Promo Vs. Spoiler

Marvel-Now-teaserI have to start this off by saying I’m one of the most positive people when it comes to comics. I’m probably one of the least harsh critics of DC and Marvel. That said, the past few big crossovers for Marvel have been very anti-climactic. The reason for this is that they abandon promotion of the upcoming or current crossover in favor of the “next big thing” that follow almost immediately.

Once the first few months worth of comics have been ordered, they just start plugging away at the marketing for the next thing. That marketing push often gives away the story they are in the middle of telling. Marvel Now details gave away plot points from AvX and Angela’s appearance at the end of Age of Ultron was given away months before Age of Ultron ended (this might be because someone leaked it but Marvel jumped all over it).

angelaSara+Pichelligog6That all said, the Geoff Johns narrated Trinity War video teaser is the WORST spoiler I’ve seen yet! The timing couldn’t be more suspect either. All the orders for Trinity War are in and the Forever Evil and Villains month orders can still be made.

This “teaser” is essentially the synopsis for the entire Trinity War story and lets you know that someone is going to die and what the eventual ending will be. Reading this story will feel like just going through the motions. Here’s the video. Tell me what you think.


* UPDATE - I’ve since read the first part of this story (Justice League #22). I have to say, it was a really enjoyable issue. It felt big and large in scale. The Shazam/Superman fight reminded me of classic super hero meeting then getting into a misunderstanding and then fighting stories that silver age Marvel stories told so well. That fight also reminded me of the Shazam (then Captain Marvel) fight with Superman in Justice League Unlimited.

Any way…the ending would have had a MUCH bigger impact if I didn’t already know going into the story that villains are behind everything. I also find my expectations lessened by knowing that the villains ultimately win this. One issue in and I am still behind my original thought…DC and Geoff Johns hurt the experience of this crossover with the teaser video.

Hero Flip Floppers


Sometimes a good guy goes bad. Or rather, a protagonist becomes an antagonist. Villains become heroes more often then the other way but there are times where some of the best go down a dark path. Adam and Nick discuss a few notable twists in the lives of the best heroes. Some of these number in our lists of favorite comic stories of all-time. Check out why we think these characters made these changes and why they are important stories.

Listen to the Episode Directly.

Listen to the Episode on iTunes.

iTunes listeners: HELP US OUT!

Win Free Marvel Comics of your choice by leaving us iTunes reviews. Click HERE to find out how!

Have something you’d like us to discuss? Please email us question at info@shortboxpodcast.com with “Listener Topic” in the subject line and make sure to let us know if we can use your name on the podcast. Thanks for listening!

Seasons Geekings

Santa is coming to visit all the good boys and girls once again. Geeks typically have a Christmas list longer than anyone. This season, especially, has more items than ever for fanboys and girls. Why is that? One of the main reasons is that there are so many HUGE movies out this year. That all said, I’ve chosen Ultimate Collection versions of a Movie Series, TV Show, Comic Book, and Gaming Console as four BIG presents that I think would make any Grinch embrace the season (as long as he/she is a geek).

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My personal favorite movie of the year and one of my new favorite super hero movies of all-time, The Dark Knight Rises is now available on Blu-Ray and DVD. I’m mostly focused on the ultimate versions of releases for Christmas. This means you’re not going to see the word “DVD” again. This movie is a movie to own…plain and simple. The re-watchability of this film is very evident. There are a few different versions of the trilogy available. The 3-disc and 5-disc versions are available now with The Dark Knight Trilogy Ultimate Collector’s Edition coming some time in 2013. I have the 5 disc Blu-ray and it’s great. The little art book is cool but nothing special. The extra features are all pretty good except the Batmobile doc which is exceptional! The hour long doc on the history of the Batmobiles is worth it’s own release it’s so thorough. If you want to REALLY get the ultimate experience, check out the Bat Cowl edition. It’s basically the same thing with a crazy head sculpture of the mask. It makes for an impressive gift.

AvX Hardcover

x-men cyclops marvel collectionI’m not going to talk too much about the story because we have at length before. To hear my feelings on the whole story, check out Episode #27 of the Short Box Podcast or if you want to hear what we thought of the first 6 issues, check out Episode #6. Suffice to say, I enjoyed this series as far as mega crossovers go. It had it’s ups and downs but, like Civil War, this one had me choosing sides and held my interests with some great twists. I’m going out on a limb and saying this is probably one of the biggest collected editions on people’s Christmas List this year. It is currently the only way this series has been collected (that won’t last long but no one likes to wait). Another reason people are going to want it is for it’s completeness.

Now sure, this book doesn’t contain EVERY AvX story. How could it? The book crossed over with over 60 books. What it does contain is the entire 13 issue run of the main miniseries, all 6 issues of the forgettable and redundant companion Versus series, the Point One story with Nova (It’s Coming), and (for the first time ever in print) the Infinite Comics. The Infinite Comics REALLY suffer from the format change. Marvel knows this too because they make mention of it. What is pretty cool is that they include the digital code for these digitally optimized Infinite stories with the hardcover. In addition to that digital experience, all the Marvel AR codes are right where they were on the original books.

The biggest misses are with the binding, the expense, and lack of full page versions of the variant covers. This 568 book is bound by glue and not sewn. With as many double page spread as this story had, a lot is missed in translation. With a $75 price tag, this book should get the Omnibus treatment. That said,  you can get this book for $47 on Amazon new and $37 used. If you are looking for as definitive as you’ll probably ever see edition of this story, this is it for you. If you are just looking for the core, wait for the trade.

 Wii U

mario zeldaA controversial pick, I know. Full disclosure: I bought one. I’m a big Nintendo fan and not what you would call a “hardcore gamer”. Many of my friends are either the World of Warcraft or Call of Duty types. I’m neither. That’s not to say I don’t like those style games…I do! I just don’t have the time or the skills I use to when I was a bigger gamer. What I am looking for in a console is entertaining escapism without the mega commitment. The Wii offered me that for the past few years. The last year was probably my slowest gaming year of my entire life. I bought just one console game while mostly gaming on my iPhone and iTouch. That game was Zelda Skyward Sword (which I never beat). It felt like time to look at a new console just when the Wii U came out. I am not someone whose thinks graphics is the end all be all either. That’s why the Wii U’s backwards compatibility was a big part of my decision to be the system.

After using the new controller at a Best Buy demo, I found it much more ergonomic that I had ever thought it could be. I didn’t JUST buy the system for the new Mario but it sure helped. The first game I bought was Nintendo Land which really trains you on this system. You can see the potential of what it has to offer through fun mini games. You can also start using the Wiiverse which is kind of like integrating a social network and message board into every part of the onscreen interface and games. The apps run much better through the Wii U than the Wii including Netflix, Hulu, and the others that are sure to come. Like the Wii, this is set up for casual gaming, playing with friends, parties, and for lovers of retro gaming.

Doctor Who Ultimate DVD Box Set

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Do you have friends who have asked you: “Where should I start to get into this whole Doctor Who thing?”? Well, this is where you start…with all of the modern Doctor Who in once place! This 41 disc mega set contains Seasons 1-6, The Complete Specials (from David Tennant’s run), bonus art, the recent 3 mini-documentaries (for the first time on DVD, and the 11th’s Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver. If you want to know why people LOVE Doctor Who, check out our New To Who Podcast episode.

If you don’t already own these episodes, this is a cost effective way to have these VERY re-watchable episodes together. I catch re-runs here and there on BBC America but I often go back to my DVDs and watch episodes so I can say that, without a doubt, I get a lot of value from mine.

This has been an incredible year for Doctor Who fans. The globalization of fans is on an unprecedented rise and this is all leading up to the 50th anniversary celebration of 2013. Watch them all in order at your leisure with this HUGE set.


comic book podcast

Episode 27 is everything AvX! 2012′s summer blockbuster is examined and discussed. This epic 12 part mini series crossed over to almost every X-Men and Avengers title and concluded with AvX Consequences.

Marvel promised that this would have a big impact on the Marvel Universe and it really did. We discuss the big death, what this means to the Marvel Universe, and where it looks like it will go from here.

Listen to the episode directly here.

Listen to the episode on iTunes.

Whose Side Was Right?

The dust has settled on AvX. Marvel Now has kicked off. Cyclops and Captain America have both made different moves after this battle. Cap has created the Uncanny Avengers while Cyclops’ Uncanny X-Men are looking to help new mutants regardless of who gets in the way.

Now what we have all the facts, who do you think was right? Comment below!

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Marvel’s Newest Chapter

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Marvel Now is here!

Between October 2012 and February 2013, Marvel is providing a new Marvel Now title to pick up each week. This is not a reboot, just a jumping on point for new and lapsed readers to pick up these books. New number one issues, new costumes, and new status quo these comics should be approachable and get you hooked.

Many have been released already and I would like to grade what has come out so far. I’m going to skip Marvel Now! Point One and A+X for now and go right into the books that matter.

When grading these books, I needed criteria. The best criteria would be Marve’s own, in my opinion. I’m using a 1 to 5 star rating with 5 being the best. Here is what I am looking for:

1. Approachable to a new reader. Could anyone who liked the recent Marvel Movies pick this book up as their first comic and enjoy it?

2. New status quo. Is this new enough to warrant this new labeling and reboot?

3. New cover designs. Covers will be less dogmatic (logos always on the top) and look more like movie posters.

4. New looks. We have been promised new costumes for established characters.

Round 1

Uncanny Avengers #1

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The first Marvel Now book is also suppose to be the flagship title.

This book marries the popular Avengers and X-Men franchises in a book that directly follows AvX. Cyclops’s words really got to Captain America on the Avenger’s attitude towards mutants. This team is the result. The team members chosen for this team are really deliberate. Choosing Havok as the leader of the team really works for me because it gives the character a chance to rise to the next level. Scarlet Witch has the most to make up with the mutant community. Rogue, on the other hand, has historically had a problem with the Avengers (attacking them in her very first appearance). Cap and Thor make the team legitimate and Wolverine has been set up as the new Professor X.

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That’s the team that has to take on a renewed threat of the Red Skull. Like this team, his agenda is a logical merging of mutant-related issues post AvX for this Avengers villain. In fact, his hatred of mutants is so obvious it’s surprising it hasn’t happened before. My biggest problem is that there have already been publishing delays on a book that is suppose to be the flagship to this initiative. Cassaday’s art is perfect for this book and will contribute to a great trade paper back. Here’s hoping the delays don’t hurt interest in this book with all the new first issues premiering.


If you have not read AT LEAST AvX, this story makes no sense. A lot of these characters are not introduced in this book. This might work well for lapsed readers (who have at least read House of M) but readers new to comics would be lost.

New Status-Que:

This book has a mission beyond fighting super villains. They are also trying to work on human/mutant public relations. That’s something new for an Avengers book. Adding mutants to the roster, however, is something the team has done since issue 16 of the first volume.

New Cover Designs: 

With all the variants, it makes this less cut and dry. That said, almost ever John Cassaday cover looks like a blockbuster movie poster. This should be the benchmark for Marvel Now covers. These should sell books.

New Looks:

Everyone’s costumes look similar to their iconic looks but slightly streamlined. Thor’s fingerless gloves and spiked wristbands look weird (am I the first to notice?). I’m going to go out on a limb and admit that I really like the revamps to Havok, Scarlet Witch, and Rogues’s looks. Streamlined without looking like New 52 armor.

All New X-Men #1

marvel now comicsThe premise of this story really threw me when I first heard about it. Time travel and the X-Men is not a new plot device. Days of Future Past and The Age of Apocalypse hinge on the idea of time travel and it’s affect on mutants. Characters like Bishop and Cable are both long standing time travelers within the X-Men camp. That said, the idea that Beast would travel back to the beginnings of the X-Men to change his present has the potential for very large implications to the Marvel Universe.

Could this be a way to get a New 52 style reboot to the X-Men universe? We’ll have to wait and see. This book covers three different camps statues quos quite well. The Jean Grey School of X-Men reacting to Cyclops new outlaw X-Men as well as the original team in the past. The connection to all of these teams is Beast. He is really the soul of the X-Men now and was possibly most affected by Cyclops’s AvX decision and rejects him the most.marvel now uncanny x-men

This book really shows the status quo change for the X-Men by introducing Scott’s “Uncanny X-Men” team and goals and how they fit into that of the Jean Grey School’s. Beast’s revelation on his mutation, how he traveled through time, and where it goes from here provide enough mysteries to have readers needing to pick up the next issue. This is another example of a post AvX book that picks up right where that series left off.


Another book that comes our of AvX. Actually, this book comes out of AvX Consequences. You don’t know how things got like this without those books. However, there is so much exposition from different angles that you know what’s going on and you know what’s at stake.

New Status-Que:

This is actually the first appearance of Cyclops’s new Uncanny X-Men Team and what they are about (AvX Consequences is like a prequel). Besides that, the idea that the original team is going to interact with this era feels BIG in what could happen.

New Cover Designs:

I feel that these are traditional but also well composed covers. Besides the first issue wrap-around, the upcoming covers don’t really tell you much about what’s happening in the books.

New Looks:

Costume revamps have yet to come into play in this book. It seems like come of these characters will be getting new looks eventually (Cyclops’s Magneto style helmet) but it won’t be happening in this series first.

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short box podcast comic booksSo….I saw this coming. I know, I know…everyone says that. You are also thinking, this wasn’t THAT surprising. Well…yeah.

But I KNEW it was coming. The reason I knew for an absolute certainty that this was going to happen was the solicitation for X-Men Legacy for the Marvel Now initiative.

There is almost always a book that is launched as a result of something big that happens near the end of large events. It’s a safe call because people get wrapped up in these big stories and they want a natural place to go from there. X-Men Legacy seemed the most obvious choice for a move like that but something had to happen to kick it off first.

I’m going to get this out of the way right now. Professor X is dead…again.

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The Death of Professor X

Comic Book Spoilers Short Box


The reason I saw this coming with a certainty is because they gave his son his own book called LEGACY! The upcoming writer of X-Men Legacy staring Professor X’s Legion, Simon Spurrier, said the he will be “embracing his father’s legacy”. Hmm… Simon Spurrier then went to tell Newsarama this in another article about the upcoming book:

Newsarama: So will we see Legion exploring the world at large, and not just the X-Men’s corner of it?

Spurrier: Very much so. In fact — by way of example — the very first episode sees David interacting with a whole host of amazing non-mutant characters, and really stamping his name on the bedrock of the Marvel U as a result.

Well, that certainly reads like a funeral doesn’t it? Ha.

Personally, I really enjoy Legion and have felt for years that he hasn’t been able to see his potential because no writer has put him in the spotlight. I’m looking forward to this.

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“I’m prepared to END this, you know. I’m prepared to STOP Scott, no matter WHAT the cost.”

Avengers #29 was one of the most telling of hints to Xavier’s upcoming doom as well. Xavier was a member of the Illuminati and this represented his membership in the larger Marvel Universe. During what would be his goodbye tour, he met up with this group one last time to discuss the Avengers’ war with the Phoenix.

There were other hints in different books but these few interactions were OBVIOUS. It’s like he knew he was going to die.


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Click for full image

So, that’s how I KNEW this was going to happen. After that, every encounter Xavier had took a new meaning and it became apparent that all the writers that had a chance to write him during AvX couldn’t help but drop hints. One of the most important issues in AvX concerning Xavier’s upcoming death was Wolverine and the X-Men #15.

If you have seen Star Trek II, you know that Spock is going to die when he goes to McCoy to implant his memories (and soul as it turns out) in his head. Well, it looks like THIS McCoy had the same thing happen to him suddenly in this issue of Wolverine and The X-Men.

Look at the energy mark of Xavier touching Beast. Look at the glow afterward in Beast’s eyes. Look at what he was looking at. Ok…what does all that mean? Well, we know that (again thanks to advance Marvel Now solicits) that the original X-Men are going to travel in time to exist side-by-side with characters of the current Marvel Universe. How are they going to get here? Why are they coming? I think Xavier implanted something in Beast’s head here that will relate to that event.

So those are just two ways that Xavier’s death will impact Marvel Now and the Marvel Universe post AvX. I think the impact will be bigger than other casualties of Marvel events because of how central Xavier at least WAS to the X-Men universe.

I wonder if the original X-Men will be plucked from a point in time after Xavier died the first time. The first time you say? Yes! He was seemingly killed by the villain Grotesk in X-Men #42 (February-March 1968), only to turn up alive and well in X-Men #65 (February 1970). You find out in issue #65 that Xavier had been replaced by another mutant named Changeling prior to being killed. He would then spend years in space with Shi‘ar Empress, Lilandra before rejoining his X-Men and back and forth from that point on. He would die again when his son, Legion, accidentally killed him in the past which led to the creation of the Age of Apocalypse (we’ll skip past the implications of that for now).

The reason, I believe, that Xavier was killed was because the impact he can have on the Marvel Universe is greater in death than in life. As a martyr, Xavier’s recent misdeeds will get swept under the rug of sacrifice. It’s similar to what was attempted with Hal Jordan in the 90′s. What misdeeds you ask? Well, here’s the reason Professor X has been relegated to the sidelines by his own students in the past few years:

  • It was revealed he tried to kill his twin sister in the womb which lead to her committing the largest act of genocide in Mutant history.
  • His part (as a member of the Illuminati) in shooting the Hulk into space which lead to World War Hulk.
  • Onslaught.
  • Turning the Danger Room into his personal slave after he knew it had evolved and became sentient.
  • The creation of the Xavier Protocol was his version of what Batman did in JLA: Tower of Babel. He developed a way to take out his own students, which like Batman, were stolen and used against them.
  • Putting together a team of untrained mutants to rescue the X-Men, getting them almost all killed, and wiping the memory of their very existence from his students…including Vulcan, who was Cyclops own BROTHER!

The worst offense is that he uses children to fight his battles while constantly quiting and taking space vacations. Xavier never believed in his own dream as much as his students did. He became redundant and his every appearance just reminded you of his failures. I believe the character became hard to identify with, sad, and just plain embarrassing to the X-Men. His death was just the final straw of his spiral over the course of the last 13 years. I’m hoping Xavier’s death spurs his son to get his act together and step up as one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe in time for his father to see him like that with his eventual return to life.

Click on the images below to see more on the death of Professor Charles Xavier from AvX #11.

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Best Bets August 2012

We want to apologize right off the bat for Nick’s sound quality. His Skype connection gave him a cyborg-like tone to his voice. That said, we get to talk about some of our favorite comics of August 2012 in this episode.

The intro and outro song you hear is the theme song for Superman The Animated Series.

Green Lantern Annual #1 – Rise of the Third Army starts here.

The cover is suppose to remind you of Superman #75′s Death of Superman.

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This is what the soldiers of the Third Army looks like.

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Justice League #12

This is the controversial cover that got major media attention.

Short Box Podcast Comic Book Review Jim Lee

This kiss heard ’round the world:

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Here’s the lineup of the new Justice League of America book that we mentioned:

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Wolverine and the X-Men #15

Iron Man and Broo become quick friends!

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The last page of Wolverine and the X-Men #15. Reminiscent of the original X-Men.

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Batman Beyond #7

Here’s the cover from the image which shows this different version of the Batman Beyond costume.

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Batman Inc. #3

This issue was put on hold for over a month because of the shootings in Aurora, Colorado. This is the scene that held the book back.

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This is what Batman looks like as Matches Malone.

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Here’s the fist look at Damian’s new “Red Bird” costume. Nick called him “Red Wing” by mistake.

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Damian as Red Bird looks to be teaming up with the as yet to be revealed Wingman (as seen on this upcoming cover):

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No one knows who Wingman is except Batman. It’s someone who knows who Bruce is and has a reputation to salvage. Jason Todd? Jean Paul Valley? We’ll find out!

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Alan Napier (1960′s Batman) as Alfred doned the Batsuit as a way to protect Bruce’s identity.

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Batcow is back!

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Animal Man in Grant Morrison’s run is a vegetarian. At one point during his run, Animal Man actually confronts Morrison himself who reveals himself as a comic book writer who control’s Buddy Baker’s life. This is what he had to say about him being a vegetarian:

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Buddy Tells his wife he is a vegetarian and his whole family will be now too:

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After looking into it further, it seems like Poison Ivy gets her sustenance from the sun…like a plant.

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Next up is our question from Shortbot. You can send your questions to him at @TheShortBot on Twitter.

Here’s a great link to alternative versions of Superman. Many of these are based on different people, other than the Kents, finding the baby Kal-El and raising him.

The story of Superman being raised by the Waynes is called Superman: Speeding Bullets. It’s was an Elseworld story written J.M. DeMatteis and the artwork of Eduardo Barreto in 1993. Here’s the cover:

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His Kryptonian powers manifest the first time while his parents are murdered leaving him to use heat vision to kill Joe Chill. Later he discovers the Batcave and decides he too is a bat!

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Martha Kent from Superman For All Seasons.

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Here is the actual nail from: Justice League The Nail, that stopped the Kents in this reality from finding Kal-El and adopting him.

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Dont forget to leave your question for Shortbot!

Short Box Podcast Reviews Comic BooksA Welcome Pause In Action

AvX is once again suffering from summer crossover fatigue. There is a point in the last few line-wide crossovers (around the beginning of the last third of the story) where the follow-up to the crossover has been announced and with a little intuition you can figure out how the story will end based on future solicits. This is where AvX is right now in the beginning of September. Sure, I don’t know which mandatory death is coming but I can cross off quite a few from the list after seeing upcoming art.

What I am getting at is that AvX went on longer than I wanted and I’m burnt out. Thank goodness for this issue of Wolverine and the X-Men! This has been one of my favorite X-Titles since it first appeared a year ago because it still has heart and great character moments. Jason Aaron understand the X-Men formula and I’m glad he’s steering this ship. In fact, it’s the only X-Men book that feels like a true X-Book to me. Sure, I love X-Force (also one of my favorites) but I like if for different reasons. What I am looking for in an X-Men story is equal parts internal drama as well as high stakes action. What this issue lacks in action (which there is plenty of mindless variations of this running in the other AvX tie-ins) it MORE than makes up in character moments. Other issues of this title dish out action in big ways too so there’s something for everyone.

This issue feels very much like a state of the union for the reasonable members of what was once Xavier’s team. Let’s touch on a few of these character moments:

Wolverine & Hope - They take a second to talk before what will probably be the final battle of AvX. They’ve had some real ups and downs but I think they are both on the same page now. This conversation happens in the X-Men’s graveyard. It’s a bad sign when your super hero team has their own graveyard. It’s worse when the biggest memorial is also for a redhead who took on the Phoenix. Hope should be scared.

Beast, Iron Man, Agent Brand, Broo, & Iron Fist - Only this book would have this collection of Avengers and X-Men working on the end game to take out the Phoenix. What makes this book so good is moments like this. In probably the best interaction in this comic, Broo and Iron Man become quick friends through an exchange that proves Broo is ready for the big leagues. The students of the Jean Grey School are the reason I look forward to this book so much.

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Quentin Quire, Rachel Grey, & Professor X - This is a quick exchange but it was VERY important. Quentin calls Xavier out on no longer being relevant and spending all his time on the sidelines. This is something that fans have been rumbling about for a few years now. Ever since Cyclops kicked Professor X out of his mansion a few years ago, he has barley been an important character in the Marvel Universe. Xavier’s retort proves that he is the foremost educator and knows better than anyone on how to deal with an unruly student. His ability to play mind games are more than just his telepathy. These two pages alone were worth the price of admission for any X-Men fan.

Husk & Toad - This new relationship comes out of nowhere but should make sense because both characters have become marginalized at the school to different extents. I think Toad has paid his penance and deserves some happiness. I hope this goes somewhere.

Kitty Pryde & Iceman - This couple seemed to come out of nowhere but, through Kitty’s aggressive behavior, it seems to be moving faster. It makes Colossus’s decesion to become the Juggernaut and then a Phoenix that much more tragic. They always seemed fated to be together but his recent changes have alienated himself from Kitty completely.

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Kid Gladiator, Gladiator, Warbird - These Shi’ar characters story comes to a conclusion. I really came to enjoy Kid Gladiator and I really hope this is just the beginning of a new direction for this character. He fit in this school because he was a VERY powerful character who could just as easily become a villain as a hero. Warbird’s story, however, will probably continue more in Astonishing X-Men than this book.

Wolverine & Iceman - The status of their relationship is strengthen through their recent disagreement. I will say, however, that I believe Wolverine is just placating Bobby.

Idie & Hope - These two friends have a nice quiet moment before the inevitable storm. These two were a big part of the Schism and it’s nice to see them taking a breath before what could be the biggest battle of Hope’s life.

Other quick moments that mattered:

  • Angel graduates. The odd story of Warren’s new life continues.
  • Beast realizes how far they have come since his original X-Men days (foreshadowing “The All New X-Men”)
  • Integration of the other younger mutants from Utopia. Will they stay at the school after AvX?
  • Martha finds Evan cute and even stranger…Krakoa is attracted to Dust?
  • Professor X promises to save Cyclops
  • This version of the first class but with Wolverine in the role of Cylops and Rachel standing in for Jean.

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All this happened in one book that featured no fighting but kept my attention and excitement more than any book this week. If you loved the X-Men of the 80s and 90s…this should be your book.

Breakdowns – Avengers Vs. X-Men

Part 3: Round 3

When I go to a comic shop or a con, people generally ask me if I keep up with normal weeklies.
My answer is usually that I try, but most of the time, that’s not really true.
Usually I shotgun through and paraphrase, so I have a concept of what happened to what character.

This is me basically doing that to large scale crossovers for you, this series in particular being the megaseries Avengers Vs. X-Men. I’ve broken up the ongoing by rounds, as to not make me write a huge, long terrifying thing about the series as a whole.

And so, we come to Round Three: A Whole Lot Of Kids Making Choices.

Before we make it to….. the confusing tale of the youths involved, I have to broach the subject of Wolverine, and exactly where he is during the entirety of this.

Now honestly, I’m not reading these as they come out, but the general assumption is that AvX #3 is what kicked off Round Three, and that makes everything a bit more confusing.

Let me Explain.

At the end of AvX #3, which I can gloss over because the tie-ins just repeat the main action of the issue, which is a pretty great feature of this series from a review standpoint, We see Wolverine being dumped off in what is assumedly a polar cap because he’s “too involved”.

Anyone could have seen that coming.

But, my main confusion is that, in the round three Avengers Academy tie ins, HE’S DROPPING OFF THE STUDENTS OF THE JEAN GREY SCHOOL.

So, his logically transition thus far is as such: Burned to a crisp by Hope/Phoenix, regenerated and thrown in a black bodysuit, then somehow on a quintet with his blue and gold costume, dropping off the students of the Jean Grey School and talking shop with a naked Hercules and Tigra, and then kicked out of an airlock by Captain America because he’s too deeply involved in the conflict. But, were that true, why weren’t the students in the quintet? And if they were, there is a telepath in that group. Nobody wants to warn Logan that some dumb crap is gonna happen?

From AvX #3, which basically has Iron Man being confused and upset over Cyclops’ concession to the Avengers from AvX #2, and then everyone, including Rachel Summers (who was formerly one with the phoenix force, and is also from the future) looking for Hope, who is using a piece of technology she assembled herself to keep one step ahead of everyone.

This is the same Hope that was being combat trained, and failing quite badly, last issue.
I just want to let that one sink in.

Anyway, moving on.

TIE-IN: Avengers Academy #29-31

This series sets up a couple weird angles, the first of which being Sebastian Shaw.
For those not in the know, Shaw was the leader of the Hellfire Club back when Jean Grey was the Phoenix, and basically he can absorb and break down energy attacks into strength. He was also one of the dudes that headed up the sentinel initiative, which I guess is a fun fact that they play into in #31.

But anyway, he gets brought over the the Academy with one of my favorite Canadians, Madison Jefferies, also known as the mutant Alpha Flighter, Box. This is a confusing element, because for some reason Shaw became amazingly aggressive than we had seen him previously in the story lines involving Utopia.

comic book geek xmen

But the best part, and this is the theme of Round 3, his resistance was basically toothless. It was a stratagem for the kids of the Jean Grey school AND the kids of the Avengers Academy to potentially join the war that by all means wasn’t even going on.


The second big variable in this series, and probably the entirety of Round Three is X-23. The former X-Forcer and current Avengers Academy member, she’s actually facing a lot of the same dumb pressures as the father that she was cloned from. Which is great, because we don’t see her in a lot of places of conflict in general, but the approach to this was actually not that well done. She has no consistent opinions on the war, and even when she does make decisions, she looks like she’ll backdoor out of them at any point. Which is frustrating, because man, do I want to care.

TIE-IN: Wolverine And The X-Men #10

The art is actually pretty great, but see my previous point about Wolverine. Also, this “war” is actually getting more pointless and toothless by the titles involved.

TIE-IN: X-Men: Legacy #266-267

This has an odd, two issue focus on Rogue about how she doesn’t feel like she can keep her anger in check, because she actually did decimate the majority of the Avengers in the earlier parts of her career.

chris brown comic review short box

We also get introduced to perhaps the worst diplomatic team in Avengers history just showing up on academy grounds for no real reason and unsettling the pot for everyone. This team consists of She Hulk, Falcon and Moon Knight, which is a pretty blatant incident waiting to happen.

Also, Moon Knight is a reality TV star in that reboot nobody read, and if you didn’t know that by now, he doesn’t shut up about it here.

So, basically an incident happens. in the form of Frenzy just losing it against She-Hulk. And basically the battle boils down to Rogue, absorbing everyone’s powers, destroying a hollow suit of Iron Man armor.

Then, we learn that Rogue is going to join the fight, which leads us into Round 3.5: JOURNEY INTO SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE.