Big events in comics are a lot like a good porno. They usually have a handful of juicy scenes and most fans gloss over all that annoying exposition just to get to the good stuff. In both cases those juicy scenes often end with someone looking fucked or someone with jizz all over their face (metaphorically or literally or even both). For an event as long as Avengers vs. X-men, there have been some amazing money shots that would make Peter North erupt into a jealous rage or Jenna Jameson gag uncontrollably. Marvel divided the 12-issue series into three acts, each of which ended or began with something big. And also like a good porno, those big moments involved women with serious issues fucking up or being fucked.
In Act 1, it was all about Hope Summers. This annoying, bratty Jean Grey rip-off claimed she was ready to take on the Phoenix. By the end of Act 1, she changed her mind faster than Mitt Romney's health care platform. Like every teenage brat that insists they're ready to drive their mother's car across state borders for a frat party, she was overwhelmed and underprepared. Also like that teenage brat at a frat party, she was in a position to get seriously fucked up in more ways than one.
Act 2 had Hope take a backseat (again, similar to the teenage brat at a frat party) to the Phoenix Five. Unlike some immature teenage girl who likes to shoot guns and can't decide when she's fucking ready, the Phoenix Five used the Phoenix Force to literally reshape the world for the better. They did a way with poverty, hunger, thirst, war, bigotry, and Kim Kardashian. Needless-to-say, the governments of the world that were too used to being inept and corrupt didn't like it. The Avengers didn't like it either, albeit for better reasons. It led to more clashes that left Wakanda in ruin, put Avengers into a prison made out of a chunk of Limbo, and ruined Storm and Black Panther's marriage. Okay, so maybe it wasn't a total loss. But with only three issues left and one act to go, Avengers vs. X-men is poised to have one last orgy of awesome. Again, the porno similarities are too numerous to list.
Avengers vs. X-men #9 was another big money shot because the Avengers escaped from their imprisonment while two more of the Phoenix Five fell, leaving only Cyclops and Emma with a share of the Phoenix Force. While this power is fucking Emma up worse than a batched boob job, Cyclops is using it to finally track down Hope, who willingly left with the Avengers for some impromptu training in K'un L'un. Cyclops's insistence on having her return with the X-men to Utopia was met with the same reaction that most girls get when their fathers try to pull them away from a Justin Bieber concert. Hope runs while Iron Fist tries to protect her. He puts up about as much of a fight as cooked lobster against a hungry shark. And not to offend the Kung Fu lovers out there, but Iron Fist deserved it. He compared Cyclops to fucking Mussolini. Last I checked, Mussolini didn't solve world hunger and Cyclops isn't Hitler's BFF. So fuck him. He deserves a Phoenix powered kick in the balls.
As if throwing Mussolini's name into the mix wasn't immature enough, Professor Xavier's name once again enters the conflict. No, I'm not saying Xavier is as bad as Mussolini, but he's almost as big a douche. In the previous issue, he helped the Avengers free their fellow teammates from the Limbo prison. In the process, Spider-Man managed to trick Colossus and Magik into beating their part of the Phoenix out of them, which helped make up for the whole selling his marriage to the devil thing (almost). Now they're standing over a Phoenix-less Magik and Colossus and Xavier is just lamenting about how he allowed his X-men to choose the wrong side.
Wait...the wrong side? He didn't want his X-men on the side of the people who were taking a cosmic power and using it to make a global utopia? If that's the wrong side, then I don't have a drinking problem and George W. Bush was the greatest President ever. I get that he's upset that they made a prison out of Limbo, but whose fault is that anyways? The Avengers were the ones that made it clear no prison could hold them. When you've got a cosmic power, you can resort to crazy extremes and no one will tell you they're crazy. Maybe my X-men bias is showing a little, but wrong side? Fuck Xavier, is that really your dream or did you get shot in the head one too many times? Okay, that was a poor choice of words.
But Xavier's concerns aren't completely without merit even if they do reek of hypocritical bullshit. While Cyclops seems intent on making the world a better place, Emma's vanity is catching up with her. It began in the last issue when she told Cyclops she was losing control over the power. Well now she's not even trying anymore. She's on Utopia where the X-men that haven't completely turned their backs on a worldwide utopia are made to kneel before her. Granted, I would have knelled just to get a look at her panties, but she's actually forcing them to submit. Even Magneto, the guy who once couldn't get a boner without someone stroking his ego first points that out. Emma humbles him in a way that only Rogue's pussy could probably match and now even he's starting to have doubts. That or he just can't stand seeing a hot woman in a position of power that he's not fucking. That would be a great blow for feminism if Emma didn't come off as a mind-controlling bitch, which wasn't necessary, but it was done anyways. How she went from having doubts to being a mind-tyrant is never shown. It's the first sign that Marvel is getting lazy, but it sure as hell isn't the last unfortunately.
Back in K'un L'un, the rest of the Avengers try to assemble and take out Cyclops before he can get to Hope. He deals with them in only one fucking blast while delivering what is by far the best one-liner he's ever delivered. "How's that for clobbering time?" Fuck, the man is already boning Emma Frost and wields a cosmic force. Did he really need to be that much more awesome? I know the anti-Cyclops crowd will still make Mussolini jokes, but even they have to admit a guy that can take down the Avengers like that is pretty damn awesome.
But what the Avengers can't do, a mystical dragon can. No, I'm not high on LSD again...for the most part. That's what Iron Fist's fellow Kung Fu enthusiast, Thunderer, cooked up with Hope. The dragon's name is Shao Loa, which sounds like the Chinese equivalent of John Smith. It's described by an as yet unidentified narrator that it wields the source of K'un L'un's mystical power. And since it was shown in previous issues that Iron Fist had a (horribly contrived and utterly bullshit) connection to the Phoenix Force, it's able to hurt the Phoenix and Cyclops by default. Needless to say, Cyclops doesn't like that. While the dragon may get in a few lucky blows, Cyclops takes it down and yet the Thunderer has the gall to say he has no honor. Excuse me, but when the fuck did it become a dishonor to fight back against a dragon that was attacking you? If that's honor, then I have more honor than all these comic book heroes for letting bullies kick my ass in high school.
All the while, Hope is still running. At this point even the writers seem to forget why. I may be stoned 9 times out of 10, but even I remember that Cyclops didn't come to K'un L'un with the intention of killing or hurting Hope. Hell, he even fucking says that out loud and nobody believes him. They still accuse Cyclops of attacking innocent people, but are the Avengers innocent? Fuck, they made him Phoenix by throwing Iron Man's beta Phoenix killer at him in the first place. And they're harboring the one person that is supposed to be able to save the mutant species. Hell, Cyclops says this too, but Hope insists on hanging out with the people who don't know shit about fighting the Phoenix Force and the crazy bitch in Wanda Maximoff who devastated their species in the first place. And is there a single effort to explain why? The answer is a resounding "Fuck no."
Hope continues to show that she's more clueless than Elton John in a gynecology class. After Cyclops beats the dragon, she uses her mimic powers to hurt him again. She claims she doesn't know how. Really? You've mimicked so many powers to this point and you still don't fucking know? This from the same girl who claimed all the way back in Avengers vs. X-men #0 that she was ready? Fuck, if being a rip-off character wasn't bad enough, Hope just insists on being a rip-off character that you want to see Cyclops give a cosmic level spanking amongst other things.
However, since Marvel's creativity seems to be running on fucking empty at this point, Hope does it again. This time she mimics the power of Iron Fist, the Scarlet Witch, and the dragon to do what the Thunderer describes as a chaos punch. It's exactly what it sounds like. Hope delivers this one fancy punch that's only slightly less impressive than any punch Bruce Lee threw in one of his movies and this causes Cyclops to disappear. Iron Man claims this is a turning point and he knows how they can use this to end this battle, but at this point you almost wish he didn't. Looking back on this fight and Hope's outrage, you just can't help but wonder why? Why the fuck are they fighting? Cyclops isn't trying to destroy K'un L'un or kill anyone. He wants to use Hope to save their species. To this point in Avengers vs. X-men, the fighting has had a reason. Well not this time. I'm all for meaningless fighting, but unless it happens in a bar or a hockey game it's a bullshit way to tell a story.
Cyclops ends up getting punched all the way to the fucking moon. Because that's what Marvel needs more of, an overpowered Hope Summers that constantly belittles the guy who went to such great lengths to save her ungrateful ass. It's here where we learn who the mysterious narrator is of this issue. It's our old buddy, Uatu the Watcher. I imagine he's every bit as pissed off at the events of this issue as I am. But his power of observation offers us a clue as to what lies ahead. He says that now Cyclops realizes that he's not powerful enough to take on Hope. He needs Emma's help or he needs to beat Emma's share of the Phoenix out of her, whichever comes first. This sounds like the kind of shit you would want to hire a divorce lawyer for, but since Cyclops and Emma aren't married they could probably settle for Judge Judy. It would probably be a lot more entertaining than the battle they're setting up. Because we all know what happens when a guy tries to fight his girlfriend in a comic. If you have a penis and balls, you can expect shit not to go your way.
That isn't the only hint that's dropped. After being made to bow in a way he's probably not used to, Magneto essentially ditches the whole global utopia act and sneaks off to summon his old buddy, Professor Xavier, to come fix his mess yet again. His words are painfully bland in that he says Cyclops and Emma are being corrupted by the Phoenix Force. Forget all their efforts at creating a global utopia. This story isn't about that shit anymore. It's about power corrupting. In other words, it's the same fucking Phoenix story we've read many times before. That would be just fine if it didn't start out that way. This shit started out as a story where there were two sides to root for and each seemed valid. Now we've got a side of crazy power-mad lovers who may never see each other naked again and the underdog Avengers. If at any point you doubt who is going to win, put down the crack pipe and run to the nearest police officer and beg them to throw you in jail.
Now my biggest concern going into Avengers vs. X-men was directly related to my assessment of Marvel's last ball-busting event, Fear Itself. Marvel overhyped that event as well and I reviewed every issue. For most of that time, I was shaking pom-poms and singing the praises like Kate Perry on ecstasy. Then the final issues came along and someone slipped roofies into the ecstasy. Fear Itself utterly failed to maintain the momentum it built up for over half the story. When the end came along it was as pitiful as it was underwhelming because Marvel just ditched any notions of depth and subtlety in favor of basic beat-em-ups between the good guys and the bad guys. Never mind that we can watch old reruns of the A-Team to see that shit. Marvel just has to have that one fight scene in the same way Michael Bay has to have shit blow up in his movies.
The big problem with Avengers vs. X-men #10 isn't that it's too heavy on explosions and shit. The problem is the writers seemed to have gotten too stoned and forgotten why the fuck they're making this story other than needing more money to buy more weed. For so much of Avengers vs. X-men, Marvel told a carefully crafted story that showed the Avengers and X-men taking different sides of the conflict. You could easily make the case that the X-men had a valid reason to beat up the Avengers and the Avengers had a valid reason to beat up the X-men. I know towards the end of the story someone has to gain the upper hand, but this issue gave me the sense that Marvel just said "Fuck it, Cyclops and Emma are evil. Avengers assemble, motherfucker!"
Not only that, we don't even get a slight explanation as to why the fuck Hope is still fighting Cyclops or why Cyclops is suddenly becoming so corrupt? Did the events of Infinite Comics #2 suddenly get retconned? And why is Hope trusting the people who didn't do shit for her when she came back from the future and have no experience dealing with the Phoenix? Hell, Wolverine tried to fucking kill her! Is there any fucking logic behind this fight anymore aside from pitting Marvel's top movie property against the one that Fox is intent on fucking over every which way and rubbing it in their face?
But I digress. This issue essentially set the stage for a painfully predictable ending. The Avengers will beat Cyclops and Emma. Hope will be the big fucking hero despite being the bratty, annoying Jean Grey rip-off that claimed she was ready at the beginning of this event only to change her mind more than a schizophrenic bipolar teenage girl with OCD. Marvel has made the X-men the villains, which is exactly what they avoided doing in Civil War. With two issues left, they've nearly written themselves into a corner. Now there's still a chance that Marvel could pull a fast one with the last two issues, but since Marvel seems to be thinking with their movie rights in the same way Tommy Lee thinks with his dick we can pretty much assume there won't be any big surprises.
Avengers vs. X-men #10 represents a shitty turning point in what has been an awesome series. It can turn around, but betting on that is like betting on the Cleveland Browns to win the Superbowl. I give Avengers vs. X-men #10 a 2.5 out of 5. It's got good art and decent action, but it pretty much gave the finger to everything that came before it. Plus, Cyclops had an awesome one-liner about clobbering time so that earns this book half a point. If comics could become mentally ill, this comic would be on more meds than Carrie Fisher and Courtney Love combined. If you're an X-men fan, cover you dick and hold your breath because it looks like nothing short of a deal with Mephisto will get them out of this without smelling like shit. Nuff said!