It’s been a while since I talked about a badly written event comic by a talentless hack of a writer. In fact, I think the last one was Civil War last year. This time, the story was handled by Brian Michael Bendis, a man who has made a career out of writing comics without even a hint of quality to them. It was written as a follow up to Avengers Disassembled, Which is another horrendously bad event comic that I could spend a long time going off of. Maybe another time.
We open with the Scarlet Witch going steadily mad. The Avengers and X-men meet up to try and decide how to handle the situation. This causes her brother, Quicksilver, to panic under the assumption that they’re going to kill his sister. The combined teams are approaching Wanda when the world changes. It transforms into a world where mutants are the majority and not persecuted and the vast majority of people on both the X-men & Avenger teams find themselves with the lives they always wanted. Only Wolverine seems to remember the world as it was.
Now, I’m not going to go into all the terribly written retcons that make no sense like Lorna Dane being Magneto’s daughter or Wanda being able to alter the fabric of reality. Maybe if I ever review the comics that made those changes, but they didn’t originate here and I’m not going to expect it to just ignore bad continuity changes from elsewhere. Especially when there are so many badly written elements that form the core for this event to talk about.
Let’s start with the impetus. First off, it’s completely out of character for Quicksilver to panic and assume the worst. Just like it’s out of character for either the X-men or Avengers to even consider using lethal force on someone because their powers are out of control. But the worst of it may go to Magneto for reasons I’ll go into when I talk about characterisation.
Another problem comes with the plot convenience of the plot device child. She somehow remembers everything about the old world and is conveniently able to make other people remember. Man, aren’t we lucky that someone who can alter the entire planet left such a huge weakness to her new world? And no, I’m not accepting “she’s mentally unhinged” as a lazy excuse for it.
It’s also clear that Bendis doesn’t know shit about the X-men because he talks about Magneto abandoning the twins. He didn’t abandon them. For those who don’t know Magneto’s history, here’s the short version. He and his wife, Magda, were living in peace with their young daughter. An angry mob showed up at their house. Their daughter was murdered. Magneto’s powers went out of control and he completely wiped out the mob. Magda was terrified after seeing that side of him and fled while still in the early stages of pregnancy. Magneto didn’t realise she was pregnant but still searched for her in the hopes of reconciling but eventually had to give up. He didn’t abandon them, he didn’t know they existed until they were adults. And even then he didn’t know they were his children right away.
There’s also the pressing question over whether the new world is better than their old. Everything we see indicates that the lives of the various people on the team are pretty nice and comfortable. All evidence also suggests that the world itself is in pretty good shape. Humans aren’t even treated as badly as mutants are in the universe proper. But when leaving things as they are gets brought up, it’s lazily dismissed as “this world isn’t right” and “you’ll feel like a jerk later because you even suggested that.” Because Bendis isn’t smart or good enough of a writer to actually engage with that question. It’s like the old Silver Age comics that tried to showcase Doctor Doom as a villain by having one dude in a crowd of adoring citizens who disliked him. Even Magneto freaks out when he finds out and he’s basically been given a world where his dream is reality. This, naturally, leads to the lazy, rubbish ending where the majority of mutants lose their powers.
Like with Civil War, I can’t go into every single character who’s out of character and how since they’re all taken out of character. Instead, I’ll go into the most egregious examples. Let’s start with the twins themselves. While Pietro can be impulsive, he’s also someone who’s known both the Avengers and the X-men for a long time. He would never assume the worst from them. Nor would he panic like that. If anything, he’s smart enough that he’d stay around and listen to their conversation to find out what they were actually going to do. Whereas Wanda’s conversion to a villain is just horribly handled and relies heavily on stereotypes of women as emotionally fragile and obsessed with motherhood.
Magneto might get it the worst. Not only is he willing to let them murder his daughter, which makes no goddamn sense given his back story, but he himself turns on and attacks his own children after finding out they’ve remade the world into one of his dreams. Because… how dare his children make his dream come true?
Honestly, for a lot of the characters it makes no sense for them to be fighting against the new world. Spidey is a beloved celebrity. His Uncle Ben is alive. He’s married to Gwen Stacey and they have a child together. Carol Danvers is America’s most popular hero. Hawkeye gets to be alive. Cyclops has the peaceful life he always wanted. Beast has a promising career as a scientist and doesn’t look like a refugee from a furry convention. But we’re expected to believe that every one of these people is willing to dismantle the world as it is because… it’s different?
The artwork is definitely the least shit aspect of the event. Yeah, the covers are kind of shit and there are several group shots where the characters just look awkward or squashed down but, ultimately, Coipel’s artwork is basically serviceable.
I really hate this event. It builds off of what was already a terribly written mess of an event and makes it even worse. It has massive plot holes, lazy, unengaging story-telling and characters who are completely, grossly miss-characterised. If anything, it may even be slightly worse than Civil War. I’m giving it a 1/10.