Really big superhero fight, Marvel-style
2012 is the year of the Avengers, Avengers vs. X-Men that is!
April 4th, 2012
03:06 PM ET

Really big superhero fight, Marvel-style

Hello again, fellow comic readers!

When people look back at 2012, what will they think of? The Year of the Dragon? Election Year?

Not comic book fans.

They will remember this as the year Marvel pits the Avengers against the X-Men - "A vs X." It kicks off with this week’s pick, Marvel Comics “Avengers VS. X-Men #1.

Recent events in both books are converging, and grievances between the two teams going back decades are about to be aired in the form of a rumble that will put the Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas fight to shame.

Marvel's premier franchises are going toe-to-toe in the name of an ultimate prize: the galaxy not exploding and the rebirth of an entire race.

SPOILER ALERT: The rest of this review has spoilers. Not many, but it has some, so if you don’t want to know what happens before you read the book, stop now and skip to the end.

The over-arching story of "A vs. X" deals with the Phoenix Force, a ludicrously powerful alien entity, which has the power to wipe out civilizations, and has in the past. Previously, it inhabited Jean Grey, a member of the X-Men. Now, it returns to take possession - presumably - of Hope Summers, the so-called mutant messiah, also a member of the X-Men.

On one side of this titanic battle stands Cyclops' band of the mutant X-Men, consisting of heavy hitters like Storm, Magneto and Namor, looking to Hope as a way to preserve the dying race of mutants. On the other side, Captain America’s gang of superheros, the Avengers, want that kind of power contained or eliminated for Earth's own safety. (Fan-favorite Wolverine is somehow a member of both teams. That should make this series interesting.)

It's like a civil war, except Marvel already had one of those.

This story and its timing couldn't be better. Marvel has gotten tired of DC getting all the press for the last year or so with the New 52. Marvel has been bending over backward to ensure every copy of "A vs. X" gets to comic shops, and that every avenue of press within the industry has been explored, from house ads to Previews ads. As you read this, comic stores all over the country are no doubt selling this book like hotcakes.

Marvel and the comics retailers are so banking on "A vs. X" that hundreds of stores opened early on Tuesday just to meet the demand that much earlier. Marvel began even earlier, by whetting appetites with last week's prequel, "Avengers vs. X-Men #0."

"A vs. X" is a 13-issue event series that runs from now through the end of September, with several tie-ins and crossover issues along the way. A veritable who’s who of all-star writers and artists - each one with a pedigree so good I could fill this column lauding their accomplishments - relays the story.

Daniel Dean from Titan Games and Comics in Smyrna, Georgia, is particularly looking forward to the issues of "A vs. X" written by Kieron Gillen.

“It all adds up to a story unlike anything Marvel's ever published," Dean said, "except for the other times the Avengers fought the X-Men."

"Who will win the battle, and will Earth survive the war? Unless the Phoenix is behind the whole Mayan thing, probably! I mean they want to publish comics in January next year. Right?”

On top of all of this, “A vs. X #1" is also the first issue to use Marvel's new “Marvel AR” app and “Marvel Infinite” comics, a new way to read comics on digital devices.

The AR app is truly like the director’s cuts for the comic - you launch the app and hold your smartphone over the comic book, open to a page that has an AR logo in the corner. The smartphone essentially reads the comic book page and overlays, on the window of your phone, special features like what you would see in the extras of a DVD.

In the "A vs. X" AR experience, you can see the time lapse of certain pages being drawn, get commentary about the story at different plot points from the writers, and see a character bio of Hope.

The Marvel Infinite version of the digital comic forces a perspective on each frame that tailors the reading experience to whatever device you're using. In theory, the experience of Marvel Infinite is different on an iPad than it is on an iPhone. The rhythm of reading a comic is then intrinsically tied to the digital device you're reading it on. This is not a motion comic. This is the first time I've seen an attempt to reimagine how comic books communicate through different platforms.

The Marvel AR app and the updated Marvel Comic app are both available for iOS and Android. Every issue of “A vs. X” will include a code for a free digital copy, and issue #1 code will also get you the Marvel Infinite version.

New to the Avenger or X-Men world? You don’t have to read up on the back stories of both comic book titles before jumping in with "A vs. X," but if you want more context, there are great places to start.

“If Marvel does their job properly, then anyone should be able to pick up 'Avengers vs. X-Men #1' and enjoy the story without any background information," said Conor Kilpatrick, editor of iFanboy.com. "At this point, just about everyone knows who the most prominent members of The Avengers and the X-Men are, right? Because of the films, even my mom knows about Hawkeye and Cyclops.”

But if you wanted to go back and find out how the Avengers and the X-Men got into this particular fight, he recommends "Avengers: The Children's Crusade #1-9."

In the "Children's Crusade" series, “The Scarlet Witch, the former Avenger and daughter of Magneto, has resurfaced after she used her reality-bending powers to rid the world of most of its mutants. The Avengers, the X-Men, and the Young Avengers are all trying to find her, but for vastly different reasons,” Kilpatrick said.

Stephen Schleicher, executive producer of Major Spoilers, recommended "X-Men: Dark Phoenix Saga TP" for further context of "A vs. X."

“This trade paperback sets up the back story for the events of 'X-Men versus Avengers.' Telling the story of Jean Grey's temptation and eventual corruption, 'Dark Phoenix Saga' provides the basis of why the Avengers are so concerned and why the X-Men, primarily Scott Summers, is so hopeful with the entity's return," Schleicher said.

“Considered a classic and widely regarded as one of the best X-Men stories ever told, DPS is a must read for anyone wanting additional background on the events of 'A vs. X.'”

"X-Force/Cable Messiah War TP" is another place to begin, suggested Mike Loewnau, manager of Georgia's Titan Games and Comics locations.

“The fate of the savior child, Hope, has been handed over to Cable. On the run through time, pursued by a former ally, Cable attempts to train Hope to defend and protect herself while trying to get her back safely,” Loewnau said.

“Cyclops, convinced that she will foster in the rebirth of the mutant race, sends his strike team into the future to help safeguard her and bring her home."

So, until next week, go forth and read, my people. And the reading will be good!

What did you think of "Avengers Vs. X-Men #1"? Let us know in the comments. We’re always looking for tips on good comics!

Here are some of the comics scheduled to hit the shelves on Wednesday, April 4. Your local retailer will probably have these and others, so make sure to check with them for more details.

MARVEL COMICS

AGE OF APOCALYPSE #2 $2.99
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #683 ENDS $3.99
AVENGERS ACADEMY #28 $2.99
AVENGERS HAWKEYE SOLO TP $16.99
AVENGERS LEGION OF UNLIVING TP $29.99
AVENGERS MYTHOS HC $24.99
AVENGERS WEST COAST AVENGERS ASSEMBLE TP $24.99
BRILLIANT #3 (MR) $3.95
CASANOVA AVARITIA #3 (OF 4) (MR) $4.99
DAREDEVIL #10.1 $2.99
FEAR ITSELF FEARLESS #12 (OF 12) $2.99
HULK #50 $3.99
MARVELS AVENGERS PRELUDE FURYS BIG WEEK #3 (OF 4) $2.99
MU AVENGERS EARTHS HEROES COMIC READER TP #1 $3.99
MU AVENGERS EARTHS HEROES COMIC READER TP #2 $3.99
NEW MUTANTS #40 $2.99
SECRET AVENGERS #24 $3.99
SPIDER-MAN RETURN OF ANTI-VENOM TP $15.99
THUNDERBOLTS #172 $2.99
TOY STORY #2 (OF 4) $2.99
ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #9 $3.99
VENOM #15 $2.99
WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #8 $3.99
WOLVERINE AND X-MEN ALPHA AND OMEGA #4 (OF 5) $3.99
X-CLUB #5 (OF 5) $2.99

Digital Same Day As Print

Amazing Spider-Man #683
Age of Apocalypse #2
Avengers Academy #28
Avengers Vs. X-Men #1
Avengers Vs. X-Men #1 Infinite
Fear Itself: The Fearless #12
Hulk #50
New Mutants 340
Thunderbolts #172
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #9
Venom #15
Wolverine & The X-Men #8
Wolverine & The X-Men: Alpha And Omega #4
X-Club #5

DC COMICS

ACTION COMICS #8 $3.99
ACTION COMICS #8 COMBO PACK $4.99
AMERICAN VAMPIRE #25 (MR) $2.99
ANIMAL MAN #8 $2.99
BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED #1 2ND PTG $3.99
BATMAN GOTHAM SHALL BE JUDGED TP $19.99
BATWING #8 $2.99
DETECTIVE COMICS #8 $3.99
DETECTIVE COMICS #8 COMBO PACK $4.99
EPIC MAD TP $12.99
FAIREST #2 (MR) $2.99
FLASH OMNIBUS BY GEOFF JOHNS HC VOL 02 $75.00
FLEX MENTALLO MAN OF MUSCLE MYSTERY DLX HC (MR) $22.99
GREEN ARROW #8 $2.99
HAWK AND DOVE #8 $2.99
IZOMBIE #24 (MR) $2.99
JACK KIRBYS FOURTH WORLD OMNIBUS TP VOL 02 $29.99
JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #8 $2.99
LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT JIM APARO HC $49.99
LOONEY TUNES #206 $2.99
MEN OF WAR #8 $3.99
NIGHT FORCE #2 (OF 6) $2.99
OMAC #8 $2.99
RED LANTERNS #8 $2.99
SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING TP BOOK 01 (MR) $19.99
SCOOBY DOO WHERE ARE YOU #20 $2.99
STATIC SHOCK #8 $2.99
STORMWATCH #8 $2.99
SWAMP THING #8 $2.99
SWEET TOOTH #32 (MR) $2.99

Digital Same Day As Print

Action Comics #8
Animal Man #8
Batwing #8
Detective Comics #8
Fairest #2
Green Arrow #8
Hawk & Dove #8
iZOMBIE #24
Justice League International 8
Men of War #8
Night Force #2
OMAC #8
Red Lanterns #8
Static Shock #8
Stormwatch #8
Swamp Thing #8
Sweet Tooth 32
DC Comics Digital Sneak Peeks
Justice League Beyond #5
Beyond the Fringe (5B) #5

IDW PUBLISHING

30 DAYS OF NIGHT ONGOING #6 $3.99
30 DAYS OF NIGHT ONGOING TP VOL 01 $17.99
COLD WAR TP VOL 01 $19.99
GI JOE COBRA ONGOING TP VOL 02 COBRA CIVIL WAR $17.99
GI JOE VOL 2 ONGOING #12 $3.99
HOW TO DRAW TRANSFORMERS SC $4.99
INFESTATION 2 30 DAYS OF NIGHT ONE SHOT $3.99

Digital Same Day As Print

30 Days of Night: Ongoing #6
GI Joe Vol. 2: Ongoing #12
30 Days of Night: Infestation II one-shot
Transformers: How to Draw Transformers

IMAGE COMICS

CARBON GREY ORIGINS #2 (OF 2) CVR B EVANS & LOH (MR) $3.99
CHEW #25 (MR) $2.99
DANGER CLUB #1 $2.99
FATALE #4 (MR) $3.50
HELL YEAH #2 $2.99
INVINCIBLE #90 $2.99
MUDMAN #3 $3.50
SAVAGE DRAGON #179 $3.50
SKULLKICKERS #13 $3.50
SKULLKICKERS TREASURE TROVE HC VOL 01 (MR) $34.99
SPAWN #218 $2.99
SUPREME #63 HAMSCHER VAR CVR $2.99
SUPREME #63 LARSEN CVR $2.99
SUPREME #63 LIEFELD VAR CVR $2.99
WHISPERS #2 $2.99

Digital Same Day As Print

Chew #25
Danger Club #1
Fatale #4
Hell Yeah #2
Invincible #90
Mudman #3
Savage Dragon #179
Skullkickers #13
Skullkickers Treasure Trove HC Vol 01
Strange Talent Of Luther Strode TP Vol 01
Supreme #63
Whispers #2

DARK HORSE COMICS

CLASSIC MARVEL CHARACTERS #5 DR. STRANGE $49.95
CLASSIC MARVEL CHARACTERS FF #2 INVISIBLE GIRL $49.95
CLASSIC MARVEL CHARACTERS SPIDER MAN NYCC EXC $49.95
CLASSIC MARVEL CHARACTERS SPIDER MAN SDCC EXC $49.95
CREEPY COMICS #8 $4.99
CRIMINAL MACABRE DIE DIE MY DARLING $3.50
JEREMIAH OMNIBUS HC VOL 01 $24.99

Dynamite Entertainment

BOYS #65 (MR) (NOTE PRICE) $4.99
DEJAH THORIS & WHITE APES OF MARS #1 (MR) $3.99
KIRBY GENESIS #6 $3.99
QUEEN SONJA #28 $3.99
RED SONJA WITCHBLADE #2 $3.99
ROBERT JORDAN WHEEL OF TIME EYE O/T WORLD #23 $3.99
THE LONE RANGER #4 $3.99
VOLTRON YEAR ONE #1 $3.99
WAREHOUSE 13 #5 $3.99

Digital Same Day As Print

Dejah Thoris And The White Apes Of Mars #1
Jennifer Blood #11
Kirby: Genesis #6
Lone Ranger #4
Queen Sonja #28
The Boys #65
Voltron Year One #1
Warehouse 13 #5
Witchblade/Red Sonja #2
Wheel Of Time #23

BOOM! Studios

FANBOYS VS ZOMBIES #1 MAIN CVRS $1.00
HELLRAISER MASTERPIECES #11 (MR) $3.99
INCORRUPTIBLE #28 $3.99
SUPURBIA #2 (OF 4) $3.99
VALEN OUTCAST #5 MAIN CVRS $3.99

Digital Same Day As Print

Fanboys vs. Zombies #1
Irredeemable #36
Incorruptible #28

Archie Comics

ARCHIE MEETS KISS COLLECTORS ED HC $29.99
ARCHIE MEETS KISS TP $12.99
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #235 $2.99

Digital Same Day As Print

Sonic the Hedgehog #235

Zenescope

GFT APRIL FOOLS SPECIAL 2012 (MR) $3.99
GRIMM FAIRY TALES #71 A CVR BONK (MR) $2.99
GRIMM FAIRY TALES #71 B CVR SPAY (MR) $2.99
GRIMM FAIRY TALES THE LIBRARY #5 A CVR MYCHAELS $2.99
GRIMM FAIRY TALES THE LIBRARY #5 B CVR PEKAR $2.99

Digital Same Day As Print

GFT The Library 05

Red 5 Comics

Digital Same Day As Print

Dead or Alive #3

Comic List is via Previews World
Digital List is via ComiXology

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. electricians newcastle

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    April 9, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  2. deja vu?

    The funniest part of this article:
    “[Avengers vs X-Men] all adds up to a story unlike anything Marvel's ever published," Dean said, "except for the other times the Avengers fought the X-Men."

    April 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  3. Rob

    All in All Im down for this. Civil War was Cool, Secret Invasion was meh , and Fear itself was down right a smack in the face and I feel like everyone including Marvel wanna forget about it. They have to make this one worth it like Dark Reign , which to me was classic. Gonna pick up A vs X #1 today for a quick read on the train.

    April 13, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  4. SBWitmer

    Bottom line .. the JLA would mop the floor with both teams .. at the same time .. BOOM !! ... whatever Marvel ..

    April 11, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • KajinPL

      Not fair. JLA is an entire society of heroes that somehow can co-exist with all different types of personalities and egos.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  5. T

    Archie meets KISS ?
    Can't be weirder than "Archie meets the Punisher" (no kidding ! It's an actual issue, check it out !)

    April 11, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  6. gmorphis

    who'll win? Thanos, with the infinite gauntlet of course!

    April 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • klismo

      omgisawamovieandwenttowikipedia.txt

      May 10, 2012 at 1:50 am |
  7. Pete

    Who will win? The muscular guy with super magical fantastico power from planet Zebulon 6 or the hugely chested girl with super magical fantastica power from earth, whose backstory is only slightly different from everyone else's? What does it matter? When everything is made up, anything can happen, and everyone can be reasoned as having more power than everyone else. It's like rock-paper-scissors with no universally accepted objective rules.

    April 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  8. Z

    Namor is the Xmen? how is he even a mutant?

    April 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • John

      At least he threw some pants on for the occasion.

      April 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Ima Guest

      @Z Namor actually is a mutant. The wings on his feet (and his ability to fly) are his mutation.

      April 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
      • KajinPL

        So basically his X-Gene from the the human side plus the Atlantean side. Badass.

        April 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Andy Jones

      In the Marvel universe, Namor is considered the first Mutant ever because of his abilities. The fact that he is Atlantean is why people question his affiliatin.

      April 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  9. MassiveMarbles

    I respect both sides. Anyone experiencing life changes over this needs to get a life!

    April 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  10. Awes0me

    Richie Rich could settle this dispute in arbitration.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  11. EP Sato

    Up until last year, The Uncanny X-Men was the longest running series Marvel was still publishing. All other comics had rebooted at least once. Now, they ended the Uncanny X Men and split it into two teams, one with lame-o Cyclops leading, the other with Awesomesauce Wolverine. Unfortunately, my subscription folded into the lame-o Cyclops series, and I totally lost interest.

    I've NEVER understood the appeal of cyclops. He's a serial womanizer, arrogant jerk and has an uninteresting super power. Yet somehow, the Mighty Makers of Marvel comics continue to act as if he's the center of attention. Note to Marvel: Cyclops led an X Men team that couldn't keep up sales back in the 70s, the post Wolverine era X Men made the series popular enough to yield cartoon series, a movie, record sales, and lifetime fandom. It's time to kill off cyclops and let the REAL X men be featured in the series.

    As for Xmen vs. Avengers, this is no where near the first time these teams have clashed. Uncanny X men 10 (was it 10? Somewhere about there, back in the 60s) had the X men fighting the Avengers. They clashed in "Secret Wars" over Magneto's X Men Membership, then clashed again (also over Magneto) in X Men Vs. the Avengers in the late 80s/early 90s. There were also plenty of individual scuffles throughout the way, with Rogue beating the spit out of most of the Avengers in annual 10.

    April 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  12. Kevin Nivek

    The comics industry finally lost me when the price went to $4 an issue. There are so many more important things to spend money on.

    April 6, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  13. Ray

    I wonder if Marvel has really thought about the message their putting out there with this kind of series.

    The ttraditional' Avengers, taking on the role of the Religious Right, fighting against the forces of diversity as embodied by the X-Men. It makes me wonder if they're also planning on introducing 'Klan Man', with a big ole' Stars and Bars emblazoned across his chest.

    This constant pitting of groups of characters against each other is a symptom of an abysmal lack of creativity in the industry. Something you also see on television. For as much money as they make, you'd think there'd be a desire for something REALLY new... not retread after retread.

    I walked away from the genre as a whole, though, once they started with their Alternate Universe stupidity. I'll stick to reading the real classics.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • martin_VanBuren

      Wow, do you like to pigeonhole everything. Just to see Mutant as a "race" is ignorant and Avengers as the Klan?
      I'd put it in terms of the a-bomb..... Avengers are the UN and X-Men are Iran, trying to preserve their holy "race"......

      April 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • ZombieMouth

      This is why I have moved to different and in my opinion better fare. There is some really good stuff out there like The Boys, Chew, Sweet Tooth, Walking Dead, Witch Doctor, just about anything from Mark Millar, and until it ended, The Unknown Soldier.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  14. Brandon Dickens

    Buy it or dont but good Lord, it's a comic book. And I say that as a lifelong collector with thousands of comics. Some of you sound salty and in need of a date.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  15. Mike

    I was religious about buying comics when I was a kid. why can't the producers be just as religious when they attempt to re-create the comic on film? Pretty disappointed in the direction that transformers and X-men both took! They completely diverged from the original story and it ruins it for us. Why would you do that?

    April 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  16. Dave

    When Jack Kirby, Neal Adams, and Steve Ditko left Marvel, so did I. The art stinks and the stories are quite poorly written so why bother?

    April 5, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  17. Killian

    ALL it is a "who's D*ck is bigger" contest. It's going to be a big fight for 10-11 issues, the a uniting against a common foe. In the end nothing will be resolved and both teams will act like it's all been "A very special episode of Blossom".

    Color me jaded but I'm sick of huge "must read! will change everything forever!" ™ events. Just write some decent stories for a change.

    April 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • V

      That's funny.

      April 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  18. Ryan Marshall

    Avengers have Squirrel Girl. The X-Men would have no chance if she decided to join the fight.

    April 5, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • T

      Very funny !
      Why not the fabulous Frog-man as well ?

      April 11, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  19. Keith

    The Avengers can mop the floor with those crappy mutants. X-men suck.

    April 5, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  20. Ronald

    The end result is the Hulk destroying the Avengers and X-Men just like he did in WWHulk

    April 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Seraphim0

      Which was ridiculous and completely biased as the Hulk is one of the most one-dimensional characters in comics. Not to mention the fact that it has been stated Canonically that if Ghost Rider had been in full posession of his abilities, he would have wiped the floor with the Hulk. So much for 'ultimate superhero' Hulk.

      April 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
      • DrEvil

        Ghost Rider? Really? Ghost Rider is a grade D nobody. Drop the Nick Cage mancrush.

        April 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
      • Rob

        Actually reading back it was stated that Ghost Rider Unleashed ( meaning the Demon god in him with no limits) would destroy the Hulk ....BUT After it was unleashed he merely did the Penance stare and Drove off

        April 13, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  21. gremlinus

    Time to dust off the phoenix and bring her out again. Sometimes I could really go for beating the cr*p out of the person that figured out how to bring Jean Grey back against the original "final mandate."

    April 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Ray

      I totally agree.
      And I have no doubt that the argument came from a marketer.

      April 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  22. KajinPL

    This is cool. Not as cool as Avengers Vs. Transfomers.

    April 5, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  23. adam

    Jean Grey would be a game changer in this esp as white phoenix make it happen Marvel

    April 4, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
  24. ChristopherH11

    In other words, don't just buy this nonsensical, banal "event" that has no deeper meaning and fails to move the characters and Marvel universe forward–but also buy at least two other Marvel mini-series for "background". Marvel really has the hype machine working overtime on this.

    April 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Ray

      Both Marvel and DC sold out years ago. It's surprising to me that Stan Lee even shows his face during the day.
      He should be ashamed.

      April 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
      • T

        DC is worse than Marvel, basically it started at Superman: Birthright miniseries and it all went right downhill to crap after that Flashpoint to the NEW DC 52 with their (UGH) reboots of nearly everything in sight. (Don't get me started on their proposed re-boot of Captain Marvel !!!)

        April 11, 2012 at 11:04 am |