This is an advance review of Avengers Vs X-Men #10. It attempts to avoid spoilers that may impede your reading experience.
Mid-way through Avengers Vs X-Men, around about issue five, I got really excited about this comic. It seemed to have something to say about power, the very concept of the superhero helping people, in a fashion similar to Marvelman or Stormwatch, but using some of the most famous superheroes in the world.
This issue more than anything puts all the interesting, philisophically significant and worthy ideas away and goes straight for good guys versus bad guys instead. Because rather than five X-Men given the power to reshape the world for the better, but letting their human foibles get in the way, we have two brutal dictators demanding unswerving allegiance, obedience, even . Instead we've got something that's a mixture of Orwell's 1984 and Bixby's It's A Good Life. Just not as clever as either, and with superheroes. Like this.
And it's a crying shame. There was new terrirtory to be explored, but instead of doing that the comic went for an easy option where it's now come down to "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" on a good day, and for the rest it's "how do you beat really powerful people"? And now, frankly, it is no longer Avengers Vs X-Men, a clash of philiosophy, of ideology, of approach. It is now Avengers And X-Men Vs Power Mad Emma And Scott. It has descended into a retelling of The Dark Phoenix Saga, with less wrought emotion and with the knowledge that Jean will probably turn up, all the Phoenix Five will be disposed of in some fashion and replace by the sixties version of the X-Men.
In Marvelman, they actually created the absolutely perfect world, with the lead finding it peculiar that some people might not want to participate in such. In Stormwatch, we were shown how the world demands it status quo and will fight back against even that which would benefit it. In Avengers Vs X-Men… well, it's become how one power set can find a loophole to beat another seemingly more powerful set of abilities.
Which this comic does deliver, by the way. It's very much a turning point in the narrative, with answers being given, oportunities seized and a solution for the Avengers presenting itself. It's just I'm not particularly enjoying this narrative, and the turn is taking it further from the kind of book I expected and wanted to read, and I felt was promised me. So this may be all my fault and you may love it to bits. Just not me.
The AR bit on the cover where Cyclops blasts from his visor is kinda cool though.
Avengers VS X-Men #10 is published tomorrow by Marvel, $3.99 for 23 pages, a free digital copy and AR content.