Thursday, February 9, 2012

Avengers vs. X-men #1 Preview

It's almost here! No, I'm not talking about the Maya Doomsday prophecy. No, I'm not talking about Peyton manning being released by the Colts either. I'm talking Avengers vs. X-men baby! It's been talked about on this blog and on every other major comics outlet to the point where if Marvel teases it much more they'll have to pay the hospital tab for thousands of comic fans who have to get treated for blood spurting out of their ears due to overworked brains. We know it's going to put the X-men and the Avengers in a royal rumble that Don King would try to make millions off of and pay no taxes on. We know it's going to involve the Phoenix Force, a plot that gets so many Marvel fans up and arms that it's come close to starting another civil war at times. I've certainly brought it up in my reviews. It's hard not to when books in Uncanny X-men and X-Sanction are already setting the stage, showing that Hope Summers (Jean Grey's replacement character that Marvel insists isn't a replacement character) is starting to embrace her more Phoenix-ish persona. But with every little detail, the aniticipation grows. It wasn't like Fear Itself, which was just another brawl between Marvel's heroes and a league of villains infused with some godly power. This involves two groups of heroes fighting over something that has been at the heart of the X-men since before Chris Claremont's hair turned gray. So it by default has to be big.

Now I normally don't make posts that just show previews, but since I've been citing Avengers vs. X-men so much it's only fair that I make an exception here. Earlier this week, Marvel released a 7-page preview for Avengers vs. X-men #1. It's the fist issue of a 12-issue bi-weekly arc that Marvel is throwing more money into than Donald Trump throws into his hair. The X-men and the Avengers aren't beating each other up yet, but this preview shows that they'll have plenty of reason to do so soon enough!

So what can we gather from this preview? I mean other than how cock-smashingly awesome this event looks so far? Well for once, Cyclops isn't even trying to walk that fine line between being an X-man or being Magneto's full sized mini-me. Hell, Magneto actually points out that he sounds like him. And he does. Cyclops knows more than anyone that the Phoenix Force screws people over. It screwed his wife over in a way that Wolverine can only fantasize about. It screwed 5 billion D'brai over during the Dark Phoenix Saga. It brought down X3 as well. Face it, very little good can come from this thing and thinking that Hope Summers, the brat who was stupid enough to trust Sebastian Shaw, can control it requires more weed than I'll ever be able to smoke.

At the very least, we get a Jean Grey mention. I'm still not convinced she'll be back, but just saying her name should be enough for Marvel. It's the only way they can placate angry Jean fans. For whatever reason (and I asked Nick Lowe this question in the last X-POSITION if you'll recall), Marvel has separated Jean Grey from the Phoenix Force completely. So we can't and probably shouldn't expect much from her. She's basically become the X-men equvilent of Gwen Stacy. She's not coming back. But her imagery will be used to death to make the Phoenix more badass (and sexier).

This says to me that Cyclops is setting himself up to be the bad guy here. Moreoever, he's setting himself up to be on the losing side. Usually, the side that tries to control great power is the one that ends up getting humbled in a way that requires them to eat what's left of their ass. Cyclops has been walking this line for a while now, the leader of an entire race that's willing to do what it takes to save their kind. Now it looks like he's going to cross it while humming showtunes. So while it's hard to get much from a preview, I'm calling it here! Cyclops and the X-men are going to be on the losing end of Avengers vs. X-men. The Phoenix will torch his ass in a way that even Emma Frost won't be able to find attractive. I could be wrong, but we'll only know for sure when the event finally strats. So pick up the pace, Father Time! Even the patience of a drunk has it's limits! Nuff said.


  1. This event has gotten me well does anyone in the Marvel Universe (anyone mortal at least) really understand the Phoenix Force? From my view it seems like people's best concept is that "it can destroy solar systems" and that's about it.

    I'm probably one of the few long-time fans who actually likes the whole concept of the Phoenix, particularly the way it evolved into being the judge of life and culler of evolutionary dead ends, when it's doing its job at least. But who in the MU actually knows this? Scott doesn't know how Jean prevented an apocalyptic universe by nudging him back to the X-Men and to Emma. What makes him think Hope can be trained to control it and use it to do...well anything?

  2. It's a good question. I'm sure it's hard for many in the Marvel U NOT to know about the Phoenix Force if they know anything at all about the X-men. But it's much harder to understand the particulars and I think that's what's going to cause conflict. But it's power of the greatest kind, which is why I think Cyclops's thinking that he can control it is only going to set him up for an epic fail.