Written By: Rick Remender
Art By: Terry Dodson
“Axis” is bad. It’s a bad idea with a bad execution and bad individual issues. I’ve had a problem with this event for a while now but with the release of issue #6, I’ve found a particular niggle I can really complain about. But don’t worry, I’ll cover the other issues the book has because the book is bursting at the seams from all the crap they’ve crammed into the pages.
Since I’m going to be taking the piss out of the issue for the entire review, might as well start with something nice. There is one thing about heroes becoming villains and if you like spectacle you are in for a treat. Because heroes have all become colossal dick heads, they don’t seem to care about trivial things like excessive force, or collateral damage, or seeming like a sane person. So everything they do is with all their force, throwing out huge attacks without the slightest concern, blowing up property at a mere whim. All the art is really impressive then because now Terry Dodson gets to draw things like Scarlet Witch throwing a terrifying magic tissy fit. All of that looks really pretty.
That was nice right? Great, now to the rest of the book which is a boiling hot mess. First, let me remind you all of a principle that occurs in storytelling. The “Bad Guy” exists to be an obstacle against the “Good Guy”. This means that the bad guy has to be credibly difficult to fight and overcome so they are usually burdened with terrifying powers. But what happens when the Bad Guy switches places with the Good Guys? Nerfing. The writers have to bend over backward in order to make the story work. For example: Mystique. In continuity she is known for being the best infiltrator in the land. Her exploits are legendary. Now imagine she were a good guy, what would happen? If you said that she would sneak into the Bad Guy’s base disguised, and sabotage the base without anybody knowing then congratulations, you understand Mystique’s essential character core. If instead you said that she’d try and have an open confab in the streets to solve the problem diplomatically, I’m terribly sorry, you are apparently brain damaged and Rick Remender.
So “Axis” #6 is a book all about how bad ass villains are now discovering their heroics and also jamming crayons up their noses because without fail every single villain gets knocked down like a folding chair. The book even pans to Latveria where Doctor Doom is feeling extra super sorry about being a giant bell end. Then the Scarlet Witch shows up ready for a fight. So, Doom has an infinite robot army, an arsenal so big it has its own gravity, and his own supreme magic powers. Instead of using any of those to defend himself he decides to instead defend himself with his face. It is not a wise decision and he ends up being knocked on his ass tout suite.
If anyone reading this has seen “Maleficent”—A, I’m sorry. But B, there’s a great comparison her because in the mythos of Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent turned into a Mother Fucking dragon, that was why she was so hard to beat because Fucking dragon. In the movie, it was her pet crow that had the power. The same thing is happening here where every great villain is being brought to the pages and summarily ruined. After all, the cliffhanger for the book was a one page spread of all the villains they had gathered to save the world. At which point I thought, “That was Fucking pointless, they’re all neutered now.”
There are other problems I have with the book as a whole. They just introduced Sam Wilson as Captain America and the very first appearance in continuity is him being an asshole. That’s not the first image you want to associate with your new hero. Also, the book is almost weekly now which means they’re rushing these things out, and it shows. The very first page of the book was four black panels. Not blacked out like the characters were in a dark room, these were put here for the text blocks of exposition to have a space to sit. They could have used the space to show some of the surrounding environment, allow the reader to gauge the consequences. But no, they rushed this event and every issue to come out in it.
There’s several comparisons I could make to “Invincible” that it did better. There was that time that Omni-man revealed his Viltrumite origins and that he was cultivating our planet to rule it. I could talk about the time that Mark was forced to confront alternate versions of himself, all of which had turned evil. Or how about Robot was transported to a harsh alien universe that he eventually ruled as a tyrant before coming back to Earth to become the all-powerful king of Earth. “Invincible” plays with the conventions of good and evil quite a bit. One of the themes Robert Kirkman likes to show is the efficiency of evil. Everything runs so much better, but anyone who sees it from the outside looks on the enterprise with disdain because their callous nature is revolting. “Axis” is just barely toying with the idea and it’s so insubstantial that it hardly means anything. All in all, “Axis” is just a waste. But I will say this, if anyone gives Cyclops anymore flack for killing Xavier while under control from the Phoenix I will have a conniption because now they’re all assholes under mind control.
“Axis” is another pointless event and “Axis” #6 is particularly useless…