Or – “What Happens When The Heroes Succeed?”
The Phoenix Force has arrived on Earth, and all the Avengers efforts to stop it are for naught. The energy of the Phoenix has once again found a home, and Cyclops’ dream of a world that his mutant people could thrive in is coming true. Can the Avengers stop it? More to the point, SHOULD they?
AVENGERS VS. X-MEN ROUND 6
Writer: Jason Aaron/Brian Michael Bendis/Ed Brubaker/Matt Fraction/Jonathan Hickman
Penciler: Olivier Coipel
Inker: Mark Morales
Cover Artist: Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously, in Avengers Vs. X-Men: The Phoenix Force has possessed five mutants (Cyclops, Colossus, Magik, Namor and the White Queen) after Hope Summers denied it’s power.
It has been ten days…
AN OLD FRIEND RETURNS…
For all my complaints and issues with some of the crossovers, this issue opens with a sequence that actually gave me goosebumps, as a transport arrives at Utopia, to be greeted by Magneto. As we zoom out, we see that the passenger is Charles Xavier, and the newly Phoenix-powered X-Men have transformed Utopia into a floating fortress/castle, and Cyclops finally gets to turn the telepathic tables on his old mentor. For one of the first times in recent memory, the crossover goes someplace I never expected, showing the transformed Marvel Universe under the mostly-benevolent power of the Phoenix Force Five. (Five, as in there are five of them. Force, as they’re a force to be reckoned with. Phoenix, as in they steal lines from Tarentino movies.) The Avengers are completely unequipped to deal with the New World Order, and their alliances are starting to fray, as several members are uncertain that the changes are a bad thing. There’s a lovely interaction between the Beast and Wolverine, where Hank bitterly tells Logan that the two of them no longer have a place to call home…
THEY WANTED TO CHANGE THE WORLD. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THEY DO?
The issue is full of lovely moments, from Colossus calmly ending the conflict with Zzaxx to Cyclops’ ominous interactions with Hope about her rejection of the power of the Phoenix, and there’s a sense of scale to this issue that was missing from some of the previous crossover madness. In fact, the last crossover that I can recall that successfully pulled off something of this magnitude was the (heavily flawed by epic) Infinity Gauntlet back in 1992 or so. The Avengers pull off an almost-successful extraction effort to save Hope Summers, but find themselves faced with two incarnations of cosmic fire, only to have their fat pulled out by a member long thought lost. (It’s not really a spoiler, since she’s on the alternate cover and all.) The solicitation copy also spoils the last-page drama, as Cyclops grimly watches Earth’s Mightiest pull off their escape, declaring his new mandate: “No more Avengers.” The art in this issue is pretty spectacular as well, with Olivier Coipel delivering some breath-taking stuff throughout the issue…
THE VERDICT: NOT WHAT I EXPECTED AT ALL…
I honestly expected this book to be all hat and no cattle, but I have to say that I’m surprised. Unlike Civil War, which ended with a thud, the conflict between the X-Men and the Avengers seems to already have a clear victor, leaving me wondering what is going to happen next. The dark undertones of Cyclops and his compadres, combined with the Avengers discord, makes me think that things will be getting interesting in coming days. Avengers Vs. X-Men #6 is impressive work that might herald something entirely new, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. I know it will likely fall apart in the end, but this issue makes the journey seem worth watching…