Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Cable and Deadpool. Iron Man and War Machine. Captain America and... Jubilee?! If you told me Steve Rogers was going to investigate a sunken nazi submarine and had to bring a character from the X-Men along for the ride, I never would have guessed his selection would be Jubilee. What follows is a plot stripped right out of a low-budget horror movie, but writer Justin Jordan makes it work by delivering a well-executed message. The bundle of action which follows shortly after certainly doesn't hurt matters, either.
I won't spoil what they encounter, but it does give the art team (Angel Unzueta, Thomas Mason) some time to shine. There's some great effects as enemies are defeated and this really serves as the standout visuals in the entire issue. Also, I simply love the handling of the underwater effects.
The first chapter reunites two characters with a lot of history: Beast and Wonder Man. Writer Christos Gage shines the spotlight on how a bond can always remain between two close friends, no matter how much they change throughout the years. However, that message is overshadowed by the sheer randomness of the issue as they rebuild their connection. From giving an X-Man a haircut to karaoke with a villain, this issue goes all over the place and it's totally an amusing turn of events. Beast is so often used for his intellect, so it's nice to see Hank let loose and just have a good time.
Beast's facial expressions feel over-exaggerated. At times, he comes off as particularly sinister or even smug. I get one of the points of this issue is to show him acting out-of-character and not worrying about being the "smart guy," but his expressions felt drastic and off to me. Aside from that, I don't have any major complaints about the book. It delivers exactly what I expected it to: a decent amount of escapism. It never really blew me away, but it never left me disappointed, either.
The latest A+X pretty much accomplishes what it sets out to do and that's offer a fair dose of levity and fun. It didn't split my sides or ever make me burst into laughter, but both team-ups were a pretty good time and I'd recommend picking it up to those who are particularly attached to these characters. While Beast and Wonder Man's team-up delivers bigger jokes and way more randomness, I found myself enjoying Captain America and Jubilee's mission more, primarily due to the more personalized message behind it and, of course, nazi vampires getting whooped.