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    Reviews - Avengers Vs. X-Men - #10

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Cyclops brings the pain to the Avengers. - colten97
Avengers vs. X-Men #9 was easily one of the high points of what has been a frustratingly uneven event overall. Unfortunately, that burst of improvement turned out to be short-lived. Issue #10 loses much of the momentum that had been built up coming into Act 3. This is one of those chapters that makes you wonder whether Avengers vs. X-Men really needed 12 issues to be told in the first place.

With all but two of the Phoenix Five out of the picture, issue #10 narrows its focus down considerably. Cyclops' one-man assault on K'un-Lun is the primary focus, while Emma's descent into Phoenix-induced madness and Xavier's attempts to undermine his former pupils are briefly touched upon. It's a shame these latter two plot points aren't explored more heavily, as they're far more interesting than Cyclops' rampage. Emma in particular is the most fascinating of the Phoenix Five in terms of how her possession is affecting her. I wish the series would provide her with a little more screen time.

The real problem with this issue is that Cyclops' battle just isn't very interesting. As powerful as the character is right now, there should be ample opportunity to depict heroes making heroic sacrifices and struggling against insurmountable odds. Jason Aaron did an amazing job with Spider-Man in that regard last time. Unfortunately, Ed Brubaker doesn't do the same with characters like Iron Man and Thor. Too much of this issue is merely a series of brief encounters. Cyclops encounters resistance, dispatches it, delivers a bit of Phoenix-y bravado, and moves onto the next target. There's surprisingly little sense of urgency or importance to anything. The entire issue reads mainly like a stall tactic, biding time until the true final showdown.

Again, this issue lacks emotional weight because Brubaker doesn't dig into any of the characters. Where there's generally been a Wolverine or Spider-Man or Black Panther to provide some sense of context and perspective to the conflict, issue #10 only has Hope. And unlike her material in New Avengers, Hope is never presented in a way that allows readers to properly latch onto her. Her mindset and her reaction to the transformation she experiences her are ignored. It's this lack of emotional depth that so often ensures that event comics are less enjoyable than their more significant tie-ins.

Another drawback to issue #10 is that Adam Kubert's artwork suffers a bit compared to the previous few chapters. Kubert's flair for dynamic, dramatically framed action isn't as apparent this time. The clashes between Cyclops and his foes are generally no more visually interesting than they are from a storytelling standpoint. There are exceptions, though, particularly when Iron Man charges into the fray. But often, it's Laura Martin's coloring and the way she depicts the clashing energies and magical auras of the various combatants that impresses more than the pencils. Kubert's facial work is also wonky at times, and some of his female characters take on a decidedly masculine look.

I had hoped issue #9's strong showing meant we could expect a rousing finish to Act 3 and AvX as a whole. That didn't prove to be the case. However, there is still hope that this chapter was merely one last, unnecessary pit stop in an overly drawn out conflict, and that the remaining two issues will pick that lost momentum back up again.




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