AVENGERS vs. X-MEN Post-Game, Week 11: The Phoenix Five
***Good advice: Don't read this if you don't want Avengers vs. X-Men #5, Uncanny X-Men #13 and Avengers Academy #31 spoiled.***significant development that you may have heard a thing or two about.
This week, we're looking at Avengers vs. X-Men #5 by Matt Fraction and John Romita Jr., Uncanny X-Men #13 by Kieron Gillen and Billy Tan, and Avengers Academy #31 by Christos Gage and Tom Grummett. And… go!
THE BIG QUESTION(S):
Fitting the scale of the events of Avengers vs. X-Men #5, we're breaking Post Game tradition by asking not one, but two questions this week, starting with Matt Fraction, the writer of AvX #5 and no stranger to discussing Marvel event series with us.
Newsarama: Matt, an important part of the early going of Avengers vs. X-Men is that there really wasn't a true "villain" — depending on your perspective, both the Avengers and the X-Men could be said to have defendable positions. But the fact that five key X-Men are now Phoenix hosts has obviously changed the game significantly. Though it's clear now that they're going to be using their powers for good (at least at first), the natural inclination for any reader would be that this could go very wrong very quickly. So does that make the X-Men, or at least these X-Men, effectively the antagonists at this point? Or has the story gotten to a point where the traditional good guy/bad guy continuum isn't really relevant?
Hopefully you were as caught off guard and surprised by the idea of a mutant wave of Phoenix-enabled crusaders as we were at the Bendis dining room table when we came up with the idea. What comes next is anybody's guess. What happens when the world thinks the X-Men are the greatest heroes alive and the Avengers are dangerously out of step? How do those five deal with near-omnipotence and a cosmic consciousness taking root in their minds? How do their friends react? Their enemies? How does the A possibly V the X from here on out? What if it's more complicated than A = Protagonist and X = Antagonist?
What of Wanda and Hope? What's up with K'un Lun? How does Tony Stark reconcile failure on this scale? How does Professor X feel about this? Or Magneto?
And most of all — whose side is the Phoenix on?
It's the end of the first act. Now we're into the good stuff.
And hey! We've also got words from Marvel senior vice president of publishing and AvX editor Tom Brevoort, on the physical transformation of "the Phoenix Five." (Parts of this quote appeared in our "Transforming Heroes: The New Event Series Trend?" piece from Thursday.)
Nrama: Tom, seeing Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor, Colossus and Magik transformed into the Phoenix Five suggests that physical transformation might be something of a trend at Marvel and beyond in recent years. There was The Worthy in Fear Itself, everyone getting Spidey powers during "Spider-Island," and the "Hulked Out Heroes" during World War Hulks. Would you say that's more of a genuine coincidence — just the right direction to go in for each given story? Or perhaps a testament to something larger; seeing these recognizable characters in new forms being a testament to the gravity of the story and a clear, visual indicator to the reader that something different and important is happening? Or maybe it's way simpler than that, and it's just cool to see familiar heroes in a different way?
THE BIG HITS:
- For those keeping track (me, I guess), Avengers vs. X-Men #5 is 22 pages of story, as have all issues of the main series thus far.
- This week in AR app enhancements: A quick video from Matt Fraction about the issue's ending, plus one from an unbilled Stuart Immonen about his design of the Phoenix-killer armor.
- Anyone else confused for about 1/10 of a second whenever that Farmers Insurance ad with comic book J.K. Simmons appears in the middle of an issue? Just me? OK.
- Though Avengers Academy #31 wraps that arc for now, the book continues to tie-in to AvX later this month, with Emma Frost — Phoenix-powered, as we now know — showing up to take issue with the Sentinel hanging out on the school grounds.
NEXT WEEK:preview here); and Frenzy takes the spotlight in X-Men Legacy #268 (preview here). 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. More from Newsarama:
- AVENGERS vs. X-MEN Post-Game Week 10: Hope Is Not Lost
- AvX Post Game Report, Week 9: Captain Marvel Resurrected
- AvX Post Game Report, Week 8: From the Earth to the Moon
- AvX Post Game Report, Week 7: Occupy the Jean Grey School
- AvX Post Game Report, Week 6: WOLVERINE vs. CAPTAIN AMERICA
- AvX Post Game Report, Week 5: AVENGERS Take the Early Lead
- AvX Post Game Report Week 4: The Time For Talk Has Passed
- AvX Post-Game Report, Week 3: The War at Home
- AvX Post-Game Report, Week 2: The Battle Begins
- AvX Post-Game Report, Week 1: AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #0