The Avengers Vs The X-Men VS. titles are basically the comic equivalent of McDonald’s French fries. It looks good, it reads well and it is a lot of fun. It has also has zero actual value on any level. Nothing happening within the pages of Avengers Vs X-Men, or the other tie-in books, is affected by anything happening within the VS. title. If you want to spend four bucks getting a closer view of a fight, then go right ahead.
VS. #2 is split into two fights, same as before. The general idea is that all of these people are looking for Hope Summers, the girl who is about to have a meet-and-greet with the Phoenix power, the most destructive force ever. The first battle, which takes place in The Savage Land, is between Gambit and Captain America. I enjoyed this fight simply because writer Steve McNiven makes Cap a bad ass and Gambit gets the crap kicked out of him.
I enjoyed that Captain America paid little attention to Gambit during the fight, as if he was a minor annoyance. Once Gambit pisses him off, Cap ends the fight with the quickness. I can’t stand Gambit so watching him get pounded was very cool. I don’t know if it was due to handling both duties, but McNiven’s art felt a little rushed. There are some very nice splash pages, but by and large the panels are repetitive and lack any real oomph. The crux of the battle between Cap and Gambit is covered in the latest issue of Avengers vs. X-Men so this is really only for die hard fans of collecting all the tie ins.
The Spider-Man/Colossus fight is the same basic idea. This time the heroes are in Latveria. Colossus shows up and Spider-Man decides to take him on. Writer Kieron Gillen has a good handle on how to write Spider-Man’s dialog as well as how to pace a story like this. With only half a book to work with, Gillen draws as much out of each panel as possible. The action is much more visceral here than the Captain America vs. Gambit story since both opponents seem to take the other seriously.
Salvador Larroca’s art is excellent. I love how he draws Spider-Man both his physical form and the costume. Larroca even manages to make Colossus/Juggernaut look cool. Say what you will, the Colossus/Juggernaut mash-up looks stupid. Probably the best part of this fight is how reminiscent it is of Spider-Man’s first meeting with original Juggernaut Caine Marko in Amazing #229-230. This is no way as brilliant as the Roger Stern/John Romita Jr. story, but it is a nice reminder.
The choice here is yours. Nothing being written here is that great and the art is not worth the price of admission. Four bucks is a lot of money to drop on each issue of a six issue series that serves no purpose. Wait for the trade, trust me, you won’t be missing anything.
Cap/Gambit: (3 story, 3 art)
Spider-Man/Juggernaut: (4 story, 4 art)