1. The Length of the Story/Too Much Filler
I think a lot of people would agree that this series should not have been 12 issues long. IMO, this event felt more like story that needed to fill 12 issues than a story that needed 12 issues to tell. There were a lot of parts of the story that felt like filler and that the writers were trying to stretch the story. The first part of AvX is probably the biggest example of having the story be longer than it should have been. It was filled with many pointless fights and chase scenes. For Goodness sakes, Scott ended up fighting a dragon in one issue, and while I love Dragons, that fight was completely pointless. If a lot of the fluff was edited out, the story would be more concise and in my opinion better. If the series really needed 12 issues, then editing out the pointless scenes would allow for more panel time to characters that barely got any and really needed it seeing as they were, or at least should have been, important to the story (i.e. Hope, Scarlet Witch, etc.).
2. The Theme, Morals, and Philosophical Differences
The second biggest problem I had with AvX is how the writers handled the philosophical and political ideas in the story. Watchmen is considered one of the greatest stories in the history of comics, and I feel one of the reasons for this is because each of the main character’s beliefs were respected and presented as any of them could be in the right or wrong. At first AvX did (poorly) pit Cyclop’s X-Men’s ideology against the Avenger’s ideology, but once the Phoenix Five came into play, the story became about absolute power corrupting absolutely. Instead of presenting the Phoenix Five’s position of trying to turn the world into “paradise” reasonable perspective that can address certain issues, we got a black and white story where the Phoenix Five were continuously provoked into becoming evil, corrupt dictators. To be honest, a lot of writers come off as amateurs when it comes to politics. They seem to be the type of people who think that if you disagree with them, then you’re an idiot, and they often make poor arguments to support their positions. In the beginning of AvX we had both sides call the other side fascist, dictator, etc. as if they were posters on forums trying to troll each other.
Then there was the issue of Avengers Academy where one of the characters compares Emma wanting to destroy a Sentinel, a weapon used to kill mutants, to be homophobic.
AvX isn’t the only event with poor political discourse. Civil War was filled with them. I remember one issue where a reporter said Captain America was out of touch because he didn’t know what MySpace was. Look, whether or not you think characters like Captain America are boring or outdated, I think we could all agree that the argument that he’s outdated because he DOESN’T KNOW WHAT MYSPACE IS is completely stupid and ridiculous. If Marvel doesn’t know how to handle complex ideas, then they shouldn’t incorporate them in their stories.
3. Where The F*** Is Hope?
I touched upon Hope not getting enough panel time in AvX in the beginning of the article and left if for last because I feel it hindered the story so much. She is the mutant messiah. The story was based around her getting the Phoenix Force. Instead of building her up, they barely gave her any time and made her nothing more than a MacGuffin. There was only one issue that truly showed us her thoughts and feelings on the matter, and she was then ignored for the rest of the series. In issue 6, Hope decides to leave Utopia with the Avengers. However, we never learned why. I’ve read some people argue that it was simple teenage rebellion, but even though teenagers are emotional, they do use logic to justify their actions. I know a lot of people wanted Cable to show up in the story, and I have to agree with them. I was against it at first, but having Cable show up would have at least given Hope some panel time and possibly character development. It wasn’t just Hope that was left out.
Also, I feel Scarlet Witch was unjustifiably left out of AvX. Her actions in House of M were the cause of this event, and yet she also was barely in the story. They had an opportunity to do something special between her and Scott, who hates her for what she’s done to the mutant race, but Marvel did nothing. Hope and the Scarlet Witch should have been main characters right alongside Cyclops and Captain America, but they were left off to be in the background.
Note: I did not mention or list how out of character everyone was because I thought it be too long of a list/article, that it wasn’t a surprise considering some of the writers involved (cough*Bendis*cough), and because some of the plot called for it (i.e. the X-Men and Avengers fighting instead of compromising because this is an event and there are books to sell).