We've been told ad infinitum that Avengers vs. X-Men is "the culmination of a ten year story" and that "it's the biggest, most important tal"e they've ever told, and yada yada yada.
If that were true, you would have thought that they would have been a little more careful in actually presenting that story.
Let's start with the end of AvX #1 three weeks ago (scripted by Bendis, drawn by Romita Jr). Cyclops strikes the first blow...
cCap calls out the famous line...
And everyone just stands around looking pensive...
Fade to black.
Two weeks ago, we get New Avengers #24's version of what comes next, scripted by the very same Bendis, drawn by Mike Deodato. Cap calls assemble, and Red Hulk immediately drill sergeants the Avengers into action:
OK, fair enough. Not far off from what AvX #1 showed us, certainly well within the lines of dramatic license.
And then AvX #2 hit last week, scripted by Jason Aaron and drawn by Romita.
Instead of immediately leaping into action, the Avengers just stand around chatting. Yup, Cap call "Avengers Assemble", and they just sit around talking like a Bendis issue of Avengers...
Meanwhile, in the very next panel...
Yup, in this version, it's the X-Men making the first major move. To heck with Red Hulk leading them into battle, declaring that life on Earth depended on them beating the X-Men now...they just stayed on the Helicarrier, and the X-Men came to them!
And all the aggression continued to come from the mutant camp..
Look, this isn't minor nitpicking. These are two mutually exclusive depictions of the same event (and for all I know, the X-Titles showed a third...)! Either the Avengers leaped of the helicarrier into battle the second that Cyclops attacked Cap, or they stood there patiently (hoping for cooler heads to prevail?) while Colossus came up and smashed their ride and knocked them down to Earth.
Sure, maybe they meant it as a Rashomon experience. Sure.
It should be noted, these stories all had the same assistant editor, the same associate editor, and the same editor. You'd think that, at a minimum, they'd be in charge of making sure the stories synched up at least a little bit.
I can picture a completely fictional version of the editorial meeting with completely fictional editors going something like this:
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Guys, we've got a problem. Theses two issues tell completely conflicting stories!!
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: And that's a problem how?
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Well, we have to go to Bendis and Aaron, have them change some dialogue, get a few pages redrawn...
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Hahahahaha!
ASSISTANT EDITOR: What's so funny?
EDITOR: Dude, we're only editors. They're ARCHITECTS. They outrank us. We can't ask them to change their work for mere considerations of making sense!!
ASSISTANT EDITOR: But the fans will mock us!
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: 99% of them won't notice. And 100% of them will still fork over their money. So there's no problem!
ASSISTANT EDITOR: But we'll look like idiots when it's collected in trade!?!
EDITOR: They'll be collected in separate trades initially, the main AvX and the New Avengers and Avengers etc., so no one will notice. In hardback first. Then paperback. It will be two years before it's all collected together, and by then no one will care.
ASSISTANT EDITOR: But isn't part of our job to make sure this major event, taking place over multiple books, links up? That the story makes sense, and works?
EDITOR: One more time--you DO NOT edit an ARCHITECT. Now don't wake me for this nonsense again!
Maybe in AvX #3, we can get an AR code of hologram Axel Alonso explaining these two versions can co-exist...
End of rant.