***Be warned! The following article contains major spoilers for Avengers vs. X-Men #2, Wolverine and the X-Men #9 and Avengers #25, so exert the appropriate amount of caution.***
Spider-Man says it best on the opening page of Avengers vs. X-Men #2: "Wow. Avengers vs. X-Men. So this is really happening."
After three weeks of prologue, set-up and simmering conflict punctuated by a fateful optic blast, Marvel emphasized the "vs." in Avengers vs. X-Men this week, with a fight-filled issue #2 from writer Jason Aaron and artist John Romita Jr. That's along with two tie-in issues — Wolverine and the X-Men #9, from Aaron and Chris Bachalo; and Avengers #25, by Brian Michael Bendis and, returning to monthly Marvel comics, Walt Simonson.
Let's look a little closer at all of it, in our weekly AvX Post Game feature.
THE BIG QUESTION:
For this week's question, we've consulted Jason Aaron, the writer behind 2/3 of this week's AvX releases, who helps us connect the dots between Avengers vs. X-Men and last year's X-Men: Schism.
Newsarama: Jason, as the writer of X-Men: Schism, you're no stranger to dealing with the X-Men in extreme situations, and it's clear that a lot of what went down in that series is affecting the early going of Avengers vs. X-Men. From your perspective, how influential are the events of Schism on how Cyclops and Wolverine are handling themselves thus far in Avengers vs. X-Men? And from a practical standpoint, was AvX already in the works while you were writing Schism?
Jason Aaron: Yes, AvX was in the works while I was writing Schism. We've all known for quite a long time now that this was where things were headed. And I think the effects of Schism definitely do play a big part in the actions of Cyclops and Wolverine here. It was still a difficult decision for Logan to sign up with the Avengers in AvX, as you see in Wolverine and the X-Men #9. But without Schism, it would've been a much more difficult decision. If there's no Schism, then Logan is probably fighting with the X-Men in AvX #1 and then I guess my story in AvX: VS #1 becomes Iron Man vs. Wolverine.
Also I think Cyclops feels he's far more isolated post-Schism, and that's pushed him into an even more militant stance. He feels like the fate of all mutants now really depends on him.
THE BIG HITS:
Avengers vs. X-Men #2: Where do you start? In just the second issue of the 12-part story, Avengers and X-Men are fighting in pretty much every frame of this comic, from the obvious (Red Hulk vs. Colossus, Captain America vs. Cyclops) to the less expected (Luke Cage vs. Namor, Giant-Man vs. Sunspot in the corner of a panel). We don't really see any definitive winners or losers here, as it's more one fight segueing into another — Iron Man vs. Emma Frost becomes Iron Man vs. Magneto, which leads directly to Quicksilver vs. Magneto. The fights here aren't limited to Earth, either, as Doctor Strange and Magik take their conflict to Limbo.
Wolverine and the X-Men #9: This issue expands what we see in AvX #1 — Captain America talking to Wolverine at the Jean Grey School — and thus doesn't actually contain any Avengers/X-Men fights, but it's significant for a couple of reasons: Showing more of Wolverine's thought process in choosing Cap's side, and underscoring the destructive power of the Phoenix Force, which is evidently wiping out multiple planets on its hurtle towards Earth.
Avengers #25: Like Wolverine and the X-Men #9, most of this issue takes place before the Battle of Utopia (as historians will surely come to call it) takes place, though it does open with a two-page spread of Simonson illustrating the conflict. (It might have been an actual crime not to.)
- Avengers vs. X-Men #2 is 22 pages, the old standard for single-issue comics that has since dropped to 20 the past couple of years.
- Though the Phoenix is still "coming" (and looks to still be on its way in the preview of next month's Avengers vs. X-Men #4), the connection to Hope is clearly increasing, and though we've seen the positive effects of what that can yield in the past — healing Cable at the end of Avengers: X-Sanction #4 — AvX #2 shows the negative side, as she burns up Wolverine, Spidey, the Generation Hope kids and takes off running (on water, no less).
- Speaking of Wolverine, it's been revealed that Avengers vs. X-Men #3 would be a wall-to-wall Cap/Wolvie fight, and now we might have an idea as to why, as Logan was clearly ready to permanently end the potential threat of the Phoenix, and Cap would likely not be down with that. Killing a kid is surely a tough decision for someone who runs a school, but, hey, Wolverine's always maintained that what he does isn't very nice.
Walt Simonson: Really
good at drawing Superheroes- So AvX might become Avengers vs. X-Men vs. Wolverine, but the end of Avengers #25 makes it pretty clear that the Kree also have a stake in this. That's what "universal threat" means, kids.
- AvX #2 is the second comic compatible with Marvel's AR app, with another video triggered by the cover, black-and-white page reveals and a Quicksilver bio. (Also, one panel I could never get to work, though I blame only myself and the poor lighting of the room I was reading in).
- Speaking of Quicksilver, him punching Magneto seems to establish him on Team Avengers, despite the poor treatment his sister got from some of them (mainly Vision) recently — or maybe he's just continuing to work out his father issues. (And, to be fair, the X-Men wanted to straight-up kill Scarlet Witch, so it can't be an easy decision either way.)
- Not to brag (well, not to brag too much), but we did a pretty good job of predicting back in December with our "10 AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Match-Ups We Want to See"" countdown, including some more esoteric choices like Luke Cage vs. Namor and Doctor Strange vs. Magik.
- This just in: Walt Simonson is really, really good at drawing Marvel superheroes.
It's another big week for AvX, with the debut of "fight book" AVX: VS depicting Iron Man vs. Magneto and Thor vs. Namor (preview here), the "suicide team" confronting the Phoenix in Secret Avengers #26 (preview here), more Colossus vs. Red Hulk in Uncanny X-Men #11 (preview here) and talk of an Iron Fist/Phoenix connection in New Avengers #25 (preview here).
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.