STORY: Jeph Loeb and Christopher Yost
ART: Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines, Terry Dodson, and Rachel Dodson
In the first totally enjoyable issue of AvX: VS, Colossus takes on the Thing while Black Widow and Magik take the fight to the demons in Limbo. While I previously lamented about how both Coloss-onaut and Thing have already been featured in VS, their fight was actually quite enjoyable. Similarly, Black Widow and Magik are generally evenly matched.
One cardinal sin of a comic book is not delivering on what it promises, and last issue’s fight between Spider-Man and Colossus was totally boring because they didn’t fight so much as Spider-Man quipped and quipped while Colossus destroyed a city while Spidey dodged until he ran away. This time, though, Colossus begins his fight with Red Hulk who knocks the new Juggernaut across the Blue Zone of the Moon to let the Thing take care of him. But unlike Red Hulk or Thing, Colossus’ mind has been warped by Cytorak and the energy of the Juggernaut, making him unstoppable, not only in stature, but also in mind and spirit. While Thing tries to throw ol’ Piotr off his game with verbal insults, Colossus just keeps going without distraction. Even though I’ve seen Colossus get into this mode before, he tends to go to the extreme and rage out – it’s jarring to see him so focused.
It’s interesting how little the major players from The Avengers have been used in Avengers vs. X-Men so far. Outside of Captain America and Iron Man, Earth’s Mightiest have been represented by the likes of Red Hulk, Thing, Protector, Ms. Marvel, and Luke Cage. While all great characters in their own right (except Red Hulk – that shit still makes no sense to me), it’s hard for new fans to relate to a team with the name they recognize with faces they don’t. Fortunately, Black Widow is front and center in the second match of the issue against Colossus’ sister, Illyana Rasputin, a.k.a. Magik. Illyana’s mutant power allows her to teleport through a demon dimension known as Limbo, which is a great defensive power, but really puts her on the same offensive level (or under, arguably) as Natalia Romanova. Also, setting their fight in Limbo was a great decision, as it gives readers a new location to sink their eyes into. And it’s about time the X-Men started winning matches! For real!