GILLEN Talks Phoenix 5 in Latest AVENGERS Vs X-MEN Postgame
***This article contains spoilers for Uncanny X-Men #17.***
THE BIG QUESTION(S):
The Phoenix Five debuted in Avengers vs. X-Men #5, and started coming apart at the seams less than two months later in Avengers vs. X-Men #8. But while the main AvX series didn't get much time to spend on the Phoenix Five as a unit, Uncanny X-Men had a bit more space to show the team in action, as series writer Kieron Gillen discussed with us.
Newsarama: With the "Sinister London" arc wrapped as of this week's Uncanny X-Men #17, it occurs that this was the only story that really got a chance to show, at length — though there were several glimpses in the main series and tie-ins — what the Phoenix Five is capable of from a constructive standpoint. How important do you find it to the overall Avengers vs. X-Men narrative to show what the Phoenix Five can accomplish, when working as a functional unit as an ultra-powerful X-Men team? Since the Phoenix Five has already dissolved to just Two, did you find yourself wishing you had a little more space to work with them and present them with different challenges? And was Mister Sinister (and his self-created species) always your choice of target, since, presumably, it's not easy to find a credible threat to oppose them over the span of a story arc?
The short answers to your questions: I would find it very important, yeah — maybe a little, and yes.
For Uncanny X-Men, the key part of AvX was absolutely the "Pax Utopia" section. I'd have happily done a years' worth of Phoenix Five rebuilding the world stories and slowly worked the themes of corruption and power into it. There's clearly no time for that. Instead, I wanted to show the Phoenix Five as a logical extension of what the Extinction Team were already doing. They have the power, and they're going to go and use it. This is the chance to see the Phoenix Five as superheroes. It was showing that while everything had changed, in other ways, nothing have. This is still the team we've been following. In some ways, it's their finest hour. I also loved the poetry of the Phoenix Five climbing over the horizon, visuals out of Akira, soundtrack out of the Fuck Buttons' "Surf Solar." I could write cosmic god mutants forever.
But yeah — I could totally have used a little more space. Not necessarily challenges of force and philosophy like Sinister, but the nature of being top of the food chain of the planet. And the disconnect in the timing is the awkward thing about the run — this all happens before AvX #7, after all? When I wrote and planned this, I was writing thinking the issues would drop two weeks earlier. So #14 would have been between AvX #5 and #6, #15 would have been in the same week as #6, etc, etc. #17 was always going to be a little out of sequence, but the effect was more profound than I originally planned. The odd thing about the timeshift is that things I was doing as foreshadowing for the main AvX book actually ended up happening at the same time — for example, the temporary defeat of the Phoenix Five by Sinister is caused by Namor going off and disobeying orders. That would have happened before the Wakanda incident, etc.
THE BIG HITS:
- Not sure if this is the first time that an X-Men comic has used a play on words based on Nimrod the future Sentinel and "Nimrod" the composition by Edward Elgar, but it seems notable either way.
- Line of the week? Emma Frost: "Get a move on, you tiresome Englishman. You make me regret ever affecting this accent."
NEXT WEEK:preview here); and Wolverine and the X-Men #15, with Logan leading mutants — including some formerly aligned with Cyclops — into battle (preview here). AND FINALLY: Got an Avengers vs. X-Men-related question you'd like us to ask in a future installment of the Post Game Report? Find us on Facebook or Twitter. More from Newsarama:
- Matt Fraction on FANTASTIC FOUR's Voyage and FF's Mission
- AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Post Game Week 21: Trouble in K'un L'un
- Mark Waid Charts New Territory for INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK