Avengers vs. X-Men #6
Story by Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, and Jonathan Hickman
Script by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales, and Laura Martin
The short of it:
In ten days the Phoenix Five have transformed the world. They’ve brought life to the desert, food to the hungry, and free power for all. They aren’t malevolent, there are no demands or mistreatments. They simply sought to fix the world, and they’ve been accomplishing it. Of course, this makes them Captain America’s enemy and he gets tunnel vision focused on how to defeat them. Colossus saves the lives of a team of Avengers, and rather then showing any concern about their wellbeing, Cap cares only about any exposed weaknesses. There wasn’t one, in fact, Colossus talked to the would be Avengers killers and convinces them to help power Eastern Europe. Cap meets with his little anti-X-Men cabal and the schism there is obvious. There are those who just want to find a way to strip the Phoenix Five of their powers by any means necessary and take away their world saving help, and there are those who simply don’t see the negative.
On Utopia, Hope suffers from the only real negativity there is to be displayed from any of the Phoenix empowered characters…Cyclops is a complete dick to her. Shocking, right? Scott is an asshole, news at eleven. The Phoenix Five gets back to work, this time disarming hostile countries and militaries. Cut to K’un Lun and Lei Kung is looking for prophecy and being told that the Iron Fist has to fight the Phoenix. Really.
Captain America, Iron Man, and T’Challa meet with Barack Obama and only one person in the room shows any signs of logic while the others focus on how evil these X-Men are for trying to make the world a better place. Here’s a hint, it’s the leader they bother to name and not just blatantly work around acknowledging that it’s the current Commander in Chief. So the Avengers answer is to sneak into Utopia and kidnap Hope. Yeah. The issue ends with an ominous statement that Marvel has been pimping the crap out of.
What I liked:
- Jonathan Hickman brings the right voice for this issue. He’s not the action heavy kind of writer that the others are, so it’s fitting that his issue features far more plot and character development than previous issues. While everyone else has been trying to write in big moments, this issue finally brings us into the big concepts.
- Amazing usage of Beast. He’s the voice of logic that has been absent, and will continue to be absent as nobody intends to listen to him.
- Same goes for Black Panther. He makes very valid and well thought out points that the reader can understand and get behind, but that the characters blow off.
- I love the art, it’s been a while since I saw Olivier on interiors (I don’t read Fraction’s Thor), and I think he’s a great fit for this. He captures everything so perfectly. Hope’s youth, the complete and total epicness of Utopia, or even my personal favorite panel of Colossus with the missles. The detail, the scope, the art is a total package here.
What I didn’t like:
- Is there any character in this book without tunnel vision? Cyclops has to change the world because he can. Captain America has to stop him because he was fighting with him before. Obama wants them stopped because he thinks the X-Men are ‘cheating’ mankind out of forward progress. And Wolverine just really fucking wants to stab Cyclops in the chest.
- Captain America seems to become a bigger dick every issue. His people almost get killed and all he cares about is potential weakpoints. Two old allies of his both try and talk logic to him, and both he just ignores. The Avengers side is just so stubborn and believing of their own hype. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes aren’t the worlds only ones.
- I love that Magneto put over Scott, but I hate that he literally only appears to say how awesome Cyclops is. This is Magneto, if you’re going to use him, then use him.
- It would have been nice to get more character development out of the Phoenix Five, we only get a feel for Cyclops here. I’d have loved to see how Emma or Illyana had changed with the power.
It really took them way too long to bring Xavier into this, or really back into the fold in general.
Why is Iron Fist important to this at all? I’ve scoped the New Avengers issues, my question stands.
You know what would have made anything with Wanda better? Some sort of build up. She spent so much time in limbo that the only reason I can sense big things coming out of her involvement is that I remember reading House of M. I can’t imagine her involvement does anything for any newer readers., like, she isn’t a big gun unless you read House of M or Disassembled, and those stories are closer to ten years old than they are to five.
I can’t get behind the Avengers plan being to show up, attack kids, let Thor gut punch a kid, and then kidnap a little girl. Not to save her, but to figure out the best way to kill Cyclops.
Am I the only one absolutely shocked that they didn’t use the Phoenix powers to reignite the mutant race instantly?
Can we get a detailed look at the new Utopia? I’d love a map and explanation for Scott’s city in the sky.
Tags: Avengers vs. X-Men, AvX, Captain America, Cyclops, Jonathan Hickman, Olivier Coipel, Phoenix, Reviews