Marvel's latest event comic crossover, AXIS, has had an impact on the Marvel universe that can only be called bizarre. It's straight up weird, and what's almost as baffling is the timing of it all. Marvel's launching new series left and right, and it's starting them off in the middle of a bigger story. It's not the decisions being made are bad. They're just questionable.
After defeating the Red Onslaught (and apparently reverting to an intact living version of just ol' Red Skull), the Avengers and the X-Men went their separate ways, with Russkie incarcerated by the Avengers. No-one present at the time seems to have noticed, but they've all apparently lost their minds.
The Avengers are more violent and ruthless, and have cut ties with SHIELD. The X-Men are attacking humans for being human. Tony Stark is drinking again, and peddling human physical upgrades that are a) highly addictive, and b) exorbitantly expensive— to the tune of $100 a day.
Rick Remender clearly knows what he's been doing, he's been plotting this thing since the beginning of Uncanny Avengers. But I've still gotta ask, is it a good idea?
Marvel's Short on Heroes, Right Now
Even outside of the characters directly affected by AXIS events on Genosha, the Marvel line-up is a bit thin on actual heroes, at the moment. She-Hulk's comic is about to be cancelled, young Ms. Marvel is still learning the ropes, the time-displaced X-Men are lost over in the Ultimate Universe, Spider-Man's up to his webs in parallel dimension Petes, and the Hulk is on an asinine mission to monopolize being a Hulk.
You read that right: Rather than doing anything useful or heroic, the 'Doc Green' Hulk personality is on a world tour, curing / hobbling every other Hulk he can get his green mitts on. Not because they're being particularly destructive, no. He just doesn't like sharing the title, as a matter of pride. (I am not looking forward to him running into She-Hulk. She-Hulk is grand.)
A handful of bad guys have suddenly become legit good guys, and I honestly don't know what to make of that. It is bizarre as hell to watch Sabretooth fighting on the side of right. It is not the natural order. It speaks to the End Times.
The problem is this: It's not enough for superheroes to seem cool, or have interesting powers, or deal with fascinating villains. Superheroes are role-models. We should aspire to be more like them. The New Captain America just started his own comic, and at the moment he's being a complete asshole. The new Lady!Thor has no idea what she's doing.
To wit: these characters— the biggest in Marvel's roster— aren't likable anymore. They're jerks, or reformed (read: boring) villains. I'm all for change and experimentation, but doing so across most of the brand at once seems risky.
What do you think?