Mind Capsules – Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #9 and Batman Eternal #38

Avengers & X-Men AXIS #9
Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #9

Writer – Rick Remender
Artist – Jim Cheung, Terry Dodson, Leinil Francis Yu, Adam Kubert
Inkers – Mark Morales, Dave Meikis, Guillermo Ortega, Mark Roslan, Rachel Dodson, Jim Cheung, Leinil Francis Yu, Adam Kubert
Colours – Paul Mounts

To say that this one is for all the marbles is putting it lightly.  With the last issue of this series, we all know what to expect though Remender does pepper it with some surprises.  One thing we knew that would keep out of this is the inverted Iron Man sticking around.  With the new Superior Iron Man book going, there is no way that Marvel would reverse that so quickly.  Also a given is that Sam Wilson, Captain America and Thor would go back to being their jolly selves, as would most of the cast.  The few who did not are inspired picks and it should be fun to see just what the various writers of the Marvel Universe do with them in the coming year.  Remender also manages to close out the series with a bang, with many of our heroes going up against each other and all of them over the fate of the Red, now White, Skull.  The vigor with which New Cap takes on Old Cap is quite vicious and Iron Man acts as if he has everything to lose should things turn back to the way they were.  It was fascinating to see the ‘good’ Red Skull apologize to Steve about all the things he had done and volunteer to put things right again, even though he knew that he would turn back into the monster he was.  Again, it was great seeing Brother Voodoo in action again and nice to see the previously announced lineup of the Uncanny Avengers make their first official appearance.  The book ends on a fairly somber, yet hopeful note which fit nicely into the overall feel of what was going on and while the series ended nicely, it was a bit drawn out and could have been cut down by a few issues to make it more succinct and make the issues that were published a little stronger.  All in all, the series did what it had to do to show us how the Marvel Universe got to the point it finds itself in right now and was a fairly enjoyable ride.

3.5 out of 5

Batman Eternal #38
Batman Eternal #38

Writer – Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Tim Seeley, Ray Fawkes, Kyle Higgins
Artist – Andrea Mutti
Colours – Giulia Brusco

Everything is going according to plan.  Batman is taking the villains out one after the other and doing it with nothing but Julia’s help and the knowledge he has gleaned about them over the years.  While Bats is doing that, Killer Croc takes out Bane, something he has wanted to do for years and leaves him all tied up for Batman to find.  All is going to plan, but it is not one of Batman’s making.  Snyder and company craft another great issue of Eternal with a lot of little things taking place amongst the main action of the issue.  Part of the book has to do with Gordon and the Lion, part of it with Commissioner Bard needing help, part of it with Poison Ivy and the master planner who was actually revealed last issue, Catwoman.  This title has definitely gotten a lot more interesting ever since Selina has taken up leading the crime families of Gotham.  Her skills as a manipulator are really starting to come to light, not that they were very subtle before, and it is intriguing to see just how she is using them.  The rogues are as clueless as ever, but one question that needs answering is where all these criminals will go if Arkham is down?  Blackgate might work, but if they were judged insane every other time, will they go to the Manor?  If anything, it will be fun to find out.  The dynamic between Penny-Two and Batman continues to be a lot of fun and it can only be so long before Julia leaves the Batcave to help our hero out as she is more of a hands-on type of woman.  With very strong writing and with some consistently good artwork by a rotating team of wonderful artists, it makes this book a must-buy every single week.

4 out of 5

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