What If: AVX #2

by Tori B. on July 17, 2013

The thing about the What If… series is that because it’s not tied to canon, writers are allowed a lot of liberties and can write exactly the story that they want and in the case of What If: AVX, it’s turning out much greater than its original counterpart.
Writer: Jimmy Palmiotti | Artists: Jorge Molina, Norman Lee, Rick Magyar,  & Rachelle Rosenberg
Cover: Molina | Publisher: Marvel
I’ll say it again, when AVX was announced and compared to how the story actually went, was not at all how I predicted. Sure, it pushed us into Marvel Now! with the rebirth of mutants and Scott gets his character taken to a radically different level and each rift between characters is only deepened beyond Schism. But with the creative liberties under the What If… title, Palmiotti has taken the Avengers vs X-Men premise right on point and is giving to readers exactly what the label says.
Like the original AVX, it’s less of a war strictly between mutants and avengers, but more so mutants who happen to be affiliated with the X-Men (and yet we’re not surprised if they also happen to turn their backs on everyone because let’s face it, they’re slippery characters to begin with) tango with the phoenix force and everyone else is trying to understand what’s happening, or prevent anything from happening. The best part about this is how on point the characters seem to be written. I recall thinking that everyone kind of just sounded like a jerk in AVX in order to move the story forward, but here, it makes more sense— granted it’s hardly original either, but it’s still fun nonetheless. Scott proves to be an apt leader, calling the X-Men to help protect the Avengers after Magneto’s destruction to their aircraft, and while Scott and Tony do start to duke it out, Steve steps in as the good conscience and gets both men to acquiesce that everyone is at fault for the events that have happened.  I’m always game for when some of my favourite characters don’t sound like jerks despite the fact that they might have been around forever and need an update to character. 
It’s also notable that with more creative freedom, it seems like a lot more deaths are free to occur. (Unlike Age of Ultron *cough*) Each character death is given an appropriate amount of time and feels heavy on the reader, which serves as a good reminder in the telling of the story that the event taking place is big and is serious.
In regards to the art, it’s almost reminiscent of some of the more recent animated series Marvel has put out recently.  It’s not realistic enough to feel like a dark and brooding story, but each character is still given apt facial expressions, but still has a cartoonish quality that keeps it entertaining and gives action scenes the momentum that it needs.
By the end of the issue, so far What If: AVX reads like a modern take on the phoenix saga, and it’s a take that I’m for once not opposed to.

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