A+X is… weird. It’s a cool concept and I appreciate the idea, but it’s just weird. I want to really like it, but I just don’t right now. As it’s currently presented, it just doesn’t work. Maybe Marvel will clean it up, maybe the won’t, but right now it’s a middling comic that, if nothing else, is unfulfilling.
The idea is to pair one traditional Avenger with one traditional X-Men and let them hang out and fight and do other comic book hero stuff, and to do that twice inside of one comic, with two separate pairs and two separate creative teams.
Marvel called in some of their bigger guns for this issue, with Dan Slott (The Amazing Spider-Man, The Mighty Avengers) writing Captain America & Bucky and Cable and Jeph Loeb (Ultimate Comics, Hulk, Spider-Man) writing The Incredible Hulk and Wolverine. Unfortunately for Marvel, sometimes the size of the guns doesn’t matter.
Where size does matter, though, is in the number of pages devoted to each individual story line, and what is ultimately the biggest failure of this book: there isn’t enough. There’s just not. We got two, individually intriguing and gripping stories, both of which are rushed through and cut short for the sake of novelty.
Both stories involve time travel and I assume that somehow, despite the fact that they’re just going to keep rotating main players in the story, all of the arcs are going to connect into something cohesive and understandable. This is, presently, not anywhere close to how it’s being done. I know it’s a #1 issue and maybe I should be more lenient, but not here. Marvel jerked fans around for a summer with an incredibly mediocre event that had major universal implications, and then used it to follow in DC’s footsteps and give their universe a jumpstart. That’s fine, as long as what we get on the other side is worthwhile.
Right now, we’re teetering in the wrong direction. I know that it’s early, but I’m expecting Marvel to be working hard to push stronger and stronger books to keep people involved, especially when right now is as good a time as any to drop out all together. They also have a host of impressionable new readers that they’ve raked in from the Avengers film popularity, and if they don’t get their shit together, things could get ugly fast.
So that’s not really about this particular book, but this book is a pretty good marker for Marvel as a whole.
I’m tired of seeing popular characters dick around for 25 pages. That’s what everyone got this summer, and we’re done. It’s time for some substance.