Avengers Vs. X-Men #12
Script by Jason Aaron
Story by Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, and Jonathan Hickman
Art by Adam Kubert, John Dell, Mark Morales, Laura Martin, and Justin Ponsor
The short of it:
It’s the end of the event as we know it, and it’s all Dark Scott against the world! Lots of big time action as the power consumes him and starts blowing up the world, leading to the Avengers and X-Men gathering together to save people across the globe while the big guns try and fight against Dark Phoenix. It’s a one sided affair, even after debuting the nearly forgotten Nova to have a moment, and I stress A moment, as in he’s taken out the page after his dynamic intro. Then we get even more forgotten plot point characters as Wanda and Hope show up.
From there we see the attempt at weaving together many of the random plot points introduced throughout the series. Wanda’s ability to hurt the Phoenix, Hope being important, Iron Fist’s super kung fu lessons…things that were just sorta sitting and waiting for someone to remember to tie them up. With the help of the Avengers Scott gets taken down, and the Phoenix moves on to it’s next avatar…Hope.
Hope, as the Phoenix, proceeds to do all kinds of awesome goodness and fix the damage caused by Dark Scott, and seeks to do more good with it. The Avengers, of course, don’t want her having that kind of power and being able to do their job better than them. So she releases the power to do even more good and they are happy with her.
Scott isn’t dead, he’s just in a prison where Cap treats him as the greatest super villain to ever live. But he wants Scott to know that he accepts responsibility, and that in hindsight the Avengers could have helped the X-Men not be hunted to near extinction by bigots. Of course, he’s going to hunt down Magneto who was one of his allies LAST ISSUE. Of course, in final talks about the Phoenix it’s made pretty clear that Cyclops was right about its intentions from day one.
So Cap takes credit for it and marches off to be awesome.
What I liked:
- The art. Adam Kubert is the only real star in this issue. He blows this book out of the water with crisp pencils, clever layouts, and utterly epic action. Everyone has their own distinct look, their own little visuals for their powers, and Hope actually looks like a teenager. He nails the scope of everything perfectly and makes the book look as large as the writers intended for it to be.
- Hey look, someone remembered that Nova showed up to start this series. I was beginning to think that the writers forgot that it happened in this series.
- Cyclops. I have to say that I did not hate Cyclops in this issue. Sure, he spends most of it as an overpowered monster, but he’s written well as one. On top of that, the non-powered moments, or even his internal monologuing, great character moments there. Especially when he realizes that he was right all along and Cap turns into a whiny school child telling him he can’t have any credit.
- It’s finally over! Now for all the crappy fallout!
What I didn’t like:
- Captain America has yet to have a redeeming character moment in this series. He’s a manipulative, skeevy, holier than thou asshole that declares himself the moral authority of the Marvel Universe. After starting the war he’s declared himself the hero of. Starting it because he didn’t value the opinions of others at all and therefore would react violently when people did not respond well to his threats and ultimatums. He also has the balls to act like Xavier’s death was bigger deal for him than it was to Scott. I don’t care if Scott killed him, the man raised Cyclops. Captain America dealt with him once or twice a decade.
- The secret weapon is Hope teaming with Scarlet Witch. Really? Was that the plan all along or did someone realize halfway through writing number eleven that they’d forgotten that the two were the focal points of the build up? Because despite being the ‘big guns’ of the Avengers side, neither is really provided with any real motivation or definition of powers.
- Wanda as a deus ex device. “No More Anything” was horrible during House of M, and it’s horrible now. It’s a cheap plot device brought about by someone who had no real love or affinity for the character and just wanted to get them out of the franchise to make room for Luke Cage (Luke Cage was an awesome Avenger, I’ll miss him).
- Remember when Dark Phoenix ate a sun and nobody could do anything about it? Why do the Avengers do a better job than the combined might of the X-Men, Imperial Guard, and Shi’ar fleet? Jean killed herself in that series, nobody did the job for her, because nobody could. Here you have Wanda and Hope who can team up to do it because Iron Fist taught Hope how to use super kung fu.
- The ‘big change’ at the end is so undersold it isn’t even funny. Seriously, the biggest change to the status quo coming out of this event is BURIED across two halves of two different pages between an eye rollingly bad write off of a plot point that it became fully clear that nobody really knew what to do with, and a terrible conversation with Moral Authority Captain America.
Magneto helped the Avengers start their big assault on Scott, got attacked by Scott, was clearly on their side, and yet somehow winds up on their most wanted list.
When we last saw Emma Frost she was knocked out and in Avengers custody. Nice to know that the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes did such a great job containing a woman with a nullifier cutting out her super powers, since she is also on the Most Wanted list.
Wanda is an Avenger in good standing with no problems being left behind from Avengers Disassembled or House of M. They’ve completely exonerated her from her killing of Hawkeye and genocide of the mutant race while having a bad day. Scott killed one person and made some things go boom while possessed by a cosmic entity that he had no hope of fighting back against. So why is he looking like he’s about to face a world council for crimes against humanity while she’s getting a new costume to go with her renewed status as a big time super hero?
Wasn’t I supposed to get Infinite Comics #3 with this? I remember Marvel making a big deal about getting out three issues of that to go with AVX. So why can’t I find anything to indicate that it exists? Did Marvel just up and cancel it under the radar?
So let’s make a list of people that Cap has given free passes to that were in either the same boat or a similar one as Scott. There’s post House of M Wanda, Winter Soldier Bucky Barnes, Iron Man (Armor Wars, Crossing, Civil War, I can keep going), Sharon Carter (killed Cap of all people, his response is to have sex with her), Wolverine (great killer of men with his own personal MUTANT HIT SQUAD), post-Shadowland Daredevil (went from being a Parallax esque villain to being an Avenger with a big thumbs up), the Sentry (“You just ripped a man in half and tossed him into the sun. How would you like to be an Avenger?”), want me to keep going?
Why the hell was this issue a dollar more than the other ones? It didn’t seem any longer.
Can we all agree that event writing by committee with a different writer doing every issue is the worst idea ever? Nothing ever seemed to really get rolling at any point in time, they just kept throwing plots and ideas at us and hoping
Tags: adam kubert, Avengers, Avengers vs. X-Men, AvX, Captain America, Cyclops, Hope Summers, Jason Aaron, Marvel Comics, Reviews, scarlet witch, The Phoenix, X-Men