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The X-Men vs. the Avengers #1: Review

Apr 1987
Roger Stern, Marc Silvestri

Story Name:

Justice for All

Review & Comments

4 stars

The X-Men vs. the Avengers #1 Review by (August 27, 2018)

Review: Not the first confrontation between the two teams—that was in X-MEN #9 in 1965—nor the biggest—that would be the AVENGERS VS. X-MEN event of 2012—but entertaining in its own way, this mid-70s epic centers on Magneto with the two heroic teams quarreling over the supposedly reformed criminal mastermind. Yes, there's a number of hero vs hero battles, with the Soviet Super-Soldiers tossed in as a wild card, but the focus is on Magneto and serves more as a chapter in his biography with the two teams more as supporting players. Can Magneto be trusted? What will happen if he gets his old tech back? What will happen if he isn't brought to justice? (the Avengers' question). What will happen if the Avengers get hold of him? (the X-Men's question) and what will happen if he is made a martyr? (Mags' question); of course, the big question that no one asked comes up at the end: what if Magneto is brought to justice—and goes free? Though it's Magneto's show, some of the heroes have their moments as well: Captain Marvel is the busiest hero in the tale and I still hold that Monica Rambeau/Photon Captain Marvel is one if the least-appreciated Marvel characters—note how everyone treats Carol Danvers as though she were the first woman in the role, sort of like the new Doctor Who. Captain America gets to be forthright, Rogue and Dr Druid (really?) have key roles in the plot and Crimson Dynamo is a real weasel who gets his comeuppance at the hands of his own team. And there's a guy who can turn into a bear and I say any comic book can be improved by including a guy who can turn into a bear.

Comments: The reformed Magneto became head of Xavier's school in UNCANNY X-MEN #200. Storm lost her powers in UNCANNY X-MEN #185-186 and regained them in #225-227. Asteroid M was destroyed in NEW MUTANTS #21. First appearance of the Gremlin as the new Titanium Man. And Dazzler is a big fan of Lionel Richie.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

The X-Men vs. the Avengers #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Two large asteroid fragments are falling to Earth, one in a populated area in Ohio. The Avengers are on the scene: Captain America and Dr Druid are evacuating the projected impact area, the latter by using mass hypnosis to steer shoppers out of a nearby mall. Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau) and Thor are in space breaking up the larger chunks so they will burn up in Earth's atmosphere as are She-Hulk and Black Knight piloting the Quinjet. The jet is disabled by a crash and Thor has to catch it before it hits the ground, steering it to safety. National Security Council agents arrive and lay claim to the asteroid fragments, which are unusually magnetic and appear in places to be man-made....

In the Soviet Union, a railroad automatic switching system malfunctions and a train derails with another hurtling toward it. The Soviet Super-Soldiers are on the scene: Vanguard stops the speeding train, Darkstar contains a fuel explosion, Titanium Man extinguishes the fire while Ursa Major rights the damaged cars. Crimson Dynamo arrives to help but the others distrust him as a KGB spy. CD explains that the railway disaster was caused by an EMP emitted by an asteroid fragment falling to Earth and appeals to them to join him on a mission to avenge the Soviet people....

Several X-Men are enjoying a holiday at the seashore: Rogue goes swimming, Dazzler dances, Wolverine soaks up the sun but Havok broods over Magneto's presence, Storm misses her powers, and Magneto hears about the asteroid fall on the radio. Wondering if the fragment that came down in Kampuchea could be part of his demolished Asteroid M base, Mags secretly heads off to the site, unaware that Logan saw him go. Logan checks the ship's computer to learn what Mags was looking for and summons the others; they are concerned about what Magneto might do if something from his criminal past has survived....

The Avengers learn from the NSC that the asteroid fragments contain the remains of Magneto's base and that the CIA leaked the info to the KGB and the latter agency is plotting to assassinate Magneto. After filling in Dr Druid (and the readers) on Magneto's supervillain history, they decide that the right thing to do would be to arrest Magneto and put him on trial....

Magneto arrives in Kampuchea, searching for the asteroid; the Avengers show up and try to place him under arrest; the X-Men appear and challenge the Avengers for Magneto; enter the Soviet Super-Soldiers demanding they turn over Magneto or they will arrest everyone....

X-Men: Storm, Havok, Rogue, Wolverine, Dazzler, Magneto

Avengers: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Black Knight, Dr Druid, She-Hulk, Thor

Soviet Super-Soldiers: Vanguard, Darkstar, Ursa Major, Titanium Man (Gremlin), Crimson Dynamo (Dmitri Bukharin)

Marc Silvestri
Joe Rubinstein
Christie Scheele
Marc Silvestri (Cover Penciler)
Joe Rubinstein (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Rosen.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Druid
Doctor Druid

(Doctor Droom)

(Alex Summers)

(Anna Marie LeBeau)

(Jennifer Walters)

(Ororo Munroe)

Ursa Major
Ursa Major

(Mikhail Uriokovitch Ursus)

(James Howlett)

Plus: Crimson Dynamo (Dmitri Bukharin), Soviet Super-Soldiers, Titanium Man, Vanguard.

> The X-Men vs. the Avengers: Book info and issue index

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