Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: John Cassaday
I enjoyed the first issue in this series but it's been a longer wait than expected for the second to be released. This series has a very interesting concept putting together a team consisting of both Avengers and X-Men, and after the events of Avengers Vs. X-Men this sort of team is perfect to show how Mutant's are beginning to be accepted into the world.
This issue sees the aftermath of last issue with the Avengers along with Havok clearing up the mess. Meanwhile Rogue is dealing with her captors and the Red Skull is trying to persuade Scarlet Witch to join his cause.
This was a good issue but I feel that the story is going along a little slowly and think/hope that the series will get better within the next couple of issues. I also feel that due to the story being split that it doesn't yet feel like a team book and once the two stories eventually merge it should be interesting to see how the team comes together. I think that Rick Remender has done a descent job on this series so far and that there is no one better to bring these two communities together than him. His work on Uncanny X-Force and Secret Avengers shows that he can handle both Mutant related series' and Avengers series, and I hope that he can bring some of the elements featured during them series' into this. Although the story is split in two I like how he handles both stories brilliantly and I am looking forward to seeing how he brings the two together, as he did a brilliant job of this during his Uncanny X-Force series.
John Cassaday's art over the first two issues have been amazing and I'm happy to see him doing interiors for a series. His art is just amazing and suits all of the characters. I wasn't initially sure if I liked the way he drew the Red Skull but as I kept reading I began to like it and thought it was nice to see a more retro feel to him making him look similar to the Red Skull that was in the earlier Captain America Comics. Although this issue was delayed by a couple of weeks it was worth the wait, even if it's just for Cassaday's art, and although I'd prefer the series to keep on schedule, I'd wouldn't mind it a little late rather than look rushed. I don't know what to make of Cassaday's use of emotion during his work, as in most sequences there is very little emotion, making the characters look a bit stiff, but when he does add emotion it adds a brilliant feel to the great dialogue and is done extremely well. The action sequences have also been drawn perfectly and I love the thought that ha went into the fight's between Remender's writing and Cassaday's art.
It has been nice to see a Avengers series without Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man all being in the main three. Having Wolverine in Iron Man's place is brilliant and isn't just fitting for the type of series, but shows just how popular the Wolverine character has become. I t was also nice seeing Wolverine having a bigger role in this series than he's had in previous Avengers series' as after having a huge involvement in AvX as well as him possibly being considered the true leader of the X-Men after Cyclops's fall from grace, it wouldn't be right not having him in this series. Also choosing Iron Man as the man to leave out was the right choice as Thor is very unbiased towards the Mutant community and you need Captain America to lead the team. It will also be interesting to see what Mutants and Avengers will be added to the roster down the line, and with the announcement of returning Avengers Wasp, and Wonder Man along with the Mutant anti-hero Sunfire it should be interesting to see how this expanding team will cooperate.
The return of the Red Skull has been the biggest thing to have came out of this series so far, and I was happy to see an explanation to his return from the grave. I won't divulge how he's back from the dead to avoid spoilers but it was a very interesting and his reaction to the way the world is in the wake of the events of AvX was also interesting. I think Red Skull is a good villain for this series, as who is a better villain against mutants than someone who felt the human race wasn't prefect let alone the addition of Mutant's to this imperfect world. Red Skull having the deceased Charles Xavier's brain merged with his own is also an interesting addition to this plot, and makes the connection between the Avengers and X-Men in this series even stronger. I am also looking forward to seeing how Captain America reacts to the return of his greatest foe and how he will deal with him.
The fight between Rogue and Scarlet Witch in this issue was very well done and it was nice to see the changes in the way Rogue felt towards Scarlet Witch as the issue progressed. Both Rogue and Scarlet Witch's journey throughout this issue were very interesting and it was nice to see how the two connected near the end, eventually leading to the fight. The way Red Skull tried to convert Scarlet Witch to his cause throughout this issue was very interesting, and the changes in Scarlet Witch's attitude during and after this conversation was also very effective.
This was a brilliant issue but the series hasn't quite hit the peek that some of the other Marvel NOW! series have, but it is still a very good series and I expect it to become one of the best Marvel NOW! series within the next few issues. I would highly recommend this issue and am looking forward to the next issue.