Avengers Vs. X-Men is here. And what better way to handle this than to have our resident Avengers fan (Geoff Arbuckle) and our resident X-Men fan (Victor Kutsenok) come together in a place of neutrality to talk about their favorite teams coming to blows over a cosmic power coming to Earth. Now, Round 5, also known as Avengers Vs X-Men #5 and the final issue of Act I.
Avengers Vs X-Men #5
Victor: Oh my god. I just finished reading issue #5 and I am completely stunned. I can 100% say that I did not see that ending coming. The Avengers are in some deep doo doo right now. Bad enough they picked a fight with the X-Men for no reason. Now they just unleashed holy hell on everyone. However, being the X-fan that I am, I was totally jumping for joy. It’s always nice when the bullies finally get a taste of their own medicine. Even the horrific art by Romita Jr. could not make the little girlish laughter coming out of my mouth go away. So how was this issue for you Geoff?
Geoff: The issue was good, but level with me, Victor, if you were standing there on the moon, and people you know fairly well are standing over you with scary costumes and spooky voices are you honestly saying you’d be rooting for them? I think this whole situation is about a million times worse than how it all started!
Victor: To be honest, if I was an Avenger, I’d be pooping my pants. Not only is the situation much, much worse, but its the Avenger’s fault. I do have a little bit of an advantage over you in the whole “what”s going on” department because I read Uncanny X-Men #13 and I understand why what is happening is actually happening. It seems that the X-Men might have been 100% right in their assumptions of the purpose of the Phoenix force. It was there for rebirth, not destruction. Did you have a chance to read that issue?
Geoff: Not yet. I’m working through my pile as we speak. Without a doubt, I can say that Act I certainly came to a heck of a close. I’m still not too certain if assigning fault is entirely justified. This still isn’t much different than two sides with staunch opinions about what’s going on only escalating the issue with neither side is willing to just stop and take a few minutes to present their ideas without exclamation points. Also, if you step inside the book and view it from the inside out instead of being an omnipotent reader, you’d have to kind of raise an eyebrow at some of the things Scott’s exclaiming. I mean some of what he’s got to say kinda sounds like those people who ambush you at the Wal-Mart and shove pamphlets about being saved and going to a weirdo church and trapping you for twenty minutes when all you want to pick up is a can of Manwich. It borders on scary. If I didn’t have a horse in this race, I’d still think he was acting a bit over the top, thus not helping his side out at all.
Victor: The reason he is saying what he is saying is because…..SPOILER…..he is possessed. By the Phoenix. It should not have happened. It was Tony’s fault as well as the fault of the Unit, an omnipotent computer being held by the X-Men. In any case, I have always been on Scott’s side in this entire affair. Not just because I am an X-Men loyalist, but because I feel he is right. You don’t come to a peace treaty with a nuke strapped to your back. You do not trespass on another man’s property. And most importantly, you do not try to take away their children without any proof of a crime. Cap started this war. If the X-Men had not been distracted by it, they might have had a chance to take care of the danger among them and avoided the current status. In any case, what are your Avengers going to do now? Wanda is their only hope. Maybe Legion can do something as well. If not, why even show a cameo of him. Also, what was up with that K’un Lun dude?
Geoff: In New Avengers, they have connected the K’un Lun and the ancient power of Iron Fist to an obsession the top dude has for the Phoenix Force. Some several hundred years ago, he had visions of a red headed girl getting the power of the Phoenix and he wanted to show her how to fend against it with the Iron Fist.
I’d have to think that they will either need to go to Wanda, or she will get involved independently. Also, I’d like to know what Professor X would think of all this. Any insight on that?
Victor: Xavier was always of the impression of peaceful coexistence between mutant and human. He was however fully aware of what the Phoenix was capable of and even tried to help Jean control it. However, as we all know, nothing can control or contain a force of chaos. Chaos however, does not always mean destruction. It is just a radical change from the current status to a different one. A rebirth of Mutants. One that Hope was supposed to bring about. Xavier would have tried to help Hope control the Phoenix. And he would have probably sided with Cyclops as mutant preservation was also his top priority.
So other than the big reveal. Not too much else has happened. Also, we’re not getting as much action as in the first few issues of the series. I really hope that changes soon. This is the part of the “event” that really makes me hate it. The slow build up to the “sacrifice” issue where someone dies for the “event” to have meaning. Now don’t get me wrong. There was action. However, most of it involved the Phoenix Force decimating everything in its path. I wanted more AvX. Maybe next issue.
Geoff: I noticed that as well. I think they realized that even with four different writers, it was going to be relatively impossible to keep up twelve issues of nothing but action. Eventually it would have to take a step back before going at it again. However, I did really like the issue being told from Hope’s POV. It added the one voice we really needed to hear to the series. We know Cyclops’ side. We know Cap’s side. We got a little bit of Hope saying she was ready, but what was really going inside her head? Well, I think this issue answers some of that. She wanted to be ready and she wanted it to be a part of her, but in the end, she was also just as scared as everyone else. It made her more real. She’s not just the girl stuck in the middle.
So, prediction time… Do you think the issue was told from the perspective of what she thought while things were going down or while she was carried off or is she thinking back on what happened at a particularly pivotal point we’ve yet seen? Also, what do you see happening as Act II starts in two weeks?
Victor: I think she was recapping it from a future perspective. Reflecting from a point in the future. Hope still has a major part to play in this. The Phoenix was meant for her. Unfortunately, it has taken a detour at the moment.
As for Act II, the first thing I see happening is an artist with some ability to draw individual and unique characters finally being allowed to do this “event” some justice. (Bye Romita, you will not be missed) I see an overpowered group of X-Men decimating anyone and anything that tries to stop them from doing what needs to be done. I see the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes being in for a world of hurt. The Avengers are in trouble. Period. They started a war. Now they are outgunned and overpowered and they don’t really do the whole run and hide thing so I see some bad days ahead for the Avengers. Some awesomely heroic last stands, but last stands nonetheless. I also see Wanda entering the picture. How and to what end I am unsure.
What do you see happening in Act II?
Geoff: Yeah. I agree with you. The whole promotional scheme around this is “No More Avengers” – a play on the no more mutants thing from House of M. I will assume the Avengers will face utter decimation. That’s where I see Wanda stepping in. Heck, perhaps both Wanda and Hope will team up and try to find an even ground so everyone can come out of this with as little loss as possible. I’m also sure the Vision will get shredded. The poor bastard always gets torn apart in big stories.
I certainly hope this is the end of JRJR. After a “not bad” #4, this one was bad. The money shot could have been so much better. It probably is the worst of the five issues so far. I keep saying goodbye to him and he keeps coming back. It’s starting to get a tad frustrating, but I’m positive this has to be the end. Bring on Olivier Coipel for some really awesome art!
Let’s talk about scores. I’m going to give this a 90. The story is there, the progression is there and there was certainly a nicely kept secret waiting at the end of the book for everyone. It feels like a true event. I’m not expecting Shakespeare, just some big action-y story that I can really get excited about reading every other week. However, I have to take some points off for JRJR. The whole thing just fell apart in the art.
Victor: I’m going to agree with you on 90. The big reveal at the end really sealed it for me especially since Uncanny X-Men #13 explains why it is so relevant. JRJR is always a low point for me but I accept the pain. I pray this is the last we see of him too. Also, finally having the Phoenix arrive and cut loose was pretty cool so I definitely enjoyed that. I hope we get some one on ones next issue. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
Geoff: Well, the good news is that we do have some one on ones coming in the form of Vs. next week. Looks like some of it might be from the very battle on the Moon we saw in this issue. I’m thinking we’re going to see some decidedly X-Men victories, but we’ll see! Until then, my X-buddy!
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|The story works, the action is there as well as the progression. Great end to the first act.||Art. Really bad this time around.|