Welcome back to Axistential Crisis:, our ongoing look at Marvel’s latest crossover: “AXIS”. Surprising no one, this issue is a hot disaster. As always we’ll have a spoiler-free review followed by a spoiler-filled recap. If you’d like to check out prior installations of Axistential Crisis, do it up.
Written by Rick Remender
Illustrated by Leinil Francis Yu
ACT III: NEW WORLD DISORDER
THIS IS IT! THE BATLE ROYALE OF YOUR DREAMS–THE ASTONISHING AVENGERS VS THE UNCANNY X-MEN FOR THE FATE OF NEW YORK!
Guess what, I hated it.
Final Verdict: 2.3
Fine, fine. We’ll take an objective look at “AXIS” #9, whatever that means. It’s really hard to objectively look at a comic when it seems to be written by a maniac who is solely writing this story for the purpose of making you upset. Again, “AXIS” continues to be the absolute weirdest book Marvel’s put out in years, and not in a fun way. I am continually baffled by this book’s existence. There are certain elements here I can appreciate (the Jarnbjorn Thor vs. Apocalypse rematch being one of them) that make it clear that Remender and the people at Marvel are actually trying to make the effort to put an interesting story out. Yet the execution is so sloppy, I have to check my longbox on the hour to see whether my copy of “AXIS” #8 shit itself.
As has been expressed multiple times over the course of this column, Remender isn’t a bad writer. I just really doubt he wants to be involved with this comic and wants to make sure we’re aware of it. Rather than build on the rich mythology Remender has crafted over his tenure at Marvel, he clumsily walks from one retcon to the next, cleaning house for whatever Marvel needs for its next movie phase. Straight up, I don’t know what this book is about even though I write 2,000 words about each issue per week. That said, I can remember the retcons, in the sense that they happen because that’s the point. We’re not reading a story, we’re reading a checkpoint of where Marvel needs to be in 2015, bookended by absolute nonsense that Remender’s testing Marvel with to see if they even notice what they’re publishing. They haven’t.
Meanwhile, Leinil Yu is a pretty good “event” comic artist that, when given the proper amount of time, can pull of some really great action scenes. He has never met a man who did not have a face wrinklier than a scuba diver’s scrotum and a woman who wasn’t wearing the smooth skin of a baby’s.
Final Final Verdict: Purple. This comic doesn’t matter and neither does this review. Or anything really. I looked into the mirror this morning and found nothing.Recap
One aspect of “AXIS” I haven’t been mentioning this in recent columns but every issue begins with a big dramatic title, like this:
1) Reading that as “WHY THEY STING?” is the funniest thing “AXIS” has ever done to me.
2) “Why they sting” is actually a quote from later on in the own issue. Not only is “AXIS” #8 quoting itself, but it quoted the most boring line in the whole issue, and one least representative of what “AXIS” is all about. As we progress, we’ll be sure to find quotes that serve as a much better title. Speaking of which.
Another two things:
1) If anyone can do up AXIS #8: Now, I Ain’t No Sciencetition in the “AXIS” title fonts, you will be the first person Multiversity Comics ever pays money.
2.) I love that Country Carnage now sounds like Toots from Clone High
Anyway, Spider-Man is trying to diffuse the Gene Bomb that began to go off at the end of last issue but can’t fix it in time. Country Carnage’s solution is to use his body to cover the explosion and immediately kill himself with the best death scene in the entirety of comics.
Axis #8: God Help Me, I Can’t
If you read this comic and thought, “James is going to love this”, then you’re right because I immediately showed this scene to my girlfriend and she hasn’t talked to me in three days. Also, Marvel, I know you’re listening because there’s no reason this scene would ever be published except for the express purpose of messing with me. That said, for marketing purposes, you are absolutely welcome to place the “Country Carnage Rhinestone Freebird Memorial” statue on the roof of my apartment starting yesterday. My apartment may not be in the actual heart of liberal New York City, but my heart, as well as most of my body, bled profusely when I first read this page.
Also amazing, Carnage making Spidey promise to make this statue is my favorite character moment of the series. When Carnage comes back to life, and discovers there’s no rhinestone statue, I hope that fuels his next homicidal rampage.
Anyway, with the gene bomb gone, Apocalypse and the X-Men are left to fight Spidey and the Worthless Thor, who still hasn’t found a shirt. Thor, with his old axe Jarnbjorn, gets into a fight with Apocalypse, which is a callback to their great encounter in “Uncanny Avengers” #6, one of the most delightful comics of 2013. Unfortunately, like many great things, the battle gets interrupted by the Summers Brothers.
AXIS #8: GRAARGH–!
Thor is ultimately defeated by Loki and Enchantress, who are working together and also boning because platonic relationships don’t exist in the Marvel Universe. Enchantress opens a portal and goads Thor to chase after Loki by saying Thor loves his brother. And since love is the weakest thing to have in the Marvel Universe, Thor chases after his brother to prove he can murder him. The aforementioned portal leads to the moon, where Loki and Thor will fight in a tie-in issue, who cares.
Axistential Crisis: Who Cares
While Jarvis meets with Steve and Ian Rogers to tell them he hid the Red Skull (read above line), my boy Kluh shows up to attack Rogue. And after last week’s suggestion by David Harper that Kluh is always horny, “I’LL BUG-STOMP ANYONE IN MY WAY!” just became the worst line in the comic. Thankfully, before Rogue gets her bug stomped, Mystique disguised herself as Professor Xavier to try and calm down Kluh because clearly everyone is out of ideas. At least this allows Absorbing Man to sucker punch Kluh and also remind readers he’s a part of this comic.
Meanwhile in Latveria, Scarlet Witch continues to be the only remotely good character. In spite of the fact that Magneto’s suddenly not her dad, Wanda’s taking everything in stride by tearing down the castle of Marvel’s worst dictator, child murderer, and man who ruined her life and the lives of every Avenger and mutant. Unfortunately, Wanda is still a woman in a Remender comic and she’s damned if she thinks she’s going to have any autonomy any time soon.
Axis #8: Unlikely Boobs
Yes, Brother Voodoo, Jericho Drumm, and his brother Daniel have been brought back to life. What a twist.
When asked how he brought Jericho back to life by Magneto, Doom responds that he made a Faustian pact with a demigod which is the laziest excuse I’ve ever read. We went through three pages of Country Carnage and didn’t get a single page of Doctor Doom in hell bargaining for the soul of Jericho Drumm, the rightful Sorcerer Supreme?
… yeah I’d rather have Country Carnage too.
Back in Manhattan (?), all the characters are fighting in that crossover sort of way. You know what it looks like, even if you haven’t read it. Lasers, some ruins. You’re fine. Superior Iron Man gets the tip that Steve’s in the third Tony/Steve conflict of the month. After bursting into Steve’s bunker, Tony finds this:
AXIS #8: I’m Getting… Out Of Here
Anyway, yes, Steve is now wearing his armor-suit from the 90’s back when the super-soldier serum almost killed him the first time which is honestly kind of brilliant. And since the traditional shield is off with Sam, Steve has the laser shield from Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes season 2 and a comic, probably. He’s also carrying a skeleton that probably used to be Red Skull but was changed in the inversion. For the first time, I’m genuinely curious to see what happens next. Unfortunately, we won’t find out until next week, with the final issue of “AXIS” on Christmas Eve.