Casualties of War: Potential AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Deaths

<b>***This article contains spoilers for this week's <i>Avengers vs. X-Men #10</i>.***</b> <p><i>By <a href=>Graeme McMillan, Newsarama Contributor</a> and <a href=>Albert Ching, Newsarama Staff Writer</a></i> <p>There are only two issues of <b>Avengers vs. X-Men</b> left to go, and if it wasn't already clear that someone's dying before the end of the series, the cover of aftermath book <b>AvX Consequences #1</b> seen here, with seemingly non-metaphorical chalk outline makes it fairly obvious. <p>And if that's not enough, perhaps the biggest piece of evidence is the rather unambiguous <a href=>solicitation for issue #11</a>, which plainly reads "Fatality!" <p>It's sort of a tradition for a major character (or a few!) to die during an event like this, and though we know that plenty are safe due to established plans involving them in the forthcoming Marvel NOW! era, there are quite a few whose statuses remain unknown like, the 10 characters on this list. <p>Click "start here" in the upper-left corner for our best guesses, then give us yours via the social networking links below. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>


Emma Frost is a former villain, so it's not a shock that the power that comes with being a partial Phoenix host appears to be pushing her back in that direction forcing her fellow X-Men to bow down to her, and making house calls to murder civilians who committed mutant manslaughter years ago. <p>But if anything was going to get her back to reality, it might be seeing something happen to one of the younger mutants in Utopia like, say, the Generation Hope cast. They've been seen throughout <b>AvX</b> in small roles, and Emma Frost has long had an affinity for the younger generation. It's not known at this point how many of these characters beyond (presumably) Hope and Idie, a regular <i>Wolverine and the X-Men</i> cast member are in Marvel's plans post-<i>AvX</i>, but one of their deaths could have major ramifications on a key player in the story.


Over in the <b>AvX</b> tie-in issues of <i>Secret Avengers</i>, the <a href=>original Captain Marvel briefly returned to life</a>, before <a href=>Carol Danvers the former "Ms. Marvel" took on the Captain Marvel mantle</a> in her own ongoing series, which debuted last month. <p>So where does all of this leave the artist formerly known as Marvel Boy? He's been playing an interesting part in <b>AvX</b> thus far, managing to greatly anger both his Avengers teammates and the Kree. <p>Not the greatest position to be in, and it's certainly possible that could indicate things not turning out well for Noh-Varr when this is all said and done.


Somewhat surprisingly, Danny Rand and the entire Iron Fist mythos has played a major role in <b>Avengers vs. X-Men</b> thus far, with an unrevealed history between the Phoenix force and the Iron Fist depicted in <i>New Avengers</i> before having an impact on the main series. <p>In the most recent issue, Hope was able to use the power of the dragon Shao Lao, "carrier of the Iron Fist energy" that, legend has it, once defeated the Phoenix. Such a development might leave the "Immortal" Iron Fist vulnerable and a sacrifice could bring his part in the story full circle. <p>Keep in mind that with <i>Defenders</i> ending in November and <i>New Avengers</i> taking a different direction in the Marvel NOW! era, he might not be starring in an ongoing series in the near future; however relevant that might be.


This one is something that has to have been on the minds of fans since the Phoenix was initially teased during the "It's Coming" campaign: If Hope was the intended host of the Phoenix in some "She's Jean Grey, but not really" way, then how likely is she to as all X-Fans would say "survive the experience"? <p>Phoenixes tend to flame out, particularly if there's some noble world-saving to be done in the process, so it stands to reason that Hope would follow in Jean's footsteps (twice) and save the world by dooming herself, even if she didn't end up as the Phoenix host (so far). Was Hope born to die? That seems amazing metaphorically dark unless, of course, there's much more going on than meets the eye... either way, as seen in <b>Avengers vs. X-Men #10</b>, it's clear that Hope's <b>AvX</b> story isn't over yet. <p>Sure, Hope appears in the post-<b>AvX</b> <a href=>"A Plus X" poster</a>, but that could very well be a red herring and edited before release like when Marvel replaced Thor with "Tanarus" in post-<i>Fear Itself</i> promotional material last year.


After a relatively quiet couple of years as a teacher at <i>Avengers Academy</i>, Quicksilver has taken a very active role in <b>Avengers vs. X-Men</b>, along with his sister, Scarlet Witch. <p>Unlike Scarlet Witch one of the leads of <i>Uncanny Avengers</i> we have no idea at this point what Quicksilver's post-<i>AvX</i> future is, if indeed he has one. It's at least worth considering that Pietro Maximoff might make a noble sacrifice as the story wraps; redeeming years of sometimes morally questionable behavior and possibly acting as the catalyst for his sister to truly get her act together.


As seen as recently as <b>Avengers vs. X-Men #10</b>, Magneto isn't exactly on board with what the Phoenix Five now down to the Phoenix Two, Cyclops and Emma Frost have been doing, and it seems that at least Emma isn't too pleased with him, either. <p>Getting on the wrong side of a cosmically-powered being isn't the smartest move, and it's worth noting that Magneto hasn't been seen in post-<b>AvX</b> covers or promos. <p>One possible counter to this argument is that, well, Magneto has already died, kind of a lot. In the post-Xorn era, his death could generate more of a "really? again?" reaction than Marvel might be looking for.


With Brian Michael Bendis leaving the <em>Avengers</em> books soon, it looks like <b>Avengers vs. X-Men</b> will be the final big event (for now, at least) he'll be involved in where he's in charge of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. <p>What better way to demonstrate that everything's up for grabs than to kill the one character that, more than any other, has come to embody the Bendis era of <em>Avengers</em>? Ever since the team reformed after "Disassembled," Cage has become the heart of the New Avengers, keeping the team together during "Dark Reign" and even going on to inspire a new generation of <em>Thunderbolts</em>. His death would have an amazing impact on both the Avengers and Avengers fandom which is almost reason enough to do it in itself. <p>And, like many of the characters on this list, Luke Cage has been noticeably absent in post-<b>AvX</b> imagery and solicitations. Hmm.


With the dawn of "the Phoenix Five" at the end of <b>Avengers vs. X-Men #5</b>, the game obviously changed and seemingly put those characters in peril. <p>As the covers to <b>AvX #11</b> show, the Phoenix-ed up Emma Frost and Cyclops are quite literally at each other's throats by next month's issue. It makes sense: as the only two Phoenixes left standing, if one goes down, the other gets their power all the power. <p>Could one, or both of them be truly at risk? And how would Cyclops feel if the Phoenix force claimed the life of another one of his long-time romantic partners and if he was responsible, either directly or indirectly?


Oh, and speaking of Cyclops... <p>Since "Messiah Complex," his character arc has become more and more tragic, as he alienates friends, compromises his morals and finds himself at odds with former teammates. One of Scott Summers' traits has always been that he's the character who'll do whatever is necessary, no matter how much it may go against his own personal feelings, and over the last few years, that has made him more and more isolated. <p>The idea that this could eventually lead to Cyclops' death would make his character arc an ultimately tragic one, and also provide enough of a catalyst for both sides of the <em>AvX</em> conflict to pause for thought and possibly end the war between them in order to ultimately save the day or, if necessary, realign teams and allegiances in the aftermath of the series. Plus, if nothing else, <em>Civil War</em> has taught us that, after one side loses in this kind of series, their leader has to die as a penalty. Cyclops might as well get that whole thing out of the way early, if possible. <p>No matter what goes down, it's a given at this point that something significant is happening to Cyclops at the end of this story. And sure, it <i>appears</i> that Cyclops is in the Joe Quesada-illustrated <a href=>Marvel NOW!</a> promo image, but there's no guarantee at this point that it's necessarily Scott Summers, right?


Sorry, Charlie. Your days might be numbered. <p>For one, statements like the one made by Professor X in <I>New Avengers #29</i>: "I'm prepared to stop Scott, no matter what the cost," just don't bode well, y'know? <P>Also, now that it's known that Xavier's son Legion is starring in <i>X-Men Legacy</i> as of November, one wonders exactly what prompts the oft-wayward character to "embrace his father's legacy," as the <a href=>solicitation for the first two issues</a> reads. <p>Plus, after being a mostly under-the-radar, passive character for a few years now, it's curious to see Xavier getting actively involved in the <b>AvX</b> activities, even alongside Captain America in the literal line of fire in the <a href=><b>Avengers vs. X-Men #11</b> preview pages</a>. <p>But the kicker might be the fact that <a href=><b>All-New X-Men</b></a> is all about the original X-Men traveling to the present, and not liking what they find. And what would disappointed them more than seeing their leader dead and perhaps at the hands of a Phoenix-possessed Cyclops? <p>Though it's all just speculation at this point, Professor X might not want to start any long novels.

Casualties of War: Potential AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Deaths

Date: 08 March 2012 Time: 08:48 PM ET