***This article contains spoilers for Avengers vs. X-Men #9***There's only one AvX book to talk about this week, but it happens to be an issue of the main series containing several major developments — so let's get to it, in the latest installment of our weekly Avengers vs. X-Men Post Game.
THE BIG QUESTION:
Though it happens relatively quietly and midway through the issue, one of the biggest moments of Avengers vs. X-Men #9 is Black Panther announcing to Storm that he's annulled their marriage, news that she's relatively blindsided by despite the fact that things between the two haven't exactly been hunky-dory since AvX started (Storm calling Black Panther her "estranged husband" back in Uncanny X-Men #13 wasn't a great sign). We talked to Avengers vs. X-Men editor Tom Brevoort for more.
Newsarama: Tom, among other major developments, Avengers vs. X-Men #9 discloses the official dissolution of Black Panther and Storm's marriage. It's not a surprising development given the events of the series, but still seems like a significant event, as their marriage was treated as a pretty big deal back when it happened back in 2006. From Marvel's perspective, had the marriage simply run its course, or was this just an ideal way to show the consequences of AvX beyond physical fights? Or maybe both?
Tom Brevoort: I think it’s a little bit of everything. To be honest, I don’t know that we handled Storm and the Panther as a married couple as well as we could have on a consistent basis. This is a byproduct of the fact that they come from different corners of the MU, and it was often difficult to bridge the gap. X-readers and creators wanted Storm to be in the world of X rather than in Wakanda with the Panther, and the Panther’s trajectory was often well away from that X-world. So more often than not, we had the two of them separated, each off doing their own thing in their own sphere, and touching base with the other, but that’s about it. We never found that winning formula to put them into position in the Marvel U as a couple that would succeed long-term. Probably the closest we came was right after the wedding, when they became half of the Fantastic Four.
It wasn’t absolutely necessary that we dissolve their union as a part of AvX, but as you said, it was a logical consequence of the conflict, and it adds a personal and emotional resonance to what goes on. And it’s not a relationship that we’re done with necessarily—as you’ll see as the remainder of AvX and AvX: VS plays out, and we get into the world of Marvel NOW.
THE BIG HITS:
Avengers vs. X-Men #9: In addition to the previously noted victim — Storm and Black Panther's marriage — two more members of the Artists Formerly Known as The Phoenix Five, Magik and Colossus, lost their megapowers this week, thanks to some clever maneuvering on the part of a seriously beat-down Spidey. Which might sound like good news, but of course, that means that the power of the Phoenix is now halved between Cyclops and Emma Frost, and given that Emma is now making house calls to people who committed mutant manslaughter 25 years ago, that might not be the most comforting news to the Avengers and the world as a whole. Luckily, Earth's Mightiest Heroes were able to break out quite a few of their ranks from Magik's Limbo Prison: Hawkeye, Spider-Woman, Black Widow, Thing, Ms. Marvel, Luke Cage, Quicksilver and Thor.
- Storm tells Gambit, Pixie and Armor to leave Utopia, suggesting even further X-Men deserting the Phoenix Five.
- At the same time, though, Cyclops still doesn't seem like that bad of a guy: He's upset with Namor's flooding of Wakanda, and generally seems less sinister than the rest of his mates. Though given his arrival at K'un L'un at the end of the issue to retrieve Hope, that might not last.
- Yep, like each issue of the main Avengers vs. X-Men series so far, this one comes in at more than Marvel's now-standard 20 story pages — 22.
- In the past, there's been a sense that Spider-Man hasn't gotten too hands-on involved in the major Marvel events — after just a few pages of issue #9, it looks like that's no longer a concern with AvX.
NEXT WEEK:Just one AvX tie-in book again this week, and it's New Avengers #29 (preview here) by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato, featuring a reunited Illuminati (plus Cap, sans Namor, for obvious reasons) hoping to stop the Phoenix. 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:
- Irreconcilable Differences: MARVEL Marriages Gone Wrong
- Marvel NOW! Teasers: 'FAMILY, EXTENDED, SOLDIER, LEGACY'
- AvX Post Game, Week 18: Colossus and Kitty Heat Things Up