Marvel’s huge 2012 crossover is now a quarter of the way done, and how’s it doing? Pretty freakin’ epic so far. While most of the fights are being shown off in other books, such as AvX VS, the really important ones take place in the pages of this series and in the previous issue; Cap and Logan came to blows and as a result Wolvie was left stranded in Antarctica to fend for himself. So with issue four opens up with Wolverine wearing a polar bear suit, it kind of sets the stage for the epic that is going to unfold in the fourth issue.
Logan meets up with Hope in the snow and she decides that she needs to get off planet. Meanwhile, Thor goes one-on-one against the Phoenix Force in space (see, I said it was epic), while Emma and Scott search the world with Cerebra for Hope and both Cap and Tony continue their own search. Wolverine takes Hope to the Moon where The Avengers are waiting, but the X-Men follow them there. We’re all set for a huge fight in low gravity when Thor craters into the Moon and the Phoenix Force shows up to mess things up. Now it’s just three weeks until the next issue.
Where Fear Itself came off as a cheap cash-in for the Cap and Thor movies last summer, AvX is really turning into a classic universe-changing crossover for Marvel. There is the problem of having to get tie-in books to see some of the more popular fights, but the overall story is large enough to tie in enough characters and cosmic elements to remind one of some of the great story lines from the late 80s and into the 90s.
One cool thing that Marvel is doing with AvX (and many other big releases each month) is including a free digital copy of the $3.99 book without marking up the price. DC should learn from this as they tried to hype up their $4.99 “combo packs” that featured a digital copy of the book, but that was a $2 mark up over the regular cover price. Marvel’s digital comics interface is actually pretty good and works great on phones and tablets, so giving readers free copies with their physical books is a good way to build up a library without gouging people.
Free digital comic aside, AvX is selling out every week pretty quickly. The reason is it’s a really awesome story and the sort of event we haven’t really seen from Marvel since Civil War. Unlike Civil War, it doesn’t really demonize one character the way Iron Man was in that event, so unless something really crazy happens in the next eight issues; this is a classic in the making.