Now I know the notion of having an admitted drunk who spends his spare time making dick jokes in comic book reviews talk about morality may seem more fucked up than an acrobatic nymphomaniac, but it is a serious issue that guides many stories throughout comics. Marvel, more so than any other comic company, loves to tell stories that involve morally gray conflicts. I'm not just talking about the kind of conflicts where you have to choke a puppy to save the life of 20 kittens either. I'm talking about the kind of conflicts that pit two sides against one another and both sides have a valid point to make.
|One of those points being NOT to reveal your identity and NOT to get shot by your ex-girlfriend|
Avengers vs. X-men hasn't had the same kind of social and political undertones as stories like Civil War. On the surface, it has the usual musings of your typical superhero brawl. One group of superheroes questions the size of another group's dick and they slug it out until one side proves their dick is bigger or they just bludgeon each other to the point where they agree that both their dicks can get the job done. Avengers vs. X-men offered somewhat more depth than that. This was another instance where both sides did have a valid point to make. They stem from two very different approaches to this conflict. That conflict involves the Phoenix Force, a power known for using entire planet to wipe it's butt, coming towards Earth in search of a new red-haired, green eyed host NOT named Jean Grey.
For the X-men, they're approach comes from the point of view of a species that's been endangered since House of M. Hope's arrival did bring 5 new mutants into the fold with the Five Lights. However, 5 new mutants to a dying race is like pissing in the ocean in an effort to refill it. They need something more to kick start their species and why not the Phoenix Force? The Scarlet Witch butt-fucked reality in so many different holes that the only way to even remotely undo the damage is to use something as powerful as the Phoenix Force. Moreover, the X-men have dealt with the Phoenix. They've seen Jean Grey and Rachel Grey control it for a while. That means it can be controlled and with it, they may be able to restart their dying species.
That's all well and good, but the Avengers come at it from the point of view that tampering with cosmic forces is like giving a pyromaniac 100 metric tons of napalm. Their job is and always has been to protect the Earth from the kinds of threats that would put Earth between the giant butt cheeks of evil and fart it out of existence. Given that the Phoenix has already ravaged more planets than Motley Crue has hotel rooms, they have plenty of reason to stop this shit even it means sacrificing a dying species. I mean, it's not like they're the ones that caused mutants to become endangered. Hell, they distanced themselves completely from the Scarlet Witch. Why should they give a fuck?
|Can we agree to disagree? Fuck no!|
The X-men, however, are looked upon with the same appeal as malignant lump on one's scrotum or tits. They have superpowers like the Avengers, but they're seen as freaks and monsters. They are scorned by society and some actively work to wipe them out as was shown most recently in Second Coming. And what do the Avengers do about this vile public hate? Absolutely jack shit. Now I know I'm just a drunk, but how the fuck is that fair? How the fuck does that even make sense? In the first few issues of Avengers vs. X-men, Cyclops calls the Avengers out on their bullshit and they don't answer. They just say "Give us your messiah or we'll kick your ass and take her." They might as well have walked into a Star Trek convention dressed as storm troopers and asked Trekkies to hand over Leonard Nemoy.
Well Avengers vs. X-men #5 changed the whole dynamic of this difference between the Avengers and the X-men. And the Avengers have no one to blame but themselves. Tony Stark proved that no only is he a lousy drunk, but he also builds machines that do a shitty job of stopping cosmic forces. The Phoenix Force clearly wanted Hope. However, by fucking with it, he split the damn thing and now it's in five new hosts that the Avengers have been annoying the fuck out of for the past five issues. Thus we have the Phoenix Five, X-men imbued with the Phoenix Force and with more than enough reasons to flex their Phoenix muscle to help collapse the collective scrotum of every Avenger.
|This is how the Avengers cure their constipation.|
In recent previews of upcoming issues, we've seen how the Phoenix Five plan to carry out this motive. In a preview of X-men Legacy #268, we see the Phoenix Five doing something the UN was originally planned to do and failed miserably at for the past 60. They're actually outlawing war and beating the shit out of those who try to keep the war going. With their Phoenix powers, they travel to war ravaged places like Africa and disarm the militias who think using civilians as target practice is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. They also talk about mind-wiping those who can't go more than five minutes without thinking about killing someone. While I'm generally against mind-control and psychic torture on general principle, when some people just can't fight the urge to maim I make exceptions.
|We come in peace, motherfucker.|
This creates another moral quandary that Marvel (or DC for that matter) has yet to explore. Is it right to impose this kind of peace on a world that has never taken kindly to those who impose? Even if a cause is just, trying to impose it will create more outrage than strippers at Sunday School. I mean we live in a country where people get outraged when the President tries to impose universal health care on the last industrialized country that doesn't have it. So how the fuck do you think people will react when five all-powerful figures descend from the sky and say killing each other for no reason is no longer cool?
It creates a very shady ethical question. Is using the raw force of the Phoenix to impose peace on Earth just? Moreover, is it ethical to just stand by and let people keep dying while trying to pursue less forceful but less effective means of peace? Let's face it, the Avengers spend their days fighting off Thanos and Loki. They tend not to give a fuck about stopping wars in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, South America, and Texas. They just say, "Eh, let the UN handle it." Never mind that the UN couldn't even get the tiny country of Mauritania to outlaw slavery until 2007. They save the planet, yet they let millions die every day when they have the power to stop it? I mean fuck they have a billionaire, a demigod, a super soldier, and a Hulk at their disposal. Yet they can't find a way to tell the Israelis and Palestinians to cut the violence and shit? That's fucked up right into the stratosphere.
At the same time, there's still the question of using tyranny to fight tyranny. It's like using intolerance to fight intolerance. It's a very blurry ethical line that isn't easily managed. The Phoenix Five could make the whole world into a peace-loving utopia that would finally make Bono shut the fuck up. But that doesn't make what they did or how they did it right. It also doesn't make the Avengers victims either because it's their fucking fault for making the Phoenix Five in the first place. It's the kind of story that hasn't been told or debated in comics before and I'm glad Marvel is finally doing something like this. However it ends, it'll raise some pretty unsettling questions about heroes and their roles. In the meantime, I suppose the only thing we can agree on is how hot Emma Frost looks in Phoenix gear.
|Phoenix Force + Boobs = Awesome|