Ignoring that fact that the new six-issue mini spinning out of the twelve-issue mini Avengers vs. X-Men is called AvX:Versus, making the full title of the comic Avengers Versus X-Men Versus (It’s just like “DC Comics” actually being “Detective Comics Comics” if you think about it too much), I have to admit kind of loving the idea behind the series, which seems to be “Avengers vs. X-Men might not have enough fights in it, so here’re six more issues of fights so that no-one feels like they’ve missed out.”It simultaneously makes me wonder what is going to be in the twelve issues of Avengers vs. X-Men if there isn’t going to be enough space for fighting, and reminds me of the awesome structure of Steve Englehart’s Avengers/Defenders War, which took great pains to show each member of each team squaring off against their counterpart so that everyone got to see their favorite in action (I can but hope that each chapter starts with the logo for the starring characters).
For years, comics have seemed to be moving away from what used to be called “slugfests,” in favor of more complex stories and a somewhat nervous attempt at literate legitimacy, so Versus seems both a surprise and a welcome blast from the past. Is it too much to hope that Englehart himself will be rescued from relative comics obscurity for a chapter within this anthology series…? Probably. I’m still somewhat on the fence on the main series – I mean, it’s really Civil War 2: This Time It’s Schism, isn’t it? – but this seemingly gratuitous, punch-happy spin-off? Potential guilty pleasure of the year.