How many times has Mar-Vell returned from the dead now? It's hard not to be skeptical.
With the apparent return of Captain Mar-Vell due to the use of a bit of the power of the Phoenix Force, we can't help but wonder what this really means. Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel) plays a big role here as she and Noh'Var have turned against the Avengers in order to side with the Kree. The fact that Carol's here with Mar-Vell and because we know she's getting her own series entitled CAPTAIN MARVEL, there has to be a connection. The excitement I have over Carol getting her own series again had me glued to the issue.
But really, we're supposed to believe Mar-Vell is back? There is a lot of inner monologue/thoughts that he would have had. The story here almost pulls us away from the debacle that AVENGERS VS. X-MEN has been so far. I enjoy a good crossover but this isolated feel with these Avengers facing Mar-Vell, Carol and Protector makes me want to see more. There might not be any X-Men present but we do get to see Thor, Vision and others cut loose as there is still the looming threat of the Phoenix Force.
The art is something to see. Renato Guedes's style with Bettie Breitweiser and Matthew Wilson's art is phenomenal. There were moments were some of the characters looked off (which I'll mention below in the next section) but we get a unique vibe here that makes up for some of the average crossover titles we've been seeing. I would love to see Guedes do more of anything.
I mentioned the art above. It's always hard following a story and having a drastic change in styles from one issue to the next. Captain Britain without his helmet is one of the instances where I felt the art didn't quite match what he should look like. Carol's look was nice but she almost looked like she lost a little of her mass/muscle. She should have a little more curves (as on the cover). She almost seemed a little too tall and thin.
It's unfortunate how these crossovers don't always coincide with the actual AVENGERS VS. X-MEN issues. Thor's still here in space and we're even told that this takes place before AVENGERS #26-27. For all the planning and prepping for this major event, we need to have better coordination with how these stories come out. If AvX is bi-weekly, the crossovers need to keep up with that pacing.
In some ways, this was one of the stranger AvX crossovers. The main thing, there aren't any X-Men (I'm not counting Beast since he's here as an Avenger). Remender's story takes us away from that battle as we see the apparent return of Captain Marvel. Knowing that Carol Danvers is about to get her own series under that same title, you can't help but take in every little bit carefully and wonder how these events will affect that series. Renato Guedes' art is quite the spectacle. There were a couple character designs I felt didn't quite work but I need to see more Guedes art on a monthly basis. It might be a minor quibble but I wish these crossovers flowed better with the main series. The feeling that we're jumping around in this issue and others when put alongside the main AVENGERS VS. X-MEN gives it all a disjointed feeling. Regardless, I want to enjoy this tale on its own because there is so much here worth checking out.