Well, I’m just going to tell you. Marvel’s last big crossover event left something of a bad taste in my mouth. Really, that’s putting it mildly. I’ve never seen a story with such promise mutate into such a blatant excuse to put top tier movie heroes and soon-to-be movie heroes in a room together. Honestly, does anyone know what actually happened in that book aside from an excuse to reboot Winter Soldier’s title? Anyone? Seriously, we have a comment section. We have e-mails and Twitter. If you know what the point of Original Sin was, we’re all ears. Anyway, barely a month later, Marvel has the opportunity to redeem itself by bringing the Avengers and X-Men together to do something aside from beat the living shit out of each other.
The first issue of Axis hits the ground running, picking up where the first arc of Uncanny Avengers left off with the Red Skull, thanks in part to Charles Xavier’s stolen powers (which, by the way, is maybe some of the most evil shit he’s ever done), becoming a new version of Onslaught. Most of the background for all of these events that took place mostly in Uncanny Avengers and Magneto are recapped in the first couple of pages so the majority of the book can be devoted to the battle at hand. Red Onslaught is enough of a threat that the character allows Rick Remender to spend plenty of time putting our heroes through their paces. Yet, the pacing is even enough that you never get mired in exposition or too bored with the fighting. That’s pretty important considering that this book is Whether you read Avengers books, X-books or both, there’s going to be some good moments that’ll pay off well for you if you’re looking for changes to the status quo of either franchise. And then, there’s Adam Kubert’s art. I know the point of his whole style is to create that sketchy, unfinished look, but with that in mind, the look of this book feels particularly sketchy and unfinished. There are some really great moments in this book and there are also some action beats that feel choppy and fractured visually, not really carrying the gravitas they should in a “for all the money” type of fight like this one.
Bottom Line: A pretty good display of superheroing that falls short of The Glory thanks to mediocre artwork. 7.5 out of 10