If you haven’t heard of the new series from Marvel, Avengers Vs X-Men, one would have to wonder what rock you’ve been hiding under. It’s the new ‘Big Thing’ from Marvel, along with the new Age of Apocalypse they’ve begun. Big times ahead, that’s for sure. But just what’s it all about?

The brief intro to Avengers Vs X-Men comes from Issue #0, which focuses on the Scarlett Witch and Hope Summers. The biggest problem is that Wanda Maximoff, as a mutant, has caused her species to become somewhat endangered. Hope has the power to change all that – see the Five Lights arc to understand – as the mutant messiah. There are some massive surprises in store, of course, but the main issue with Hope is that she’s seen, by the Avengers, as a treat.

This brings us through to Issue #1, when the first fight begins. It’s Avengers versus X-Men, trying to decide the fate of mutantkind, and possibly the world. So things are a little less than calm.

I have to admit, I was wary picking it up. Excited, but wary. It’s not often that two big groups collide like this, and there’s a reason: so many stories and so many characters can become difficult to manage. For the reader, especially one who hasn’t read every issue of X-Men since No More Mutants – the event that made mutants endangered and took the Scarlett Witch (Wanda) off the X-Men’s Christmas card lists – with the accompanying issues of the Avengers; the stories are so massive with so many major turning points that it requires a lot of attention to detail to pick up what’s happened, and perhaps a visit to the Marvel Wiki site.

In saying that, the first issue and the prelude worked wonders in getting me hooked right from the start. The series is looking up, within its first pages, to becoming one of the game changers in the comic book world, at least as far as the mainstream publishers are concerned. Trying to make a battle about more than the powers at each side – a god like Thor up against a desperate Colossus, or the whole of the Avengers trying to take on a super-powered, fully-charged Hope, for example – can be difficult, but with the two stories of Wanda and Hope to keep things going, and the extra-special surprises in store that can possibly be seen from a mile away by avid fans, will make this story different. It’s not just about the violence on the battlefield, and that’s apparent from the offset.

Add to that the already brilliant standards of art-work and we’ve got a winner. It will divide fans into Avengers- and X-Men-groupies, change the Marvel universe forever (you know, until they do a rewrite and undo all the brilliance) and take a stand against Marvel’s competitors, especially with DC’s New 52 coming into their 8th issues.

One can only hope that Marvel keep throwing punches like this; the market could use the continued excitement that is a new and bold series. It’s definitely one worth keeping an eye on.

Rating: ★★★★½