now has the abilities of Charles Xavier), Magneto is definitely the one who shouldn’t need to explain himself for doing it. Yet everyone keeps going up to Magneto and telling him how bad of a person he is? Really? Despite this, the rest of the book is good, even if the ending cliffhanger does come out of nowhere.
But now let’s talk about the art, because, I’ll be honest, it says Adam Kubert on the cover, but I have a very hard time believing that this is him. For the first five pages of this book, I was stunned at how bad the art looked. While it improves as the issue goes on, the opening looks extremely rushed, and my coworker mentioned that it almost looked like it was something Kubert did quickly with the intention of going back and fixing it later. Perhaps it’s a new inker, perhaps he simply didn’t have time, or maybe it’s a new style that he’s trying, but man, Adam Kubert really dropped the ball on this issue, which is surprising because given the hype around this event, you’d think Marvel would want to make sure that the art was the best it could be.
Art aside, Avengers & X-Men: AXIS, like all recent Marvel events, is off to a pretty good start. Whether it’ll be the next Secret Invasion or Age of Ultron is still up for grabs, but for now it’s worth picking up for those who’ve been following Uncanny Avengers or want to follow what’s going on in the Marvel Universe. Just be prepared to shell out $5 for it,
Wytches #1 (Image)
Scott Snyder returns to the world of creator-owned material with Wytches. A new collaboration with artist Jock, Wytches takes a look at the monsters that we think we know, and reveals something much, much darker. All those years of us thinking of witches as green ladies with pointy hats? They were nothing, just worshippers of something much more evil.
This first issue has a lot of set up, which is to be expected from a first issue. We’re introduced to Charles Rooks, a graphic novelists who’s recently moved his family to New Hampshire after his teenage daughter Sailor has a traumatic event at her old school. This event has triggered panic attacks in Sailor, and while her mother and father are trying their best to help her, it’s not working. Sailor believes that she summoned a creature to attack the girl who was bullying her in the woods, and no matter what her father tells her, she won’t believe him that it was all a hallucination.
Scott Snyder’s gift for creating believable characters is in full effect here. Both Sailor and Charles are extremely empathetic characters that we like from the first time we see them. Snyder has said in interviews that he’s suffered from depression in the past, and it’s very brave of him to put some of that into a character like Sailor. Snyder’s script is also extremely moody, and there’s a constant feeling of dread as you read the story.
Adding to that feeling of dread is Jock’s artwork, which completes the horror tale that Snyder is putting together. This is some of the creepiest artwork Jock has done to date, and that’s including his incredible art on Detective Comics #880, which featured his chilling take on The Joker. Jock’s art is very effective, and adds to the creepy atmosphere that the book creates.
Wytches is off to a good start, and it’s an awesomely spooky comic for this time of year. As an added bonus, Snyder has a fairly lengthy article in the back of the book where he describes his inspiration for this series. Wytches is easily one of the best first issues of the year, and another rock solid comic by Scott Snyder. It’s well worth your $3.