This article contains spoilers for Wolverine and the X-Men #12 and X-Men Legacy #269.
Ms. Marvel vs. Rogue. Kid Gladiator vs. the Avengers. Beast vs… whose side is he on, currently? We're looking at all of it in this week's installment of our Avengers vs. X-Men Post Game.
THE BIG QUESTION:
Christos Gage penned the long-awaited Ms. Marvel vs. Rogue rematch in X-Men Legacy #269, and talked to us about revisiting their classic clash in Avengers Annual #10.
Newsarama: Christos, an event series like Avengers vs. X-Men is designed to appeal to as wide of a readership as possible. So how much of a challenge is it to balance that type of goal while also exploring a relationship like the one between Ms. Marvel and Rogue, which has its roots in a 31-year-old comic book? Also, Rogue vs. Ms. Marvel may be the most famous Avengers vs. X-Men rivalries that existed before the current event. How important do you think each character has been to the other's overall evolution in the past three decades?
Christos Gage: I think as long as you provide the necessary information for a new reader to understand the basis of the conflict, without getting bogged down in exposition, it's possible to walk the line of appealing to both new and longtime readers. It would be silly to pretend the history between Rogue and Ms. Marvel has no bearing on their current fight. However, it's not the only reason, or even the main reason, they're fighting now. It's a bit like watching a game between two teams with a long rivalry. Sure, it adds flavor to know that Babe Ruth was traded to the Yankees 100 years ago and the Red Sox went on a long losing streak afterward, but that's not what today's game is about, and you don't have to have seen games from 1917 to enjoy today's… the announcers will make mention of it and play an old clip or two and that's all the context you need. Those who want to study up on the rivalry can, and they should… Avengers Annual #10 is an amazing comic! But they don't have to. I hope.
As for Rogue and Ms. Marvel, I think what happened between them is very important because for both women it represents a low point in their lives… something they've been working to rise above and overcome ever since, in different ways. They've now come to the point where both can be proud of what they've accomplished rather than angry about what happened, and I think we're seeing that confidence and strength played out in where they're going. That doesn't mean you forget the pain, however… as we see when they come to blows. But to survive the second chapter of this story, they'll need to put it behind them...or there's a lot more pain to come.
THE BIG HITS:
Wolverine and the X-Men #12: Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo present a Rachel Grey-centric issue, and even though she was one of the first Jean Grey School mutants to support Cyclops over Wolverine during AvX, she's definitely struggling with her decision here, and in fact straight-up lies to Cyclops about letting Hope getting away — a decision, given his current near-omnipotence, may prove to be unwise. Aaron also continues to show his knack for big A vs. X fights as seen in Avengers vs. X-Men #2, with Kid Gladiator punching Giant-Man in the eyeball, Beast straight-up shooting Iceman in the face, and Angel showing some newly discovered abilities against War Machine.
X-Men Legacy #269: Like the recent AVX: VS battles, this one definitely has a clear winner, and it's Rogue, thanks to some borrowed powers from Iceman. Though like Rachel, it appears that she might also be having some second thoughts about the Phoenix Five by the end of the issue, given her expression upon seeing Magik's spooky Limbo-on-Earth prison — and the fact that Rogue and Ms. Marvel look to be standing (well, running) side by side on the cover to issue #270.
- Perhaps one of the bigger questions surrounding the post-AvX Marvel Universe should be, "What's the Jean Grey School faculty going to look like?" It would be surprising to see, say, Iceman and Beast downing coffee in the teacher's lounge after this, but hey, they've already been through a lot.
- Although he did start eating Iceman's ice duplicates, which could prove difficult to move past.
- Speaking of Beast, who went from walking out on the Avengers last week in Avengers vs. X-Men #6 to fighting with them in Wolverine and the X-Men #12, Marvel senior vice president of publishing Tom Brevoort addressed the matter on his Formspring account, saying, "A pretty important thing happened between
those two events: Cyclops declared "No More Avengers" and tasked the
X-Men to hunt them down. That changes the situation for Beast."
- In case AvX has somehow not had enough fighting for you, the bell-to-bell of the Ms. Marvel vs. Rogue scene clocked in at around 12 pages, or more than half the issue. (While still having room for a panel of Rogue eating catfish.)
As New Comic Book Day meets Independence Day, there are, again, only two AvX books out next week — but they're big ones. Avengers vs. X-Men #7 continues the fallout of the bold "No More Avengers" proclamation (preview here), and Uncanny X-Men #15 looks to intersect the actions of the Phoenix Five with Mr. Sinister's unique ongoing machinations (preview here).
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