Now this is more like it. Avengers vs X-Men: Versus came off to a slow and disappointing start, but AvX: VS #2 hit all the right notes, literally and figuratively. The fight card itself promises a lot of hurt! Cap vs. Gambit! Spidey vs. Colossus! It's a two-fisted comic in the mighty Marvel manner!
The Cap vs Gambit fight was the highlight of the issue for me, thanks to Steve McNiven handling both the story and art. McNiven not only provides one of the better-drawn fights in the series so far, but also a much-needed decisive victory (as in someone gets to walk away AND leave his opponent unconscious on the dirty floor)! Ever wonder if Gambit's mutant powers work on Cap's shield? Or if Cap's reflexes can match the spry Cajun? This is where you find out.
The second fight, between Colossus and Spider-Man, has its own charms. Kieron Gillen writes a fast-paced and explosive fight scene between a guy with the speed and reflexes of a spider and an unstoppable mass of metal, and it makes for very exciting reading. But the surprise for me here is Salvador Larroca, who ditches his photo-referenced style for something more fitting of a four-color funnybook.. It's the Larroca I haven't seen in a while, that clean, dynamic comic-y style that made me love him in X-Treme X-Men, that gives justice to a fight this heavy-hitting. Fun to read, fun to look at, zero calories. Just the way I like it.
You promised punching, you better deliver punching, and AvX: VS #2 delivers just that. Let's just hope the fights down the road are more decisive, yeah? Stalemates aren't the stuff epic comics are made of. Still, more of this please. This gets a 4 out of 5.