First Impressions – AVENGERS VS. X-MEN PROGRAM GUIDE

After briefly debating whether to label this as “First Impressions – AvX #0 and #1”, in an effort to trick people casually searching Google for word on the upcoming Marvel crossover event into reading my crappy analysis, I decided that deliberately deception probably isn’t the best idea. Especially given how little traffic I get as it is. So for what it’s worth, my thoughts on the previews for issues zero and one of AVENGERS Vs. X-MEN.

Those who’ve followed my posts for the last few months will know I’m covering the escalating disappointment that is AVENGERS: X-SANCTION. A miniseries featuring Cable and his fight against the Avengers in an attempt to save his “daughter” (I still don’t understand if this is literal or adoptive) from death of unexplained causes. We’ll finish off that series in the coming weeks, but suffice to say this miniseries leads into the long-coming Avengers Vs. X-Men crossover event that begins in April. In preparation for this event, Marvel released a Program Guide for free, which includes among other things select pages from the first two issues of the crossover.

When I say long-coming, I mean it too. This guide lists no less than twelve collected volumes of X-Men and Avengers stories going all the way back to the Dark Phoenix saga. We’re talking about half the major events in both from the last few decades, all as recommended reading. Not that this event necessarily requires one to have read all these, because from what little is given in these sample pages I can pretty well understand what’s going on.

Basically, due to relatively recent events in the X-Men universe, the Mutant Messiah Hope has been kept pretty close to Scott Summers and the remaining X-Men. Hope doesn’t like basically being smothered and protected from nebulous threats, only for a very real threat to rear its ugly head. The Phoenix Force, a parasitic entity of great strength and destructive capability, has reappeared in space, and is on a collision course for Earth.

Now while I haven’t been the best fan of Marvel in recent years, my family (specifically my brother and there by proxy myself) has a long history with the X-Men. We’re talking nostalgia of the highest accord, hence why this upcoming event has my brother and I more than a little stoked. Plus, of all the places to reenter the X-Men mythos, this seems like the best possible time.

So for this and their ability to bring new reader’s up to speed, kudos to Marvel.

What do I predict will happen, given what I’ve seen and heard up until now? This is difficult, though I have some thoughts. Probably obvious, but this is going to be big. The cast page here lists various characters from various teams, like the Avengers (both regular and Secret), the X-Men (both Uncanny and Wolverine aligned), and number of wild cards that could go either or any way (looking at you, Deadpool; assuming Marvel didn’t go through with their promise to kill him). Even some of the Defenders get in on that action. And for all we know, there could be any number of characters that show up that haven’t been revealed here. Last time I checked, the X-Men part of the Marvel universe alone is massive, although a lot of them have died or been depowered as I understand it. This is going to be large and messy, no doubt about it.

I can’t be sure, but there’s a distinct possibility that at least a few characters are going to die. Lack of data means I can’t pick out any obvious choices. It really could be anyone. Sorry if that’s not helpful, but I really don’t know which characters Marvel would feel bad about losing.

If I had to take a guess, I’d say it wouldn’t be any of the Defenders. They just got a book, so I doubt Marvel’s going to kill one off. Come to think of it, when do these events occur in relation to the events in The Defenders? We’re going to see Namor sided against Iron Fist and Doctor Strange, so it can’t be all that soon after these (and not possibly concurrent, even between story arcs).

Finally, I can’t say much more about this Guide, except to go pick it up yourselves. I got this for free at my local comic book store, and last I checked they were plentiful. Anyone even slightly interested in AvX should give this free book a try. You have nothing to lose. And believe me, I tried to think of what you could.

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