At the time of writing this, it’s the middle of the night, the day was long, and the preceding night bereft of more than maybe two hours real sleep. Oh, and I spent much of the day running under the hot Texas sun and crawling on the floor, directing the filming of a glorified puppet show. And regardless of this, I will not be deterred. Here’s Round 1 of Marvel’s newest summer event, AvX.
Going about the task of explaining in what ways this event draws from Marvel’s history would be fruitless and beyond my capabilities at this point. Plus, Comics Alliance already did an in depth article to catch readers up, so I don’t need to. All you need to know is that Avengers Vs X-Men draws upon stories published over the last eight years, including nearly every summer event released in that time. And also the Dark Phoenix saga from the seventies.
Yeah, that’s kind of important.
So the plot behind AVENGERS VS X-MEN #1 is that, since the Scarlet Witch depowered all but 200 mutants in the world, the X-Men over in Utopia (think island nation off the coast of San Francisco) have looked to Hope, the mutant messiah, to restore them to their former glory. Or at least Cyclops does, and it’s made all the more pressing when Nova (think more generic Green Lantern) crashes to Earth after fleeing a force beyond his measure. The Phoenix Force returns after originally disappearing after Jean Gray’s (first) death.
Long story about her death, and it doesn’t look like her having come back and dying again factors in at all. Thank God.
Everyone pretty much knows from the start that the Phoenix plans to bond with Hope, and while Cyclops tries to convince his X-Men of the pressing need for this to totally be exploited (he’s not thinking straight ever since this ties directly into his wife’s death), the Avengers see this for the bad news that it is. By issue’s end, the gauntlet comes down and the war is on over our red-haired young prodigy.
Okay first things first, if anything is this issue linked directly or indirectly to Avengers: X-Sanction, it’s sure not obvious. Maybe the Avengers will pull out some of that anti-mutant tech they got from the future in the coming issues, but so far not having read X-Sanction proves no hindrance to one’s ability to understand this first part. Suddenly I feel more cheated for having bought that whole miniseries.
On the other hand, I’m excited for this series now. It’s got rich motivations for the characters, especially Cyclops, whose flagrantly irrational decisions make perfect sense. While most of the issue is talky bits, we do get an action scene early on that sets the pace for the series. If it hadn’t, the book probably would have needed to spend the whole issue building up but potentially boring the less patient. It’s a good start at least. And had I known little of the Phoenix’s backstory, AvX #1 would still fill me with dread at the shear enormity of its threat. This issue not only tells you how big of a deal the Phoenix, it shows you. On spreads.
I think that just about does it for AvX #1. It’s a really good start to hopefully a really good comics event. It’s shaping up to be an exciting next couple of months. The only thing left is to sit, and wait, and ponder a simple question.
Which character is Marvel going to kill off this time?