Saturday, January 5, 2013

12 Days of X-Mas: Avengers: X-Sanction (2010)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this year’s 12 Days of X-Mas. This really revealed one thing; there are a lot of X-Men comics! As I was picking through the options, I was overwhelmed with my volume of X-Men comics. And that's not really counting the ongoing series. 

For next year, I’m already looking at Rogue’s solo series, Domino’s limited, and the Beast’s weird X-Factor one-shot for next year! And how many of you remember the Imperial Guard limited series? Anyway, on to the finale! 

I think it is time to just start reviewing Jeph Loeb comics based on the art. More than any other writer, his stories are there to service the pencils. The entire plot for this series boils down to this: Cable thinks the Avengers are a threat to his daughter Hope, so he attacks them. For four issues, it is a series of one-on-one battles as Cable drops heroes way above his weight class. 

Not surprisingly, Red Hulk comes out of this looking the best, he almost beats Cable. Cable repeatedly refers to the Red Hulk as Talbot, though, so that’s an odd thing. I know Nathan Summers might be referencing a different timeline, but perhaps Loeb is hinting at future plans. 

I also appreciated Falcon getting a few licks in during the finale. Falcon was nothing more than bait in the first issue, but by giving him the first few shots out of the freed Avengers, he gets to regain a little dignity. Ed McGuiness draws the heck out him in the panel after he escapes; Falcon looks like the frigging Hulk! It would be great seeing him draw the character more. 

The way Loeb writes, Cyclops really wouldn’t have gone up against the Avengers in AvX. Cyclops is constantly giving in and trying to keep the Avengers happy. I also real hope that Cable comes out in Cyclops’ corner in the current X-books, Cable pretty much promises as much here. (Having just four X-Men in Cyclops’ new Brotherhood doesn’t seem like enough support.)

McGuiness is tremendous, as always. I absolutely love his larger-than-life takes on the heroes. I don’t like Cable stealing Colossus’ look for the conclusion of the series, but at least it is a dynamic design (it’s worked for Colossus for years, after all.) In fact, the art is so exciting that it raises the grade for this very simple story. If nothing else, it looks great seeing Cable take on all these icons. (My favorite battle is probably the one facing Iron Man in issue 2.)


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