The 10 Greatest (Previous) AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Battles1 of 12By Chris Arrant, Newsarama Contributor
Just as the movie industry positions its biggest blockbuster films for the summer, so do comics and one of the biggest is Marvel's Avengers vs. X-Men event, which started this week with the release of issue #1.
Announced last year in a unique online press conference, the series pitch is the series title: Marvel's two biggest super-hero teams going head-to-head. But it's not the first time these two forces have crossed paths.
Over the years Captain America and company have faced with Marvel's band of mutants on numerous occasions. From their first meeting in 1965's X-Men #9 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby back to their most recent tussles in Avengers: Children's Crusade and in X-Sanction, readers have learned that these two monumental forces are bound to get in each other's way. But this new confrontation looks to be the key moment in Marvel's comics line this year.
The event is just getting started, but those heroes and readers would do well to study your history to prevent being doomed to repeat it.
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UTOPIA2 of 12Back in 2009, Marvel's "Dark Reign" era was at its height and Norman Osborn was in full control of the United States' security initiatives, and with that, the Avengers. Plugging in his own team of villains under the guises of several key Avengers costumes, Osborn creates his own sinister team of Avengers referred to in the comics as the "Dark Avengers." And when the X-Men set up shop off the coast of California with their own autonomous country, you could see how there would be problems.
Osborn's Avengers quickly went after the X-Men as seen in Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1, and went further with the creation of a "Dark X-Men" team featuring villainous versions of Marvel's mutant heroes. Although this isn't the Avengers as you've come to know them, Osborn's Dark Avengers were Avengers nonetheless and a unique entry in the history of the two teams.
SECRET WARS3 of 12It was one of Marvel's first big event series, with characters from all corners of the Marvel U pulled to a manufactured planet dubbed Battleworld to fight each other, all due to the whims of a cosmic entity called the Beyonder. The X-Men are quickly ostracized by the Avengers due to the tension surround the Mutant Registration Act that was being enacted by the federal government at the time.
The Avengers had specific animosity towards Magneto, who was transitioning into a reformed-villain as sorts as seen in concurrent issues of Uncanny X-Men, but while forgiveness was hard-earned amongst his fellow mutants, for the government superteam the Avengers it was out of reach.
BLOODTIES4 of 12Largely forgotten by current fans, this 1993 crossover came about after the daughter of Quicksilver and the Inhuman Crystal was kidnapped. Given Crystal's ties to the Avengers as a one-time member, her former allies come out in force and get involved in this mutant melodrama. This all plays out on the island nation of Genosha which was only recently liberated from its oppressive human regime and becomes a hotbed just waiting for the wrong thing to set off a firestorm.
As the Avengers come barreling into the country, they quickly embroil themselves in a battle with the X-Men already on the scene in an epic misunderstanding. They eventually come to terms and confront the true villains, former Magneto protégé Fabian Cortez and Exodus, the self-proclaimed heir to Magneto's mutant terrorist days.
AVENGERS: X-SANCTION5 of 12Although it only had one member of the X-Men team facing off against Earth's mightiest heroes, it was an epic battle nonetheless. If there's one mutant you could predict would try to mount a full-scale one-person assault on the Avengers, it would be Cable. He was just waiting for a reason, and he finds that when his far-future ally Blaquesmith tells him that the Avengers are destined to attack and kill Cable's adopted daughter Hope, well... it was on.
Cable systematically took down the Avengers one-by-one, using his tactical prowess along with some weapons from all over the timestream, including future versions of Iron Man's own armor. And while it ultimately wasn't enough, it did put the pieces into place for this summer's Avengers vs. X-Men crossover.
X-MEN #396 of 12Your first time is always special, and this classic issue by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby marks the first time their two superteams crossed paths.
It all came about when the then-young Xavier's students are called to Bavaria to save their mentor Professor X from the man who crippled him years ago, Lucifer. When they get on the scene they find the Avengers already in position, on the scene to investigate some seismic vibrations in the area. The two teams quickly find Professor X underground in a showdown with Lucifer, but the X-Men are forced to fend off the Avengers from quickly vanquishing Lucifer due to a bomb triggered go off if he dies.
This is a classic, albeit brief, showdown for the two teams. Seeing the founding line-ups on both sides of the battle face off for the first time is something special, and its heightened by the fact it was done by two legendary creators.
CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #87 of 12Although it's only one Avenger versus one X-Man, this issue of Captain America Annual is epic for the story and the creators doing it. Written by Mark Gruenwald and penciled by Mike Zeck, this one-off story shows Wolverine and Captain America facing off and later teaming up to fight a malfunctioning robot meant as a failsale in case a Super Soldier goes haywire.
The ending of this story is even more intriguing, as Cap tells Logan straight-up that his beserker behavior wouldn't be welcome in the Avengers squad. Oh, how things have changed.
AVENGERS #538 of 12Long before Beast, Wolverine and Storm joined the Avengers, Marvel's mutants had strong ties to Earth's Mightiest Heroes after Captain America recruited Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch to the team. These two children of perennial X-Men foe Magneto have been the catalyst for a number of team battles over the years, and this one was the first.
In this story, the Avengers find Cyclops standing over the unconscious body of Quicksilver and think the worst. Cyclops, thinking these Avengers are doppelgangers sent by Magneto, lashes out and manages to fight off Hawkeye, Goliath, Wasp and the Black Panther. The next time they meet when Cyclops calls on an angry mob of teams to Kill them! Kill the Avengers In this battle we see a great fight between Beast and Black Panther, that's cut short only when the Avengers win the battle due to their sheer number. Eventually, cooler heads prevail and the two team of heroes re-orient their energies to the true enemy of the day, Magneto.
HOUSE OF M9 of 12Once again, the machinations of Magneto and his kids bring Marvel's two tantamount teams to blows. After Scarlet Witch suffers a mental breakdown and tears apart the Avengers, her reality-altering powers escalate and thrust the entire world into an alternate universe where mutants are the ruling class and humans are little more than subjects to be ruled.
Over the course of this eight-issue series and the surrounding tie-in books we see a number of Avenger vs. X-Men face-offs. At the end of the day however, the two feuding factions of heroes find common ground and turn to the root of the problem and manage to shift Earth back to its proper reality.
AVENGERS #110-#11110 of 12This story starts off in Avengers #110, where the Avengers are dispatched on a rescue mission to the X-Men mansion and find the team unconscious.
In Avengers #111, Magneto reveals himself as the attacker and uses his newly found ability to control people by affecting the iron in their blood to enslave both teams to do his bidding.
When a second team of Avengers comes to the rescue, they're forced to fight against their own team-mates and the X-Men as they remain under Magneto's control.. This second team of Avengers, made up of Thor, Black Panther, Vision, Black Widow and Daredevil, fight Avenger and X-Men alike until the Vision uses his intangibility to knock out Magneto and free his allies from his control.
X-MEN VS. THE AVENGERS11 of 12Avengers fighting X-Men isn't a new concept, and this entry shows that even the title Avengers. vs. X-Men isn't new either it it's flipped around, at least.
Back in 1987, Roger Stern and Marc Silvestri bring the then-brewing tensions between mutants and humans to a head as the X-Men stood up to the Avengers on behalf of mutantkind. That confrontation is only exacerbated by the fact Magneto is now a member of the X-Men, but still considered a villain by the Avengers.
Overall this crossover failed to light up the sales charts the way they Marvel was hoping, and the series petered out with both a fill-in writer and artist needed to complete the four issue series. It did bring about the epic "Trail of Magneto" storyarc which carried over to Uncanny X-Men, but this miniseries wasn't the epic dream match everyone was hoping for.
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