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Avengers Vs X-Men: Consequences #5

By: Kieron Gillen (wrirer), Gabriel Hernandez Walta (art), Jim Charalampidis (Colors)

The Story: Sigh…there’s a Prison break.

SPOILERS AHEAD

The Review: Well, so much for “consequences.”  What were the consequences of Avengers vs X-Men exactly, as defined by this series? We got a lot of Cyclops in prison…which is now a moot point. Hope looking for Cable (he finds her, and leaves).  And…what? The only person to have any real consequences as a result of AvX is the Black Panther, and we only saw him for one panel in issue one. Hell, he didn’t even get any dialogue. Cyclops facing the consequences and changing? That would have been nice. Instead he just wants to be the new Wolverine. Logan has the school? Fine, Scott will be the one to do what is necessary. The bottom line from all of this is that Scott Summers DIDN’T LEARN A !@#$%^& THING!!! Wolverine telling him that he tries to emulate Scott when running the school? Not enough. Tony Stark revealing that he figured out how to use Wanda and Hope to restart the mutant race? Whatever. The little matter of Scott killing them man he saw as a father–NOTHING! It takes someone nearly sociopathic  to be able to go through so much and not change in the slightest. Which are basically the people he aligns himself with: Magneto, Magik, and Danger. So, on one side we have Captain America having this epiphany that he’s treated the mutant race in a hypocritical way (he’d do anything to save humans, or Americans, but ignored the struggles of mutants). And Scott, having kept his species alive long enough to become stable again, goes back to being the same person. Is he so jaded that he can’t acknowledge the miracle that happened for his people to come back from the brink? What happened to being a political prisoner?

What infuriates me more is that there were legitimate reasons for him to escape, like finding out Sinister is still out there (Uncanny #20). Or he could have just waited. Cap and Wolverine made it perfectly clear that his incarceration was only temporary as the world calmed down. In fact, if Scott really wanted mutants to be safe, he would have listened. His reason for escaping was so he could start protecting mutants. Yes, because nothing tells the world that they are safe with mutants like watching the one who nearly destroyed the word escape from prison.

Sadly, Gillen’s craft is still strong. His actual writing and characterization is spot on. The saving grace of this issue–and many will disagree–are the scenes with Hope. When Cable finally reaches her, it’s a wonderfully touching scene, one of the few where we get to see the young Hope who doesn’t feel the weight of the world on her. On that note of pathos, the letter Scott leaves Wolverine, as flawed as a plot point that it was, is so well-written it  might just fool most readers. Even when I don’t like the story, it’s hard to say that Gillen is at fault. As I said last week, this story is clearly dictated (at least the Cyclops parts, or where he ends up).

The other problem here is the art. Walta was the wrong artist for this issue. Hell, for this series. I don’t want to say I hate the his art..but I kind of hate it. At least here. The faces all look terrible, as if nobody’s eyes fit in their faces. There is one decent double page spread of Magneto, Magik, and Danger hovering in the air, destroying the prison, and the rest is drawn in a boring way. In fact, the very next page had room for an amazing visual, but it’s drawn very matter-of-factly. Reading the script would have been more visually stimulating (like what you have to do when Greg Land is the artist). To make it worse, the art hinders Charalampidis’s colors. The way the inks are done makes everything too soft. For what’s supposed to be a dynamic conclusion, soft is not good.

Final Thoughts: I was hoping for much more out of this series, but that didn’t happen. I love Gillen and mean no disrespect to him, but this just wasn’t a story that needed to be told. It would have been better served as the last arc of Uncanny, but there just wasn’t time for that. But it’s done. Now I just have to be patient for Young Avengers to start.

Grade: C-

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