***Before you continue, ask yourself, "Have I read New Avengers #24 yet?" If yes, keep reading! If not, read that, and then come back, because spoilers are ahead!***The third week of Avengers vs. X-Men season was a relatively quiet one, with only one tie-in book out: the Luke Cage/Jessica Jones-centric New Avengers #24, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato.
As we're doing every Friday during the course of AvX, we're looking deeper at the past week of fictional fighting, asking someone at Marvel a pressing query and looking ahead to next Wednesday's releases.
THE BIG QUESTION:
For this week's question, we seek the wisdom of Marvel's senior vice president of publishing (and Avengers vs. X-Men editor) Tom Brevoort, to better contextualize the Red Hulk going commando (not that way, at least as far as we can tell) and fiercely leading Earth's Mightiest Heroes into battle in New Avengers #24.Newsarama: In New Avengers #24, Red Hulk is clearly established as possibly the only Avenger who doesn't seem conflicted about going up against the X-Men, which makes sense given his military background and the fact that he's not really buddies with any mutants. How big of a story is AvX for Red Hulk? Can we expect to see him take more of a leadership role among the Avengers than he has since joining the team?
Tom Brevoort: It’s a big story for the Red Hulk in that he’ll be in the thick of things, and going up against other heroes who can give him a sustained fight. As you say, he’s a military man, and one who doesn’t historically have any particular softness towards mutants or any other gadabouts, so he’s not at all conflicted: he’s got a mission to carry it out, and he’s going to get the job done no matter what. Avengers #28 will be putting a spotlight on him in the midst of AvX that should give people a good sense as to his position and character.
THE BIG HITS:
As one might expect from a tie-in issue this early in the event, New Avengers #24 doesn't have much in terms of the Avengers fighting the X-Men. The issue takes place directly before the climax of Avengers vs. X-Men #1 — both Captain America rallying the troops before heading to Utopia, and preparing for action after Cyclops strikes the first blow — and shows the effect the impending conflict (and the general danger of superheroing) is having on Luke Cage and Jessica Jones' marriage and their young child.The final two-page spread of the issue focuses again on Luke Cage, and it sure looks like he's about to be Cyclops' next optic blast victim — good thing he has unbreakable skin and all of that.
- Storm — like Beast and Wolverine, both an Avenger and an X-Man — appears to make her allegiance clear in this issue, scurrying out of Cap's meeting at Avengers Mansion and heading to Utopia. Not that surprising, since unlike Beast and Wolverine, Storm sided with Team Cyclops post-Schism, and she only joined the Avengers a few months back (which in comic book time was probably only a couple weeks). What kind of drama this might mean for Storm and Black Panther's marriage remains to be seen, but they're used to being apart.
- Speaking of allegiances, though the early weeks of Avengers vs. X-Men have shown Wolverine clearly in the Avengers' corner, that might not be the case forever. Or even very long. In CBR's report from the Diamond Retailer Summit, it's stated that Marvel is promoting "the greatest Captain America/Wolverine fight that you've ever seen" in Avengers vs. X-Men #3.
- Much of the issue deals with the fallout from the previous storyline, Norman Osborn and the new Dark Avengers' revenge attempt. Though it doesn't seem to be having direct effects on AvX, clearly the Avengers are already pretty beleaguered going into their war with the X-Men (not that the X-Men have been racking up spa days lately, either).
- No one does superhero small talk like Bendis. Mockingbird to Spider-Man: "So what was all that with Spider-Island?"
NEXT WEEK:April 18 is the biggest Avengers vs. X-Men day yet, with Avengers vs. X-Men #2 (preview here), Avengers #25 (preview here — art by Walt Simonson!) and Wolverine and the X-Men #9 (preview here) all out.
Not only does Avengers vs. X-Men #2 have seven, count 'em, seven covers, it looks like we also can look forward to the "magnetic fastball special" and many more X-Men getting involved — makes sense, since the issue is written by Wolverine and the X-Men's Jason Aaron.
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. Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!