AvX Post-Game Report, Week 2: The Battle Begins
***Hold your metaphorical horses! If you haven't read Avengers vs. X-Men #1 yet, this article is oozing with juicy spoilers.***
Only one AvX-related issue came out this week, but it was a big one — the first issue, by the former Avengers team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist John Romita Jr. So, per our week-old tradition, we're asking those in the know at Marvel the biggest AvX-related question of the week, sharing our observations from the issue and looking towards the very near future (as in, five days from now).
Also, courtesy of Marvel, throughout the article we're debuting several never-before-seen interior pages of Chris Bachalo art form AvX tie-in Wolverine and the X-Men #9, out later this month.
THE BIG QUESTION:
Wolverine and the
X-Men #9.For our "Big Question" this week, we reached out to Marvel senior editor Nick Lowe, the "consulting editor" of Avengers vs. X-Men. He's the X-Men group editor, and thus the ideal candidate to help us get inside Cyclops' ruby quartz lens-adorned head.
Newsarama: Nick, it would figure that if anyone was going to be negative about the Phoenix's arrival, it would be Cyclops, given how he has witnessed first-hand the kind of destruction it can wreak, and what type of affect it can have on people close to him. Yet clearly he's quite bullish about the whole thing, thinking that it could jump-start the mutant race once again. What's driving Scott's optimism here? Is it fueled by what he saw in Avengers: X-Sanction #4 — the Phoenix, via Hope, healing Cable of the techno-organic virus — or might Cyclops be acting a little less logical than usual, and a little more desperate?
Nick Lowe: Cyclops' faith, and that’s what it is here, was forged by the events of the last few years of X-Men books. The general hope for the future of mutants took a big hit with the Decimation. Things were bleak and it looked like Cyclops (as leader of the X-Men and thus, mutants, really) was going to be the captain going down with the ship. And then the girl who becomes Hope Summers is born. And she has red hair and green eyes. And she heals Rogue. And he sees Cable’s faith in her. Then Second Coming happens and she seems to restart the mutant race. And people see signs of the Phoenix in her. And things for mutants are still bleak, but if the Phoenix can restore the mutant race to feasibility?
He doesn’t have certainty that everything is going to go right. But he has faith. And faith is a powerful thing.
THE BIG HITS:
Wolverine and the
X-Men #9.After a relatively tranquil #0 issue last week (and some lively Cyclops vs. Hope sparring in the name of combat training early in issue #1), Avengers vs. X-Men #1 delivers the literal first blow in the conflict, with Scott Summers unleashing a powerful optic blast to Captain America in a memorable two-page spread.
That's not going to keep a guy like Cap down for long though, and in just a few panels he assembles the Avengers. A lot of them — Doctor Strange, Thing, Spider-Woman, Giant-Man, Wolverine (yep), Hawkeye, Red Hulk, Luke Cage, Mockingbird, Iron Fist, Iron Man, Black Widow, Spider-Man, Black Panther and Daredevil —who are about to confront Marvel's mutants with punches and kicks and superpowers and quite possibly a well-timed verbal barb in issue #2 (and, presumably, each of the next 11 installment of the 12-part series).
- This issue settles the issue of where Wolverine will end up — for now at least, though there's always a chance he could pull a Spider-Man during Civil War and abandon Team Avengers in favor of his mutant brethren.
- The intro page showing the Avengers and X-Men lineups is rather lopsided, right? Sure, it seems to be limited to characters that actually appear in the issue, but it sort of makes the X-Men look like big-time underdogs right off the bat. (Which, depending on your perspective, they very well might be.)
Wolverine and the
X-Men #9.- Thor, Ms. Marvel, Beast, Captain Britain, War Machine, Vision, Protector and Valkyrie all got chosen for the "suicide mission" or intercepting the Phoenix. Sucks to be them. - While Cyclops may see the Phoenix as an agent of rebirth, it's a good bet that the residents of the alien farm town that gets wiped out on first page see it differently. (Well, they would, had they not been vaporized by the Phoenix.)Preview here.) As noted, Wolverine was firmly siding with Cap in issue #1, but he certainly looks conflicted on this cover, doesn't he?
New Avengers writer Brian Michael Bendis, of course, has a lot (a lot) of experience with both event series and their tie-ins — see Civil War and Fear Itself for examples of what he can do with the latter — and since he's doing both this time around, it should be interesting to see his approach (the Secret Invasion issues of New Avengers and Mighty Avengers broadened that story in a big way).AND FINALLY:
- AvX Post-Game Report, Week 1: AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #0
- Review: AVENGERS vs. X-MEN #1: Don't Make Me Regret This
- 10 AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Match-Ups We Want to See
- Who's Dying in AVENGERS VS. X-MEN? 10 Potential Victims
- Prepping for War: AVENGERS VS. X-MEN, The Story So Far