AvX #4-6 Review

Posted by Spiderfan001 29 June 2012

The Phoenix comes to Earth as Avengers vs. X-Men continues!

Round 4

In Antarctica, Hope lures Wolverine to her jet with a trail of beer cans (she's been busy!).  Hope proposes that Wolverine help her reach the Phoenix before both teams can find her, and in the event that she can't control the Phoenix's power, kill her if necessary.  Wolverine reluctantly agrees.

In deep space, with the rest of his team down, Thor takes on the Phoenix on his own but fails to stop it.

At an abandoned Hellfire Club safehouse, Emma Frost looks into the minds of all the Avengers who are battling the X-Men across the globe in search of Hope.  She discovers Hope's location at the same time as Captain America, who learns the information from a mysterious informant.

Wolverine and Hope steal a rocket from A.I.M. and head for the blue area of the moon.  Once there they find the Avengers waiting for them, who Wolverine had tipped off earlier.  The X-Men then arrive and tell the Avengers to back down, but both teams are stopped cold by the sight of the Phoenix heading right for them.

Round 5

The Avengers and the X-Men start fighting as Hope feels the Phoenix growing stronger within her.  She yells at everyone to stop as fire bursts from her body, sending everyone flying back.  Hope realizes she can't control the Phoenix and asks Wolverine to kill her.  Before Wolverine can make a move he is blasted by Cyclops, who still believes Hope can control it.

Meanwhile, Iron Man finishes his Phoenix killer armour and confronts the Phoenix, blasting it with a special disruptor which creates a huge explosion.  When the dust settles, the Avengers discover that the blast separated the Phoenix into five parts which now occupy Cyclops, Emma, Colossus, Magik, and Namor.  The five vow to use the power of the Phoenix to remake the world for the better.  Together, they take Hope and fly back to Earth.

Round 6

Ten days later, Charles Xavier arrives at Utopia (now a paradise in the sky) and is greeted by Magneto, who leads him to his former student, Cyclops.  Xavier expresses his concern over what Cyclops is doing, but Cyclops assures him that everything's going to be fine.

At Avengers Tower, Iron Fist briefs Captain America on a mission he was on with Spider-Woman and Luke Cage.  Things were going badly until Colossus showed up, saved their lives, and effectively solved the problem.  Troubled, Cap meets up with Black Panther, Iron Man, Beast and Wolverine and states that they need a plan of action against the Phoenix empowered X-Men.  Panther and Beast object, stating that the X-Men haven't done anything wrong, with the latter leaving the room in disgust.

Back at Utopia, Cyclops speaks with Hope and tells her that she's free to leave if that's what she wants.  He then scolds her for rejecting the Phoenix and tells her that she doesn't deserve to wield it.  Dick.

In K'un Lun, Lei Kung meets with a blind seer and tells him that he has seen the Phoenix.  The seer tells him that in order to stop the Phoenix, he needs the Iron Fist.

Cap, Iron Man and T'Challa meet with the President of the United States to discuss the Phoenix Five's ultimatum to the United Nations, where they stated that they would no longer tolerate any acts of violence aganst mutant or human.  The President, worried about the X-Men's lack of accountability, tells the Avengers that something must be done.

The Scarlet Witch has a vision of the original Avengers plus Cap getting nuked by the Phoenix and declares "this is what comes next."

Captain America comes up with a plan to sneak Hope off of Utopia with a small band of Avengers wearing dorky looking battle suits.  The Avengers land on Utopia and grab Hope, but don't go unnoticed by Cyclops and Emma.  The two of them easily defeat the Avengers, but then the Scarlet Witch shows up and teleports the Avengers, along with Hope, off of Utopia, telling Cyclops that it's is for the best.  Angered, Cyclops realizes that mankind will never respect mutants as long as their heroes are still around to protect them and declares "no more Avengers."


When this series was first announced, I was hoping that, like Civil War, Avengers vs. X-Men would present a conflict in which both sides would have a justifiable argument.  I went into this event as an X-Men booster.  Yeah, Spidey's with the Avengers, but the X-Men were clearly the underdogs in this fight, and it would have been cool to see them get one up on the self righteous "Earth's Mightiest Heroes."  But damn, it's hard to root for the team that's in favour of the genocidal firebird coming towards Earth.  The writers so far haven't been doing a very good job of giving the X-Men a reasonable point-of-view with regards to the Phoenix.  Cyclops sounds more and more like Doctor Doom with each passing issue. 

The Avengers don't come off much better.  What was with Cap's plan to sneak into Utopia in issue #6?  I would think swooping down from the sky in broad daylight in winged battlesuits, with your thunder god punching kids that get in your way, is not the best way to go unnoticed.  Reading this series is a lot like watching politicians bicker and bumble their way through the current economic crisis.  You want everyone to cooperate and work out a solution, but no one's willing to budge from their current position, even as the situation grows more dire.  In that sense, Avengers vs. X-Men is certainly a product of its time.

Where this series really shines is in the art department.  They really need to take John Romita Jr. and permanently chain him to Scott Hanna, as Romita's art (while still good) never looks quite as amazing as when Hanna is on inks.  Similarly, Oliver Coipel does a great job on issue #6.  You can tell Marvel has put their top artistic talent on this series.   

While it at times suffers from wonky characterization, one cannot accuse Avengers vs. X-Men of being boring.  It's a goregous event comic that's going to both excite and frustrate you at the same time.  I certainly want to know what happens next.  There are worse things in the world than exciting comics!

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