What If? AvX #1 (Marvel)
by Jimmy Palmiotti, Jorge Molina, Norman Lee, Rachelle Rosenberg
I don’t particularly care for this issue. I guess the name 'What If...?' raises certain expectations and this does not meet them. I’m not sure what this actually is. In the same way that DC’s Elseworlds line of books was different from Marvel’s 'What If...?', this issue seems like a third thing, one that we’re used to: the remix. Warren Ellis called his work on Marvel’s Ultimate line of books a remix. Taking a story you already know and changing it around for the purpose of doing something quasi-new. Except, instead of having the distance that the Ultimate books have or even the distance that Brian Michael Bendis writing a new story about Ultron has from previous Ultron stories, this is another version of 'Avengers vs. X-Men' #1 except with random changes that don’t seem any more or less logical. The only function they seem to have is pointing out how artificial and random these stories are.
Because this isn't really 'What If? AvX' #1. Oh no. It’s 'Avengers vs. X-Men' within the world of “What if Magneto was the leader of Utopia?” It’s only hinted at, only suggested, but it’s clear that what’s missing is a previous story where Magneto led the Mutant race coming out of 'House of M', not Cyclops. Where Magneto spearheaded their move to independence on Utopia in response to Trask and Osborn. Where Magneto leads the Extinction Team. He is the face of mutant-kind, the teacher of Hope, and the man that says no to Captain America when he comes to take his people’s messiah. If you thought Cyclops was a crazy motherfucker...
(But, look at me, talking about what the comic is not, what the comic is. Gotta work the rust off somehow, I suppose.)
Right now, 'What If? AvX' #1 is a simple alternate to 'Avengers vs. X-Men' #1 where Black Panther goes into space, the Guardians of the Galaxy get blown up, and Wolverine stabs Storm accidentally. That is to say: it’s not that much different from a comic I read last year.
“Buy the ticket, take the ride.”