With the coming of the Phoenix and a severely angered Avengers force at the ready over Utopia, it’s no surprise that the second issue of Avengers Vs X-Men is filled with gratuitous violence. While the X-Men appear at first to have the upper hand, it becomes clear that the sides are too evenly matched. Which certainly makes for an entertaining read.

The artwork is, as always, up to par, which is to be expected from a comic book from Marvel. However, with a story this big, which I perceive to the beginning of the next step for Marvel, it needs the strong plot and developed characters to back it all up. The end result is a torrent of heroes fighting heroes, emotions being thrown equally as hard as fists and energy blasts, and the overwhelming sense that something is either going to go really well, or really poorly.

It’s no surprise, then, when we see yet more of the badass-ness of Hope coming to the pages, and while we can be sure that Cyclops is and always will be a bit of a dark horse when it comes to being an ass, he certainly displays his best traits on the battlefield. One has to wonder why he would risk the world at the hands of the being that took his first wife, which explains part of the divide between fans over who they want to win: Avengers or X-Men.

With the battles playing out beautifully on the pages and the Phoenix Force getting ever closer to Earth, issue 2 has given us something more to think about: what if the Avengers can’t stop it? What if, even if they reach Hope Summers, they can’t do anything against her?

It’s more than enough to make this reader come back eagerly in two weeks’ time for issue 3.

Rating: ★★★★☆