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 6, also known as Avengers Vs X-Men #6 and the first issue of Act II.
Avengers Vs X-Men #6
Geoff: Well, Victor… This is certainly a fine mess your X-Men have gotten the world into.
Victor: What mess Geoff? They seem to be making the world a better place to live. Free energy. An abundance of food, water and shelter. Also, the removal of all war and destruction. What seems to be the problem?
Geoff: Looks like I need to go on a Captain Kirk-like plea for sanity. Here goes…
It’s all fine and dandy that the world is able to be fed, everyone has free energy, and everyone is free from war and whatnot, but the cost of this is fairly high. Let’s think about this. The Phoenix Five has forced this way of life onto the world. Tyranny is still tyranny no matter the results. The basic nature of people (mutant and human alike) is to grow and learn and heal from mistakes and taking themselves to the brink of destruction. Without that, we would have no idea how to live our own lives. We’d have no idea how to rise above problems. I’m sorry, Victor, this is no way to live… No matter the positives.
Victor: No offense, Kirk, but that’s just ridiculous. Give me a world that is free of hunger, thirst, war, and violence and I will show you Utopia. I will take that world of peace and prosperity over so called tyranny. All the Phoenix Five ask is no more war. Is that such a difficult request? If we had no more violence, there would be no more need for arms or wars or unnecessary deaths. There would be no fear of terrorism or world destruction. You can live, with full bellies, and free energy. The cost is minimal and the positives are monumental.
Geoff: This is a classic case of what is called a “clockwork orange”. On the surface, everything is strong, solid, and perfect. However, beneath that surface, things are more rotten than a Klingon’s butthole. When this idea of Utopia is forced upon the world, fear begins to fester. When fear festers, the idea of freedom is lost. What happens when someone just thinks about war, or punching someone, or smacking Emma Frost on the behind? Would I get completely blinked out of existence? I’m not going to lie… I think of those three things A LOT.
Victor: Fear, huh? We’ve dealt with fear. That was last year. Didn’t work out so well for the Avengers.
What happens is that people accept change over time. At first there is resistance, then there is acceptance. Happened with the 8-track to the tape deck to the CD to the Itune. Over time, things improve. Technology improves. Consider this a HUGE improvement. As for the thinking about war or punching someone comment, let’s get serious here. Heroes don’t get involved in minor squabbles in comics. No war means no WAR. Not no thinking about it.
Geoff: Listen to what you’re saying! We’re comparing a complete overhaul of nature with deciding if we’re ready to spend the money on new technology to listen to our ABBA albums. This isn’t technology, these are 5 people who show up when something happens that doesn’t cotton to their ideas of how things should be and “fix” it. This is essentially 1984 with cosmic beings.
I don’t think I need to go any further than to point out how Cyclops deals with Hope. He tells her she can leave at any time. Asks her to reach out for the Phoenix Force and then tells her she’s not good enough. Time comes when she’s had enough of his brand of crazy and wants to leave with the Scarlet Witch. What happens then? Cyclops takes back the comment about her leaving. This paranoia he’s suffering from is what’s going to lead to this Utopia NEVER being able to work and endangering far more than it will ever save.
Victor: Really? As I recall, they only showed up to help save the Avenger’s ass from being killed by Zzzax’s. Then they turned that threat into a source of good. They didn’t wipe anyone out of existence when the Avengers broke into Utopia to kidnap Hope. They fought, but no one was removed from existence. So that argument is flawed.
I am comparing progress to progress. You want to honestly tell me that you would rather live in today’s world, filled with wars, terrorism, nuclear weapons, hunger, famine, and injustice than a world of peace and prosperity? (I know you’re an Avengers fan, but step out of the comic and into reality and really think about it.) This is not Big Brother. The X-Men are not telling us how to live, just not to destroy the world we live in. How bad is that?
Back to comics. Yes Cyclops is losing it. That’s what the Phoenix does to you. He cannot control it. It is taking his rawest emotions and amplifying them by a thousand. He has always been fighting for the survival of his race and the Phoenix is making that a reality. Cyclops did say Hope can leave whenever she wants to but takes it back because of the people she is leaving with. People who have hunted and attacked him for the past few weeks. People who refuse to quit harassing him. Now he feels that they will use Hope to further that harassment. While I do agree that teasing Hope with the Phoenix Force was a bad thing and that eventually it will become a situation of absolute power corrupts absolutely. For now though, he is still in control.
And now the Avengers have pissed him off…
Geoff: To answer your question, I would rather live in a world where we make mistakes so we can learn from them. To have all potential threats and evils completely wiped out treats people like children. No one would have the opportunity to grow and learn from past mistakes and, ultimately evolve. It’s what makes us unique. It’s why we’ve, as a civilization, has evolved beyond the shackles of religion (despite what others believe we should be doing to appease some sort of god).
The reason why I have found this situation so difficult is that both sides are operating under fear. The Avengers fear that the Phoenix Force will wipe out the Earth regardless if it takes Hope. The X-Men, Cyclops in particular, is playing a bit of a race card believing that the humans have pushed them to the brink of extinction when it was really just the Scarlet Witch. No one is condoning what she’s done, but Cyclops is acting as if all of humanity is thanking her for what she did. That’s not the case.
Victor: You keep saying that this Utopia world will not allow us to make mistakes and learn from them. That’s not true. You’re still missing the point, I think. The mistake that Utopia is trying to prevent us from making is blowing up the world through nuclear war. That’s one mistake I NEVER want to make and learn from. Isn’t the whole point of comics and super heroes to wipe out potential threats? Don’t they fight crime and stop super villains from taking over the world? The Phoenix Five are just making super heroes obsolete. You would think that forward thinkers like Tony Stark would accept that.
The X-Men are justifiably afraid. Their entire race is down to nothing and this is a way to let them live. Do we try to kill endangered species or save them? No. We protect them.
Bottom line, you are correct in the source of the problem, which is the Scarlet Witch. But the Phoenix Force is the solution. (I think so at least!) Only time will tell. In the meantime, the Avengers are going to learn what it means to stand in the way of evolution. I think the next several issues are going to be really bad ones for the Avengers. Can’t say that I’m sorry. Should have left the X-Men alone. Time to pay the price.
Geoff: I’m actually a little more worried for the Phoenix Five than the Avengers. The Avengers are going to take their bumps and bruises, but the Phoenix isn’t going to stay with those five forever. What happens when it leaves? The world isn’t going to stay like this and the characters aren’t going to stay that way forever.
Victor: Don’t worry about the X-Men. At the end of the day, those 200 are actually more powerful than all of the Avengers put together. Between Magneto, Professor X, Emma Frost, Legion, Magik and the Juggernaut, not to mention Hope, any one of those can give the entire Avengers team one hell of a bad day. Besides, we all know that everyone will be friends again once this is over. This is a comic book after all.
Geoff: Let’s get a little more technical with the comic itself. This particular issue is pretty high concept. I’m so glad this was left to Jonathan Hickman. He can do these weirdo stories like this and really present the more intellectual side. It doesn’t matter which way either of us fall in this debate because he presents both ideas fairly evenly.
Victor: As for the writing, I think Hickman did a wonderful job. No one looks like the bad guy here. Everyone is fighting for their beliefs. But more important than the story, let’s talk art. Bye bye Romita. Hello Copiel. Do you hear that? That’s the sound of 100,000 comic fans breathing a sigh of relief. I loved the art this issue. The Phoenix Five looked incredible. The splashes were really pretty. And everything was unique. Now that’s a major improvement from the last 5 books.
Geoff: Abso-freakin-lutely. I’ve been waiting rather impatiently for Mr. Coipel to finally take his bow. Overall, this might just be my very favorite of all the issues in the event to date. The script is fairly tight for a mainstream event. The art is spectacular. This was a pretty great book even if my team is down. I think I’m going to drop a big 100 on this issue. How did you feel about it, Victor?
Victor: I will give this one a 95. It had a little bit of everything. But nothing super spectacular to make it stand out.
However, we did gloss over two very important things that did happen in the book. It seems that the Phoenix Force has a problem dealing with Wanda and cannot beat the magic of the Iron Fist. That should be something we explore in future issues.
Geoff: Yeah. Well, there is a connection between the Iron Fist and Phoenix powers as seen in New Avengers. It’s an interesting and well done retcon to connect them. I’m not terribly surprised that Wanda’s chaos abilities affect the Phoenix either. These two Avengers will definitely play a huge role. Not to mention Hope’s not out of anything yet.
Victor: True. And if you read AvX Infinite, we did finally get a Jean Grey tease so I’m pretty sure she’s still in the shuffle too. I really want her back.
Geoff: I doubt you’re the only one looking for that to happen. Maybe she’ll be able to talk sense into everyone…
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Extremely well written. Fantastic art. Great forward movement for the plot.||A little light on action as Hickman focuses on the world after the Phoenix Five arrive.|