***This article contains spoilers for Avengers vs. X-Men #10 and Avengers #29.***Blackjack! It's week 21 of the Avengers vs. X-Men Post Game, and this time around we're looking at the latest installment of the main series — Avengers vs. X-Men #10, by Ed Brubaker and Adam Kubert — and Avengers #29, from Brian Michael Bendis and Walt Simonson. So here goes.
THE BIG QUESTION:
Cyclops tends to be a focused man in general, and when he has Phoenix powers and is looking to retrieve Hope from the mystical city of K'un L'un in the midst of war against the Avengers, he's especially determined. Maybe a little too determined for some readers' tastes. We talked to Avengers vs. X-Men main series editor Tom Brevoort about whether Cyclops is going too far, and if he can even be held accountable for his actions at this point.
Newsarama: Tom, there are some angry X-Men fans out there after Avengers vs. X-Men #10, expressing their opinion that Cyclops was portrayed as the "bad guy" in his dogged pursuit of Hope in K'un L'un. A couple of months ago I asked you about how much the Phoenix Five were still in control given their situations, and you replied that there was a deliberate ambiguity there, and that it's a fluid concept in general. But at this point, is it safe to say that the Phoenix is influencing its two remaining hosts — Cyclops and, seemingly especially, Emma Frost — in nefarious ways? Or is it simply consistent with how those characters would react when given cosmic power, and they're still in the driver's seat?
Tom Brevoort: I think it’s safe to say that containing the Phoenix Force is having an impact on these characters, but not necessarily a nefarious one — it’s not like the Phoenix is controlling anybody’s mind at this point or anything. Rather, I look at it more this way: every time one of the Phoenix Five falls, the remaining P5 characters all inherit their power, and that’s like an enormous drug rush. So not only does it tend to break down inhibitions and lead to increasingly erratic behavior, but it also make the seductive nature of the power more difficult to control, in that it’s suddenly much stronger within them. And as in cases of substance abuse, this process is taking its toll.
THE BIG HITS:
Avengers vs. X-Men #10: As noted above, Cyclops tears through K'un L'un in an attempt to bring an unwilling Hope back to Utopia with him — though Thor, Thing, Hawkeye, Iron Man and Iron Fist are all quickly dispatched, the Avengers do have some tricks up their sleeves, like Shao Lao, the dragon that's the source of the "Iron Fist energy" and once defeated the Phoenix (or so legend goes. But since we're talking about a mythical dragon, why not believe it?) Though Shao Lao isn't able to get the job done, Hope uses her power to pull an "Enter Sandman" and breaths dragon's fire, surprising herself, and is eventually able to send Cyclops bang, zoom, straight to the moon, where it takes him an hour to recover; seemingly way too much time for an ultra-powerful cosmic entity.
Avengers #29: Travel back to late June 2012, as this issue shows the other side of Wolverine and the X-Men #12, with the Avengers looking to mitigate the X-Men's telepathic advantage. The issue shows Professor X's role in the mission, who states that his dream is "all but dead." (That guy really hasn't had an easy time of it in this story.) Also, Hawkeye nixes calling Moondragon for help on account of awkwardness.
- Mount your suspense to whatever degree you feel is appropriate, because there won’t be another issue of the main Avengers vs. X-Men series for four weeks: Sept. 12.- Emma Frost is making her fellow mutants bow down to her, something that understandably doesn't sit well with Magneto, but she kind of has him dead to rights: "Do I need to recite your sins to you, Magneto?" - Have some fun and name as many of the characters on Avengers #29's big board of telepaths (seen here) as you can. Challenge your friends!
- In both issues this week we see Professor Xavier continuing to get himself actively involved in the conflict, which, as widely speculated, seems nearly destined to not have a happy ending for the guy.- Captain America and Xavier seem to be getting close. Close enough that Cap might even be prompted to start a team to defend mutant rights in case anything happened to Xavier — a group of "Uncanny Avengers," maybe.
- It's just not a Marvel event series if the Watcher doesn't show up at some point, right?
- Line of the week? Cyclops, upon smacking down Thor, Thing and Hawkeye: "How's that for clobbering time?"
- Yup, like every issue of AvX proper thus far, this is more than the now-standard 20 story pages at Marvel, coming in at 23.
NEXT WEEK:The number of AvX tie-ins are definitely dwindling as the series wraps up, and Aug. 22 sees only one: Uncanny X-Men #17 (preview here) by Kieron Gillen and Daniel Acuña, the climax of the Mr. Sinister story that's been brewing since the first issue of the relaunched series. 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:
- Casualties of War: Potential AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Deaths
- AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Post Game, Week 20: Illuminati Reunion
- Marvel Comics' FULL November 2012 Solicitations NOW!