Written By: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Kickman and Matt Fraction
Pencils By: Oliver Coipel
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: OUT NOW IN STORES & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD (VIA COMIXOLOGY)
So after the whole “No More Avengers” decision at the end of the last issue, the X-Men all seem to have sided with the Phoenix 5 and its Avengers hunting time. The only thing stopping Cyclops and his odd red outer Phoenix pants is that Scarlet Witch seems to be able to hurt the Phoenix 5, preventing this take down of the Avengers from being a walk in the park.
Once again this issue has solid writing and some cinematic artwork to sell the fighting but once again AvX lacks conviction. There’s fighting but the Phoenix 5 don’t want to kill. They have painted The Avengers as global terrorists, they have The Phoenix power at their fingertips but they just want to take The Avengers out of the picture not kill them. A bit of weight to the moment where Hawkeye gets set alight, shocking both sides of the battle but even the impact of that initially shocking is brushed aside a few panels later once the Phoenix 5 let us know they can heal him. Can anyone else say cop out?
Once again Hope questions her destiny and lets us know that the 5 Phoenix powered X-Men aren’t ready for what The Phoenix power will do to them as (how many issues has Hope not really done anything now?). Iron Man also takes time out to tinker with a new suit (red and gold finish I’d imagine) that might stop the Phoenixy X-men, that holds quite a strong moment with Black Panther. There’s also a sense not all have a single global vision in the Phoenix 5 ranks. I’ll give you three guesses to work out who might have their own agenda.
Last month, a talkbacker referred to my feelings on Avengers vs X-Men as “old and jaded” and that might be the case but this series just seems to be treading water now. There are all these big fights and global, as well as universal situations but somehow AVX just isn’t feeling all that important to me. Throughout all the past seven issues this has felt like no more than a squabble between characters that should know better. There have been too many moments of drama that have been brushed aside or put on hold for later. So far, I see no impressive way that this will have a lasting effect on Marvel Universe beyond The Avengers still not really liking the X-Men and vice versa. Cyclops will either be loathed (no change there) or given a moment of redemption (my guess it is the second option). Everything will just go back to normal, like it always does, post Marvel event (or Jean Grey will come back). With five issues of this main run to go I’m still not really on anyone’s side, I’m not really feeling the importance of anyone’s moves and I have no sense that anyone is really in danger of getting anything other than a nasty bruise. Hero vs Hero is proving to be more about the visuals than the drama. Now would someone just kill Namor or something?