Warning: mild and/or vague spoilers!
What You Get: 568 pages. Comic book collections generally contain 4-10 issues, but this one has 22.5. BAM. There are thirteen for the main AvX storyline, along with six “VS” match issues (pitting various X-Men against various Avengers) and three “Infinite Comics” issues, which were created for digital. So that’s cool.
The Story: Let’s face facts, the whole reason behind this storyline is so that the writers/artists could depict what happens when, say, Magneto and Iron Man fight each other, and the fans can watch. I had a hard time believing that various characters would actually react in a certain way (or so strongly), especially in the first few issues. But the writers did the best they could in showing how stressed out everyone is from the years of Intense Story Arcs and past trauma from the Phoenix. I also appreciated how certain characters went bad; if they’re going to go bad, even for just one decision or for the entire series, I thought it was in-character how they went bad. That is, the characters’ pre-existing flaws were what was emphasized when they behaved in dastardly ways, here.
The Art: The art was really great. I’m not an art critic in any sense of the word, so I’m not sure what I should be allowed to say besides “IT WAS REALLY PRETTY AND I JUST WANTED TO MAKE OUT WITH SOME OF THOSE TWO-PAGE SPREADS.” I don’t think all Marvel should have the same art, but sometimes it makes me cry how some titles get such ross-awful art, while others get really special unique art (like Hawkeye or Captain Marvel) or simply high-quality art, like Avengers vs X-Men. Some of the “VS” and “Infinite” issues stood out awkwardly as less awesome. Olivier Coipel was my favorite line artist, overall, in this volume.
The Cool: I really liked how Nova was used (although I’ve never seen Nova before (I’m only a year old in comic years!)). I couldn’t help thinking that if this was a DC series, an even dozen of Green Lanterns would have to be maimed or killed for this story function. I’ve also been waiting for Captain America to hit Namor in the head with his shield since I started reading comics. There’s a one-page gag comic in which Captain America and Cyclops trade verbal abuse, and it was one of my favorite pages in the entire volume. This is also a good story for Hope fans (of which I am one most of the time). She’s one of a handful of characters who have fully-fleshed out, believable storylines, and hers is just awesome. So.
The Not-So-Cool: Some big couples may or may not break up in this storyline, and it may or may not seem ludicrously contrived. Some of the “Vs” issues didn’t really make sense in how the action panned out.
My Rating: three out of five stars