Will AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Match the Impact of Previous Events?

AVENGERS VS. X-MEN vs. Previous Events

AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Covers Revealed
AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Covers Revealed

By the time you read this, you might have already obtained a copy of Avengers vs. X-Men #1, the first issue of the latest Marvel event series. Not counting various tie-ins, AvX is scheduled for 12 biweekly issues, making it one of the biggest recent Marvel events, in page count alone.

If you're somewhat new to superhero comics or have skipped the last few big Marvel "events" you might be wondering: What's the big deal? Well, here's what hardcore superhero fans typically want from one of these things: An entertaining, well-written, well-illustrated story, sure, but also the feeling that it "mattered;" some type of lasting — for at least a year or two — repercussions on the fictional universe to act as something of a return on investment.

There are quite a few Marvel events that have come before Avengers vs. X-Men, and we've looked at the recent ones — all relevant to AvX, content-wise or thematically — closely to see what the end result was, and how that affected the comic book world as a whole. Read on, and then feel free to gauge your personal Avengers vs. X-Men expectations accordingly.



Creative Team: Brian Michael Bendis (writer) and Olivier Coipel (artist)

When: 2005

How many issues: 8

Hype: Like AvX, House of M also starred the Avengers and the X-Men, and was specifically billed as New Avengers interacting with Astonishing X-Men — as both were hot properties for Marvel at the time, with the former written by Bendis and the latter from the high-profile team of Buffy the Vamprie Slayer creator Joss Whedon and Planteary artist John Cassaday.   

Marvel Universe Impact: Oodles. Seven years later, the ramifications of House of M (which actually began in 2004's "Avengers Disassembled") are still seen in current comics, as recent as late March's Avengers vs. X-Men #0. Scarlet Witch turned nearly all of the mutant population "normal," and though much of the big-name characters affected have gotten their powers back by now, the overall loss is one of the main themes going into AvX. And while it's par for the course for a character to die during one of these events, in this one Hawkeye actually came back — and is now one of Marvel's most visible characters, appearing in multiple comics and this May's Avengers movie.

Real-World Impact: House of M sparked the "Decimation" era of Marvel, which resulted in miniseries like Son of M and Generation M, showing the reaction of Marvel's depleted mutant population.

CIVIL WAR Launches Marvel Prose Novels
CIVIL WAR Launches Marvel Prose Novels


Creative Team: Mark Millar (writer) and Steve McNiven (artist)

When: 2006-2007

How many issues: 7

Hype: If you don't remember the "I'm with…" banners that dominated the Internet during Civil War, there's a good chance you never went online in 2006.

Marvel Universe Impact: Civil War promised lasting change to the Marvel Universe and it delivered, dividing the Avengers between the pro-registration Mighty Avengers and the considerably more rebellious New Avengers. Civil War also led to the temporary death of the most famous Captain America, Steve Rogers, the seemingly permanent death of Goliath, and prompted Spider-Man to unmask himself to the world — an unfortunate decision which led to a series events ultimately culminating in the magical dissolution of his marriage.

Real-World Impact: Commercially, Civil War is one of the biggest industry hits of the past decades, with issue #2 clocking in at No. 3 in our list of the top 10 best-selling single-issues of the past decade.



Creative Team: Brian Michael Bendis (writer) and Leinil Francis Yu (artist)

When: 2008

How many issues: 8

Hype: Tons. Foreshadowed for years by Bendis, Secret Invasion inspired everything from Marvel house ads encouraging fans to "embrace change" to paper Skrull masks being handed out at conventions.

Marvel Universe Impact: Like many of these types of events, Secret Invasion took players off the board (Wasp), but the shape-shifting, body-switching nature of the plot allowed them to bring one back (Mockingbird). The end of the story set the stage for the next year of Marvel stories, with Norman Osborn — the criminally insane Green Goblin — rising to power as head of S.H.I.E.L.D. successor, H.A.M.M.E.R.

Real-World Impact: The ensuing "Dark Reign" dominated Marvel titles for most of 2009, birthing Dark Avengers and many more new series and one-shots, plus making Norman Osborn a nearly ubiquitous figure within the Marvel Universe.



Creative Team: Brian Michael Bendis (writer) and Olivier Coipel (artist)

When: 2010

How many issues: 4

Hype: A reunion of the House of M creative team, Marvel promoted Siege with several teaser images that pointed quite directly to the story's plot: The fall of Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers.

Marvel Universe Impact: Though only four issues, Siege packed in plenty of destruction, with a death toll including Sentry, Ares and Loki. The latter was resurrected, but in childish, "Kid Loki" form — where he remains today as the star of Journey Into Mystery.

Real-World Impact: Siege begat a new initiative from Marvel, "The Heroic Age," which included an across-the-board relaunch of the Avengers franchise. Among the new series introduced were Secret Avengers and Avengers Academy, both still going strong and both tying in to AvX.



Creative Team: Matt Fraction (writer) and Stuart Immonen (artist)

When: 2011

How many issues: 7

Hype: Like many an event series before it, Fear Itself was teased with a series of cryptic images, some reflecting events as they literally happened within the story (like Cap's shield breaking) and some much more metaphorical (like Spider-Man looking at depressing TV news outside a store window).

Marvel Universe Impact: Fear Itself appeared to claim the lives of both Bucky — at that point, Captain America — and Thor, but things aren't always what they seem; Bucky's operating as Winter Soldier once again while the world thinks he's dead, and Thor made his way back to challenge the imposter Tanarus.

Real-World Impact: Bucky's (apparent) death led to the return of Steve Rogers as Captain America on a permanent basis, for the first time since his (apparent) demise post-Civil War — and as things turn out, this all happened right before the release of the Captain America: The First Avenger live-action film.

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