***This article contains spoilers for Avengers vs. X-Men #8, Avengers Academy #33 and Uncanny X-Men #16.***
We've now made it two-thirds of the way through Avengers vs. X-Men, and this past week brought a major change to the Phoenix Five power structure, the storming of Sinister London and Sentinel destruction. Let's talk about it in the latest installment of the AvX Post Game.
THE BIG QUESTION:
Adam Kubert has illustrated some big stories in his years at Marvel, but how does Avengers vs. X-Men — which he's on board with as of this week's issue #8 — compare to past events he's been involved in, like Onslaught? We asked him directly to get his thoughts.
Newsarama: Adam, you've drawn a lot of big stories in your career, but the scope and sheer number of players in Avengers vs. X-Men #8 hearkens all the way back to Onslaught: X-Men and Onslaught: Marvel Universe. From your perspective, where does AvX rank in your career in terms of scale? And though you've illustrated many Marvel comics over the years, how many characters are you getting to draw for the first time in the story?
Adam Kubert: I'd have to say in terms of scale AvX is probably the largest number of different characters that I've ever drawn in one series... including Onslaught: X-Men and Onslaught: Marvel Universe. (Although way back in Ultimate Fantastic Four I did draw gobs and gobs of Mole Man's minions…)
As far as characters that I haven't drawn before... I guess most would be Avengers: Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Black Panther, Iron Fist, Lei Kung, Dr. Strange, Falcon, Luke Cage, Mockingbird, Rachel Summers, Spider Woman, Vision, Nova, Wasp. Some X-Men: Emma, Hepzibah, Hope, Namor… I'm sure I've forgotten some but… ugh. Back to work. [Laughs.]
THE BIG HITS:
Avengers vs. X-Men #8: Brian Michael Bendis returns to the main AvX series for the first time since issue #1 to show Namor bring watery war to the Avengers, who are hiding out in Wakanda on the way to K'un L'un. Turns out, that's not good news for the Avengers, the people of the devastated nation of Wakanda, or Namor himself — who ends up losing his Phoenix powers in a battle of wills against the Scarlet Witch. But it's ultimately little more than a moral victory for the Avengers, as Namor's leftovers get dispersed amongst the now even-more-powerful Phoenix Four. Professor X, a fairly passive character in recent years, telepathically threatens Cyclops (who, to his credit, seems pretty uncomfortable with Namor's actions) that if things keep up, he's about to get very, very involved — "Stop, or I'll stop you." (Cyclops doesn't seem too concerned.)
Avengers Academy #33: Christos Gage and Timothy Green II team for the final Avengers Academy tie-in to AvX (the long-percolating "Final Exam" story starts next month), as Emma Frost attempts to make good on her promise to destroy Juston's Sentinel. And she does, in as heart-wrenching of a sequence as is likely possible in depicting the "death" of a robot built to kill mutants. But! All is not lost, thanks to Quicksilver showing a surprising amount of heart. The warm fuzzies don’t last too long, as Hank Pym and Tigra announce that they're closing the school at the end of the issue, thanks in large part to the AvX-related havoc.
Uncanny X-Men #16: The Phoenix Five may be nigh-omnipotent, but they kind of get their butts kicked in this issue by Kieron Gillen and Daniel Acuña, as they attempt to wipe out the threat of Sinister London — looking like it'll have to be Magneto, Storm, Psylocke and Danger to the rescue, among weaponized wheat, a Krakoa castle, and lots and lots of Mr. Sinisters and Madelyne Pryors (and quite a few Gambits).Worth noting:
- Hard not to notice Vision is the character to carry the Scarlet Witch's fallen body after her battle with Namor — perhaps he's softened his stance on her after slamming the door in her face back in Avengers #24.1.
- The Sinister-ized cows in Uncanny X-Men #16 continue the Marvel tradition of cows being used for surprising and nefarious purposes ("three... cows... shot me down").
- Much like her sort-of father figure Wolverine, it doesn't like X-23 is eager to join her mutant brethren anytime soon, threatening to kill Emma Frost in Avengers Academy #33.
- Line of the Week? Iron Man, Avengers vs. X-Men #8: "What I know about energy disbursement and fluctuations would make your head spin!"
- Like each issue of the main Avengers vs. X-Men series thus far, #8 comes in longer than Marvel's now-standard 20 pages of story — 22, for those counting (me, clearly).
- This week in AR app enhancements: A hydrogeologist gives an idea of the damage caused by Namor in Wakanda, and a look at some black-and-white pages accompanied by sound effects.
Three more AvX tie-ins are out on July 25: Red Hulk takes on Emma Frost in Avengers #28 (preview here), Phoenix-y Colossus takes Kitty Pryde on a "hot date" (Marvel's pun, not ours, but we're going with it) in Wolverine and the X-Men #14 (preview here) and Ms. Marvel chills out in Magik's spooky Limbo prison in X-Men Legacy #270 (preview here).
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