Sunday, 20 November 2016

Giant-Size Little Marvel: AvX Review (Skottie Young, Jean-Francois Beaulieu)

The Avengers and the X-Men are kiddie-fied in Giant-Size Little Marvel: AvX, adorably “battling” one another over nothing (like their adult selves more often than not)! Then a pair of twins arrive in the neighbourhood and the Avengers and X-Men have a new thing to fight about: convincing the new kids to join their side over the other! 

Like the best Secret Wars tie-ins, Giant-Size Little Marvel: AvX has nothing to do with the main event; it’s really a sequel to Skottie Young’s brilliant standalone comic from a few years ago that parodied the stupid Avengers vs X-Men event, A-Babies vs X-Babies (for completeness, context and some padding, the one-shot is also included in this volume). 

Young’s probably best known for his chibi Marvel variant covers and this is basically like reading a comic featuring those characters. Young’s artwork is wonderfully whimsical, accentuated by his I Hate Fairyland colourist Jean-Francois Beaulieu’s bright and eye-popping colours - the visuals are a huge part of this book’s appeal. 

It’s essentially a satire on the melodramatic silliness of superhero comics where characters get into overblown fights on the flimsiest of pretexts, and it’s fun to see Young poke gentle fun at this archetypical structure by having the sides fight over things as benign as competing food trucks! There’s also tender mockery of the characters like Wolverine’s status as both an Avenger and X-Man and the bizarre nature of the Inhumans. 

For me the only criticism was that the tie-in felt a bit overlong, despite being only four issues, due to the repetitive one-dimensional concept - that’s why the original one-shot worked so beautifully as it didn’t outstay its welcome. 

Giant-Size Little Marvel: AvX is a charmingly subversive light comedy of superhero proportions that I really enjoyed. Well worth a look for Marvel and Skottie Young fans, whether or not you’re gonna read Secret Wars.

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