AvX Post Game, Week 15: Who's Afraid of Scarlet Witch?

***Spoilers for Avengers vs. X-Men #7 and Uncanny X-Men #15 follow.***


It's that magical period between Independence Day and Comic-Con, so why not channel both your patriotic spirit and your love of sequential art into the latest Avengers vs. X-Men Post Game, looking at Week 15 of the American-made Marvel event series — featuring Scarlet Witch, Hope, and the latest antics of that wily Phoenix Five.


Matt Fraction, who also wrote last month's Avengers vs. X-Men #5 and the big Phoenix Five reveal, returned to the series this week, and he talked to us about putting Scarlet Witch back on the board, and once again fighting alongside Earth's Mightiest Heroes after some well-known unpleasantness.

Newsasrama: Matt, in Avengers vs. X-Men #7 we see Scarlet Witch take on an active role within the Avengers for the first time in years, and it's really the most we've seen her in action outside of Avengers: The Children's Crusade. What was it like writing Wanda's return to something of a more familiar role? And how do you approach writing a character that's essentially been solely defined by two major events (that both happened before your tenure at Marvel) — "Avengers Disassembled" and House of M — for nearly a decade?


Matt Fraction: I wanted it for a long time, I can tell you that much. And I think Wanda's reticence and uncertainty expressed all of ours — who is she now? Who is she going to be? Who is she going to become, and how is she going to get there? She has such a rich pedigree and history and yet writing her now is like writing a woman without her skin — she's feeling everything so big, she's so unsteady on her feet. Hopefully some of that came out. And I think plays nicely against who and what AvX has turned Hope into; between these two women, you've got tremendous experience, power, capability, and, most of all, doubt.



Avengers vs. X-Men #7: Turns out that even with the near-omnipotent Phoenix Five on their side, the X-Men are still vulnerable in this war. For one, they're dealing with the cognitive dissonance brought on by Hope voluntarily leaving them to go with the Avengers, and for two, the P5 can't seem to agree on how far is too far – burning Hawkeye alive, for instance, is cool with Emma Frost but a no-no in Cyclops' optic-blasting eyes. (In fact, Scott's restraint certainly seems to be a counter-argument to the "Cyclops is totally a villain now" crowd.) The Avengers aren't immune to in-fighting, with Black Panther giving Iron Man a semi-friendly slap as means of cajoling, not unlike Cher slapping Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck. Also, Namor and Emma Frost smooch (sitcom audience: "ooooo!") right before he declares water war on Wakanda.


Uncanny X-Men #15: For those wondering, "Does being 1/5 of the Phoenix free Colossus from his Cyttorak possession?" the answer, as found in this issue by Kieron Gillen and Daniel Acuña is, "No." Poor guy. Also, Cyclops targets Sinister London as the next stop on his world makeover tour, and Kate Kildare provides a glimpse into what it's like to do public relations for a group of all-powerful beings (who wasn't curious?).

Worth noting:

- So, the "Marvel NOW!" news sure prompts you to look at AvX in a little different light, right? Even things like Havok — who hasn't really been around in the event so far — appearing among the X-Men taking on the Avengers in the opening fight scene of issue #7, which is countered by the knowledge that he'll be the leader of Uncanny Avengers starting in October. In classic C&C Music Factory fashion, it's a thing that makes you go "hmm."


- Exchange of the week? Scarlet Witch: "I'll see what I can do." Vision: "I cannot suggest any more highly how dismal a notion I find that."

- It should be noted that not only does second act Avengers vs. X-Men artist Olivier Coipel's Hope look like an actual teenage girl, his Tony Stark and Captain America have much more realistic bodies as well — which, seeing as how the most famous iterations of the characters now are the movie versions played by real-life humans, seems like a smart choice.

- Even in the midst of AvX, the Danger/Unit storyline in Uncanny X-Men continues to develop — but given the newly revealed fact that All-New X-Men is set to supplant Uncanny in November, one wonders when things will come to a head with all of that. (Super-educated, informed guess: Probably before November.)

- So, the Avengers now have their own X-prisoner, Transonic — though, on the bright side, she gets to hang out with Hope again.

- Bad things continue to happen to Hawkeye when Scarlet Witch is around.



Comic-Con week delivers an AvX hat trick: AVX: VS #4 sees Daredevil vs. Psylocke and Thor vs. the Phoenix-ed up Emma Frost (preview here); the Avengers imprisoned in the X-Brig attempt to rectify that situation in New Avengers #28 (preview here); and Adult Gladiator and the intimidatingly named Death Commandos go Phoenix-hunting in Wolverine and the X-Men #13 (preview here).


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