Or – “There’s A Guy Here Asking To Be Paid, Said Something About The Children?”

Scott Summers learns the price of hubris, while Hope Summers comes into her own…  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

Writer: Jason Aaron/Brian Michael Bendis/Ed Brubaker/Matt Fraction/Jonathan Hickman
Scripter: Ed Brubaker
Penciler: Adam Kubert
Inker: John Dell
Cover Artist: Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor/Adam Kubert & Justin Ponsor/Nick Bradshaw & Marte Gracia
Colorist: Laura Martin w/ Larry Molinar
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously, in Avengers Vs. X-Men:  The Phoenix Fivesome is down to a gruesome twosome, as Namor, Colossus and Magik have all been defeated.  Their power, however, has been redistributed to Cyclops and The White Queen, each of whom has found themselves even more unstable than before.  Cyclops, for his part, has had quite enough of the Avengers and their pesky “not dying” thing, and has gone to K’un Lun to clear up the whole superhero war for good.  Will he end up as the Lonesome Mesome?  Not if the remaining Avengers have anything to say about it…


The issue opens with a sequence that it truly disturbing, not just because one of Marvel’s oldest heroes is attacking his own adopted granddaughter with the power of a living sun, but because of the clear change in Cyclops’ usual staid and boring character.  He openly mocks Iron Fist’s power, and brutally disposes of any Avengers that cross his path with open contempt, slapping down Iron Fist, The Thing and Thor like tenpins.  Back on Utopia, Emma Frost is likewise having control issues, enforcing her will upon all the mutants, and even forcing Magneto to her will.  It’s a very effective use of actions in place of words, especially when Iron Man goes in all guns ablaze, fightin’ and fightin’ with repulsor rays…

…and gets his tin-plated tuchas handed to him.  Cyclops stalks the mystical city, yelling for Hope the way Luther yelled for the Warriors to come out and play, finding his only threat in the power of Shao Lao the Undying, the dragon whose energies power the Iron Fist!


I do like the use of Marvel history here, even if I’m not 100% onboard with the intertwining of the history of the Phoenix and the Iron Fist, and the Dragon gets in the first meaningful hits on Cyclops.  From a visual standpoint, the issue is well-choreographed overall, and Adam Kubert’s Shao Lao is quite impressive.  Sadly, his humans figures (especially Hope and Wanda Maximoff) suffer from a bad case of facial-feature creep, and the expressions throughout the issue are pretty much either completely placid or psychotic rage.  I do like the way the issue ends, with a suddenly reversal of fortune for the Mighty Avengers, and a scene that almost makes the K’un Lun retcon cool for me, and I’m left strongly anticipating next issue as the crossover machine finally grinds down to a halt.  I’m very much hoping that Marvel editorial doesn’t try to just sweep this whole thing under the carpet, as the actions of the Phoenix Five are getting more and more unforgivable, and Cyclops isn’t going to be able to just flip his hair and forget that all of this happened.


This has been a pretty enjoyable crossover event for me, and there have been some very enjoyable moments throughout, including a couple that should have long-term, meaningful effects for the Marvel U.  I truly hope that actually happens in the next couple of issues, but the Next Big Thing is already in motion at Marvel, and the solicits make it clear who wins and who loses the big picture game.  Still, as someone said, it’s the journey, not the destination that matters, and there’s still a chance to make this trip unforgettable, if the creators have the guts to pull it off.  Avengers Vs. X-Men #10 loses points in the dismount, but manages to pull of a couple of impressive moments, earning a still-impressive 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. 

Rating: ★★★½☆


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Isn’t Shao Lao the dragon you summon by gathering all seven of his balls together? (If you don’t get the reference, you should read more manga)

  2. “Isn’t Shao Lao the dragon you summon by gathering all seven of his balls together?”

    No. Shao Lao the Dragon is what Leroy became after Shonuff asks him, “Who’s the master?!?”

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