Collects Avengers vs. X-Men #0–12, Material from Marvel Point One

Writers: Matt Fraction, Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman
Artists: Frank Cho, Jason Keith, John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna, Adam Kubert, Jim Mahfood, Oliver Coipel, Mark Morales, Adam Kubert, Kohn Dell

Once again, I read the Finnish issues which included also the A vs X issues, which essentially have just a fight between two characters, so they don’t really add anything to the storyline, with the exception of Hope vs Wanda.

The Phoenix Force is coming back to Earth and the Avengers are worried and want to stop it. But for some reason Cyclops thinks that it will bring rebirth to the mutant race. Everyone is convinced that the new host will be Hope Summers. Cyclops wants to train her and Captain America wants to get Hope to safety to, er, Avengers Tower I guess. Why he would think it’s a safer place than Utopia, I don’t know. And it turns out that Wolverine is so terrified of Phoenix that he’s preparing to kill Hope.

The Avengers come to the Utopia Island and, surprising no-one, an epic battle between the two super hero groups starts. After, Hope heads to the Moon… and both teams send a group to grab her. But they’re too late. While the two hero groups wound each other with fists, powers, and words, the Phoenix force reaches Hope whom everyone seems to have forgotten in their eagerness to pummel each other. But she rejects it and Tony Stark hits Phoenix with his disruptor weapon which he hopes will kill the force. Instead, the force is split into five fragments which bond with Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, Colossus, and Namor.

The Phoenix Five (and Hope) head back to Earth and proceed to make it a paradise. The Avengers, well, are suspicious of them and continue to, er, fight back against such generosity. Of course, everything goes horribly wrong.

Usually cross-over events end without anything changing. This one’s different. It launched the Marvel NOW line which changed the X-Men and the Avengers teams.

The storyline is essentially interesting: Cyclops is fighting for the survival of his species while Cap wants to keep the whole world safe. I for one don’t really understand why Scott thinks that Phoenix would do that. Of course, this is his batshit insane phase (I’m firmly convinced that somewhere before he started to cheat on Jean with Emma, he was switched with an evil/insane version from one of the other Earths) so who knows why he does anything anymore. The characterization of many characters is weird here; apparently they just follow their designated leader without any questions asked until near the end. Does that sound like the X-Men for you? Or the Avengers? In addition to Pietro and Wanda, the Beast and Wolverine and his whole school is on the Avengers’ side. So this is a very exiting plotting, at least on paper, and has great artists but it feels a forced confrontation to me, just an excuse to get a lot of hero versus hero fights. Much like Civil War felt to me, earlier. The last parts have some better characterization, though.

But it brought about interesting changes to the Marvel universe and that’s (usually) a good thing.