“A+X” #6 has short stories from the two creative teams of Peter David and Giuseppe Camuncolli; and Mike Costa and Stefano Caselli. The first team handles a team up of sorts between Captain Marvel and Wolverine while the latter puts Gambit and the Thing into the same story. Like all anthologies, the strength of the content tends to vary for “A+X” #6. I really liked the first story but the second one did pretty much nothing for me.
The first story, written by Peter David with art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, opens with Captain Marvel and Wolverine sitting opposite each other at a poker game. This is a superbly played power struggle between two vastly different characters. It is all dialogue and posturing, yet David manages to bring layers of meaning between these two heroes. The chatter is delicate and fun and left a very large smile on my face. The resolution to the story has its faults, but is still enough fun to make this short something to remember fondly and want to revisit again.
Giuseppe Camuncolli’s character designs in this short are spectacular. His Wolverine is gruff, rough and exceptionally short, especially next to the statuesque, powerful and gorgeous Captain Marvel. This short is a lot of dialogue and Camuncolli carries every page through the scene with a dynamic and slick flair.
The second short puts Gambit and the Thing together for a card game con that’s unfortunately not as smooth and enjoyable as the first short. All of the information needed to understand this heist (of sorts) is presented, but it’s either a little muddied or simply falls flat. One of the problems is that the stakes of this con are so low to the point of either being inconsequential or actually negative.
Stefano Caselli’s unique line work and composition is not given a lot of room to play here. The flashback element allows for some action, which is fun, but it doesn’t fully inform the narrative enough to make it worthwhile. His work is his usual quality but it’s unfortunately lost amidst the material.
“A+X” #6 is another example of the highs and lows of this title. Realistically, it’s the gamble of any anthology as the overall quality varies, some stories will be good and some won’t hit the spot. “A+X” has proven itself a stable concept with some superb stories coming through one of which is this issue’s Wolverine/Captain Marvel team up. Seeing two Avengers bond strangely over poker is a lot of fun and is the sort of thing to be remembered.