AVENGERS vs. X-MEN Post-Game, Week 12: Lethal Protector

***Good news, everyone! This article contains spoilers for AVX: VS. #3, Avengers #27 and X-Men Legacy #268.***

 

We're a dozen weeks into Avengers vs. X-Men, and this time around we're looking at AVX: VS. #3 (featuring stories by Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness, plus Chris Yost and Terry & Rachel Doson), Avengers #27 by Brian Michael Bendis and Walt Simonson, and X-Men Legacy #268 from the team of Christos Gage and David Baldeon. So here goes.

THE BIG QUESTION:

The first couple of AVX: VS. issues featured a few fights — like Thing vs. Namor and Spider-Man vs. Colossus — that even though they had a named winner, were essentially draws. Not so with this week's AVX: VS. #3 — and we talked to Marvel's Nick Lowe, editor of the "fight book," about that very subject.

Newsarama: Nick, AVX: VS. #3 features two fights with very definitive winners and losers, much moreso than say, Spidey leaving the fight and Colossus being declared the victor in issue #2. When you have a character clearly dominate over another  — like Colossus over Thing and Magik over Black Widow — what goes into that decision? Obviously there are storyline considerations and you want to keep both characters strong, but how seriously does Marvel take "this guy can beat up this guy" in a book like this?

Nick Lowe: The creators drive the boat on this stuff and tell their stories. We have some input, of course, but mainly it comes down to the story being told. I mean, heck, I try on VS. to dissuade the writers from telling any story (WE ALL WANT MINDLESS FIGHTING, RIGHT?!? RIGHT?!? Hello?) but some wildlings can’t be tamed.

THE BIG HITS:

AVX: VS. #3: There's been six fights shown in AVX: VS. thus far, and it's now official split, 3-3, between the Avengers and the X-Men. The X-Men take both fights handily here, with Colossus posterizing the Thing on the moon, and Magik — before getting her Phoenix on — taking out Black Widow after a trip to Limbo and a well-time soulsword strike (also on the moon). Black Widow does nobly hold her own during the bout, though, especially for someone without any superpowers — she just had a major role in the third highest-grossing movie, after all, she's not going down without a fight. Also, Colossus is now undefeated — 2-0 — in AVX: VS. fights. The Crimson Gem of Cyttorak is evidently just as unstoppable as advertised.

 

Avengers #27: Brian Michael Bendis is no fool, and he gives Walt Simonson more opportunities to draw Thor here. The main focus of the issue is much more developments on the ongoing issue of where the Protector's loyalties lie — with the Earth or the Kree — though it looks like it might be too late for him to make a choice that pleases either side.

X-Men Legacy #268: Though the issue is mostly a Frenzy solo mission only tangentially connected to AvX, it contains the first glimpse of what the Phoenix Five are up to — outlawing war, as specifically seen in the fictional nation of Narobia.

Worth noting:

- AVX: VS. #3 is the first comic outside of Avengers vs. X-Men proper to use the AR app, and in a clever way — translating Russian into English during Black Widow and Magik's fight.

 

- In a further break from convention, AVX: VS. #3 also throws in a few "Grim Facts" along with the usual "Fun Facts" — because Illyana not having a soul is indeed pretty grim.

- The cover to Avengers #27 could inspire an Avengers version of our "Mutant Bodies EVERYWHERE!" Cover Convention from a few months back.

- When originally solicited, the heads on the cover to X-Men Legacy #268 were not present, and it's clear why — because they depicted the Phoenix Five.

NEXT WEEK:

 

We're looking at one of the biggest AvX weeks on record, with five books out: Avengers Academy  #32, featuring what could be the last stand of Juston's Sentinel (preview here); more on the Phoenix/K'un L'un mystery in New Avengers #27 (preview here); an "ultimate sacrifice" billed for Secret Avengers #28 (preview here); Mr. Sinister making his presence known in Uncanny X-Men #14 (preview here); and — oh yeah! — Avengers vs. X-Men #6, the official start of AvX's second act, and much more on the Phoenix Five (preview here).

AND FINALLY:

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