AvX Post Game Report, Week 5: AVENGERS Take the Early Lead

***Dude! This article contains copious spoilers for AVX: VS #1, Secret Avengers #26, New Avengers #25 and Uncanny X-Men #11.***

 

The first full month of Avengers vs. X-Men has drawn to a close, with the biggest week yet in terms of tie-in books: AVX: VS #1 from Jason Aaron & Adam Kubert and Kathryn Immonen & Stuart Immoen; Secret Avengers #26 by Rick Remender and Renato Guedes, New Avengers #25 by Brian Michael Bendis, Mike Deodato and Will Conrad; and Uncanny X-Men #11 by Kieron Gillen and Greg Land.

Such an occasion demands the biggest installment yet of our weekly AvX Post Game, which starts… well, it's already started. Sneaks up on you, right?

Also! Courtesy of Marvel, we're debuting six brand-new pages of Greg Land art from May's Uncanny X-Men #12, right here, scattered throughout the article.

THE BIG QUESTION:

Interior art from  

Uncanny X-Men #12.

This week we're talking to Uncanny X-Men Kieron Gillen, who has some pointed words to anyone who might think that Cyclops and his extended mutant family are acting as the "villains" thus far in Avengers vs. X-Men.

Newsarama: Kieron, though there are certainly supporters of both the Avengers and the X-Men out there, there is a notion among some fans at this point that the X-Men are the ones acting a little more in the wrong here; or at least, a little more fringe-y and a little more desperate, with comparisons being made to Iron Man's pro-registration side in Civil War. Uncanny X-Men #11, though, seems to go a long way in presenting their cause as much more relatable and sympathetic. How much of that is a conscious decision on your part, and how much of that is simply the natural result of writing a book solely from the X-Men's perspective?

Interior art from  

Uncanny X-Men #12.

Kieron Gillen: It's interesting you bring up the Iron Man Civil War position. What I tried to make clear in the issue is that, in terms of civil liberties versus government control, it's the Avengers who are in the Iron Man role here. And, yes, the issue was an attempt to explain the X-Men position as clear as I can. As highly-strung as Cyclops is right now, it doesn't mean that he's wrong. Yes, Cyclops is emotionally involved, but if you put yourself in his shoes, you would be too.

So that's what I wanted to do — to put the readers in the X-Men's shoes. I mean, when Captain America sees the American flag and he sees a country born of the greatest ideals of enlightenment thinkers that, despite its natural human failings, has done its best to live up to them. When Cyclops sees the American flag, he sees a government that made giant robots to hunt and kill people just like him. I don't really blame Cyclops for not rolling over when they turn up and demand someone because "they know best". Hope hasn't done anything. The government bodies, on power of their "Intelligence," has decided she needs to be taken into custody. They come to your home. They drag her off. Really, no. That anger is understandable. Even if the Avengers are right, I can understand that anger, because I know how I would feel if someone turned up and dragged away my wife. Even stuff like the Red-Hulk/Colossus brawl was about bringing the emotional meaning of the story home. Fundamentally, Colossus deliberately loses the fight because he is defending his home and that is the most important thing.

Interior art from  

Uncanny X-Men #12.

And most of all, I wanted to really say why the invasion of Utopia was important. This isn't something which the mutants will forget. This is something that's going to shape the beliefs of mutants for the foreseeable future. This is a day-of-infamy level betrayal. The press release is, at least in some ways, a declaration of independence.  We were right to be paranoid. You said you were our friends, and then you do this?

But I'm writing Uncanny X-Men. I'm totally partisan. If I was writing Avengers, I'd be trying to do exactly the same thing for the Avengers side. That's what I most like about AVX — you really can argue it either way.

THE BIG HITS:

Interior art from

Uncanny X-Men #12.

AVX: VS #1: This has been promoted by Marvel as "the fight book" since it was originally announced, and the first issue didn't stray from that premise, presenting 10 pages of Iron Man vs. Magneto and an equal amount of Thing vs. Namor. The Avengers come out on top in both fights — each end with a clearly labeled winner — but they're pretty close, as Magneto sort of lets himself lose when he realizes the true stakes (the Phoenix force wiping out entire planets) and Namor pops out of his makeshift tooth prison as soon as Thing walks away from their battle.

Secret Avengers #26: Rather than focusing on the Avengers vs. X-Men-ing of Avengers vs. X-Men, Secret Avengers follows the "suicide mission" of Thor, Vision, Ms. Marvel, War Machine, Beast, Captain Britain, Valkyrie and Protector; confronting the Phoenix in outer space as outlined back in AVX #1. The issue ends with the apparent return of the original Captain Marvel — not entirely shocking if you've been following promotional art, but it's certainly worth wondering how this fits in with the new Carol Danvers-as-Captain Marvel series starting in July.

Interior art from

Uncanny X-Men #12.

New Avengers #25: In his career at Marvel, Brian Michael Bendis has often used tie-ins to event series in some unconventional ways, and continues the tradition this week, as the action (other than the last page) here takes place hundreds of years ago, exploring the ancient (and previously unrevealed) connection between Phoenix and Iron Fist.

Uncanny X-Men #11: Taking place concurrent to the action of last week's Avengers vs. X-Men #2, this issue (as the cover clearly suggests) focuses in on Red Hulk vs. the Juggernaut-ed out Colossus, and, well, the X-Men lose again. Though, as Gillen noted above, Colossus deliberately loses the fight, that still puts them at 0-3 for the week.

Worth noting:

Interior art from  

Uncanny X-Men #12.

- Both the recap page and the "AvX Fun Facts" ("Magneto has magnetic counting powers") scattered throughout AVX: VS #1 show that, while whole fictional planets are being decimated as the Phoenix heads for Earth, there's a lot of inherent fun to be had in superheroes beating each other up for six months.

- "I would have his woman, of course. But that's a compliment, in its own way." Namor's inner monologue, everybody!

- Iron Man's narration ends a little awkwardly on the last page of his fight with Magneto, and Marvel senior vice president of publishing Tom Brevoort clarified on Formspring that it's an error that will be fixed in future printings.

NEXT WEEK:

 

Only two AvX tie-ins our this coming Wednesday, but they include Avengers vs. X-Men #3 (preview here), written by Ed Brubaker, illustrated by John Romita Jr. and featuring a full-scale fight between Wolverine and Captain America — two characters who have been on the same side of this thing up until now.

The other is Avengers Academy #29 (preview here), the first tie-in issue of that series, dealing with the impact of AvX on both the Academy students and the Generation Hope kids (who, last we saw, were the victims of Hope's "extra crispy" Phoenix flares in Avengers vs. X-Men #2). 

AND FINALLY:

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