“A-Babies Vs X-Babies” #1 from Skottie Young and Gurihiru is a fantastic reimagining of “AvX” as enacted by Marvel babies. This one-shot parody feels like watching a bunch of kids play with their Mighty Muggs and copies of the “Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe.” There’s a lot of energy on these pages to enjoy and plenty of nods to current characters and interactions to make even an old fanboy smile.
As a reimagining of the Marvel U through an infant lens, Young and Gurihiru do a great job of making everything old feel new again, and extremely young. There’s an effervescent quality on show that makes even the violent brawls feel cute and lovely at the same time. This might be a battleground, but it’s also a romp and the stakes are never truly that high.
This issue is clearly aimed at children and will successfully find its audience there. While there might be some great winks to the adult audience, and enough charm to make us remember the golden age of our reading of these characters, this doesn’t hide the fact that the story is incredibly thin. We don’t know why this battle starts and its end is abrupt and relatively throwaway. Perhaps such narrative analysis isn’t needed in a comic aimed at a young audience and maybe this is how much of the audience views event comics anyway. In the end, this is a book to be enjoyed and it certainly can be on a shiny surface level.
Gurihiru’s art is an amazing pop of gorgeous composition mixed with a Saturday morning cartoon style. His character designs can be gazed at for hours and each page is smartly filled with as many characters as possible to allow this. The colors, also from Gurihiru, are similarly spectacular. Each page zings with the slices of every corner of the color chart turning this event into a bag of Skittles in view and taste.
“A-Babies Vs X-Babies” #1 is a one-shot comic that goes perfectly with the Halloween treats given to kids next week. This should be shared with as many people as possible until its corners are ratty and its small moments memorised. As an entry point to the Marvel U, I can think of little better thank this issue.