Evil Geek Book Report – AvX
Tonight I write to you on the eve of the last issue of the latest Marvel Crossover, Avengers vs X-Men. In case you have not read it up to this point, I’ll fill in the blanks somewhat vaguely so not to spoil much (unless you’ve been living under a rock) so you can go check it out for yourself. Basically AvX has been building for quite some time, some might even say that its been building for the past 6 or 7 years. So I plan to go way on back and then bring us back to current day. If you already know all about the Merry Mutants and the World Mightiest Heroes, then click here to jump to the AvX info.
In the ’60s, Marvel (‘a la Stan Lee and friends) produced a shit ton of new books to reinvent their universe. One of those books was The Avengers and the other was The Uncanny X-Men. Avengers was a little nerds best friend. For the price of 1 comic book, they could see all of the big guns in one books together. Marvel saw what DC was doing with the Justice League and decided to make their own book like that. Team-ups always worked well, so why not a book about a team of superstars? It started out with Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Ant Man, and The Wasp. Wasp coined the team name because she thought it sounded dramatic. By the second issue there was a shake-up in the roster, Ant Man adopted the Giant Man personality and Hulk left because he felt that the rest were scared of him. Then issue 4 came out and The Avengers roster changed once again by adding Captain America to the team, basically using the whole man out of time thing that we all know, believe, and love. Cap was given the status of founding member of the team and everything seemed hunky-dory, until he resigned and they had to get some new teammates in the form of ex-villains: Quicksilver, The Scarlet Witch, and Hawkeye. The Avengers went on to battle tons of baddies and Cap eventually returned. The rosters changed, but they were always looked at as the super team in the Marvel U. The X-Men…not so much. In the beginning, Xavier got a bunch of high school kids together that were different to learn how to use their powers. These kids were born with the mutant X-Gene, and his name was Xavier, so lets call them X-Men…it was the ’60s, no-one questioned it. Anywho, good ‘ol Uncanny almost got axed a couple times and in 1970 stopped producing new issues at #66. 9 months later they turned it into a bi-monthly reprint magazine for the next five years….no way to treat the Children of the Atom.
The ’70s were good for the Avengers! They battled Kang, got involved with the Kree-Skrull War, and in essence were the big team in the Marvel U. They crossed dimensions and fought the Squadron Supreme and tussled with a mean little AI named Ultron. New members like The Vision and Ms. Marvel were introduced and they seemed to flourish. The X-Men came back in the ’70s. In 1975, Giant Size X-Men #1 was released which showcased a brand new team. The book was an unsure investment, so it went into a bi-monthly run for a few years and went back to monthly in 1978. The ’70s ended with The Phoenix Saga, which peaked many readers interest. These runts might not have been The Avengers, but they saved the world too. The ’80s were coming and brought with it the winds of change….
The ’80s were a dark time in comics. And the X-Men started things off with the Dark Phoenix Saga, where we saw a character we all loved basically go crazy and try to end the world. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Jean Grey sacrificed herself for the world. X-Men saw a bunch of other seminal runs in the decade…Days of Future Past, God Loves, Man Kills, and Curse of the Mutants. Basically they really pushed the fact that they fought for a world that hated and feared them. The Avengers happy-go-lucky-verse seemed less cool and many fanboys jumped on the mutant bandwagon.
In the ’90, X-Men were everywhere. They could do no wrong and the concept of mutants seemed to be the crutch that every writer took to explain a super-power. There were like 30+ different X-Books in the ’90s and at the end of the day. Cap, Iron Man, and Thor could not compete with a guy with claws and anger issues. More big arcs started building in the 90s and then the crossovers started..(the day that comics died…just kidding I loves me a crossover!) We had X-tinction Agenda, X-ecutioners Song, The PhalenX Covenant, among others. They even did a ballsy move and ended their books for about 6 months and gave us a whole new reality to follow…The Age of Apocalypse (which was friggin’ amazing!) It all led up to this little thing called Onslaught. Basically Onslaught was Bad Xavier with Magneto armor. It took all the worlds heroes to fight him (Avengers, X-Men, FF, Spidey) and in the end the only way to take him out was a sacrifice. All the non-mutants basically had to jump into Onslaught to kill him (mutants would only power him up more…insane, right…but I bought it when I was 15, and it was the only thing that saved Spidey because he is technically mutated…) and it appeared that they died. But Franklin Richards (son of Reed and Sue) saved them all and put them into a pocket universe. In the Marvel U the X-Men were looked at as bad, bad, peeps and again, even though they saved it, the world wanted to kill them for destroying their heroes. Inside the Pocket Universe known as Heroes Reborn, new versions of the FF, Avengers, Cap, Iron Man, Hulk and others were created. Marvel had hoped to erase them and reactive the books to get people into them. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out so hot and by the 2000’s everyone was back in the Marvel U!
OK, closer to the here and now. Both properties were getting stale. They were selling, but fans were looking for other places to spend their money. There were too many mutants to manage and no writer followed another’s’ set rules for the characters. So Marvel got smart and decided a big status quo change, but decided to take the long and hard road of keeping everything in continuity…First they disassembled the Avengers. They had Scarlet Witch go batshit-crazy and fuck up everyone’s world. She killed a few teammates in the process (including Hawkeye) and it took the combined might of like every hero in the world to take her out. This led to The Avengers disbanding…
Without the Avengers in the world, bad guys decided to mess around and blow up the Raft. They let a ton of crazies out of the cage and it just so happened that a group of people got together to stop them. Cap talked to Tony and decided that the group should be New Avengers. We got Cap and Iron Man, but also on the list were Spider Woman? Luke Cage? and Spidey? (he didn’t want to join, but Cap guilted him into it :)) A couple issues later they got Wolverine (because he sells books!) and they were one big happy family with Wolvie hitting on MJ! Wolverine was the glue between both parties and the Avengers and X-Men got together eventually because Wanda was becoming unstable again and they realized that they had to do something. Quicksilver feared they would kill her, so he got to her first and basically had her change reality to this thing called House of M! In House of M, mutants were the ones in charge and people seemed genuinely happy (except humans,) but Wolverine fought the programming and tried to find the truth. He eventually woke everyone up and found Hawkeye (alive!) to go and stop Magneto. They all thought it was him, but he didn’t know either. When Mags figured it out, he killed Quicksilver (for like 3 seconds,) Wanda went batshit again, revived her bro, and said “No More Mutants!” Everyone woke up in the regular Marvel U….but where there were millions of mutants before, now there were less than 200.
Bum bum bummmmmmmmm
It Sucks to be an X-Man
They were millions strong, now only a couple hundred. To make matters worse, the Govt. decided to police them with Sentinels (for their safety.) Religious zealots struck at the school and killed a bunch more. They were a dying species. Then Cerebro got a hit and everyone jumped! A baby was born in a remote town in Alaska and she was a mutant, the first new one since the House of M. This all happened in the X-Men Crossover Messiah Complex. At the end of the day, Cable got the baby and named her Hope (because she was the hope for the mutant race,) and took her where he thought she would be safe (as if….) Also a great story because the one true X-Traitor is finally revealed and it’s pretty shocking. (This was a thread from the 90’s that they finally wrapped up!) Cable and Hope had their own adventures in his own book, which lead to the Messiah War storyline and eventually the Second Coming story. The new X-Force line started after Messiah Complex, which is also a good read and essential because it really brings everything full circle if you’re a Wolverine fan. The X-Men decided to abandon the school and move out west to San Francisco and start over fresh. They had some cool adventures, and eventually had some shit with Norman Osborne, which lead them to making their own island nation, Utopia. Everything was leading up to Cable coming back with Hope… all growned up! Hope and Cable went to Westchester to find the X-Men, only to find that they were not there. They had to go across the country with tons of people trying to get to her. In the end she made it, but not without many sacrifices. I suggest reading all of these stories. They were well written and allow you to see the groundwork that the X-Editors have put into the titles leading to AvX.
In the rest of the Marvel U, the Avengers had a tif in a little book called Civil War. Iron Man and Cap chose camps and battled one another over the ideology of being a hero. In the end, the Avengers were shattered which led to the infiltration of the Skrulls across the planet. In the end everyone came together to fight the invasion, but it was crazy Norman Osborne who got the kill shot! And he was promoted to the worlds top cop. He disbanded Shield and made a new organization: HAMMER. As you would expect, he was corrupt and used the media to spin things on his side. He made his own twisted version of the Avengers, taking their names: Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man, and Wolverine. The remaining Avengers had to operate outside of the law, but Norman eventually lost it and tried to attack Asgard in the Siege crossover. The good guys proved that he was batshit crazy and came in to save the day and the Heroic Age was born. Steve Rogers became the new Nick Fury of the Marvel U and all seemed good at last. But an old Asgardian evil had come back to enslave the human race, so scary that Odin actually ran away. The Avengers stood up to this Serpent and like all evils, eventually beat it back, but per usual, sacrifices were made.
Sanction X and Schism
Basically Wolverine had reached the end of his rope with Cyclops. He didn’t approve of his methods and wanted the new generation to learn to use their powers in a safe environment. Cyclops on the other hand felt that they needed to be trained like an army. Long story short, they got into some shit and it split the X-Men down the middle. Half of the team stayed on Utopia and the other half left with Wolverine to Westchester, where they opened the Jean Grey School. Cable showed up outta no-where and attacked the Avengers because in the future he learned that they went after Hope. He was a father figure to her and couldn’t stand to think of his “daughter” getting hurt, so he went to take them out before they got to her. Everyone fought for their lives and eventually Cyclops showed up to stop his son. Dying, Captain America allowed Scott to take him back to Utopia to die peacefully. Hope, who was always powerful, but who’s mutant power hadn’t been fully explained was distraught over her fathers seeming death and used her power to heal him, taking the techno-organic virus that he had always dealt with away! With this, a large flame engulfed the room and it seemed that Hope would become the Phoenix!
Beware Spoilers! Vague ones, but still spoilers…
The big conflict between these two super teams stemmed around Hope Summers. When Hope touched Cable the Phoenix force began to move through the universe towards earth to attach itself to a new host. Both teams realized what was going to happen and Wolverine went to Cap to basically tell him that they have to stop this and that he has seen the Phoenix firsthand and knows what it can do. Ya see, he had to kill Jean to stop the suffering, but actually unleashed the Phoenix fury. He also realized that Cyclops would see the Phoenix as a force to rebuild the mutant race. Cap tries to contact Cyclops to talk about the situation, but Scott sees this as a mutant problem. The full force of The Avengers go to Utopia and Cap plans to talk but Cyclops puts everyone on alert and he sees the show of Avengers as an act of war! We see some good tussles in this sequence….Cap vs. Cyclops, Red Hulk vs. Colossus, Namor vs. Thing…..it’s a really great sequence. And from there the search for Hope begins…..rather than going into details, I will say that you should really read this book as its full of great characters and stretches across the Marvel U. The Phoenix does come to Earth and bonds with a host of sorts, but rather than a single host it bonds with five mutants, Cyclops, Emma, Namor, Colossus, and Magik which are then known as the Phoenix Five! The fight then goes to the Avengers as they are deemed criminals in the eyes of the Phoenix. I will say that seeing Cap and company on the run was awesome. This series had me going back and forth so much, rooting for both sides. Also, this series gave us one of the best Spidey moments that I have seen in a long time, read this book just for that! I am being really vague about everything, because this is the kind of read that is just fun and to tell you all the details will take all the fun away. If you’ve read it up ’til now, you know what I’m talking about. So be sure to get your hands on AvX and read it right now so you’ll be ready to have your mind blown tomorrow, Wednesday October 3rd! The end of this series is also supposed to be the spark of the entire Marvel U in their upcoming reboot (article about that to follow shortly!)
Until Tomorrow Dorks and Dorkettes….
Make Mine Marvel!
Posted on October 2, 2012, in COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Report, Geekology, Reviews and tagged Avengers, AvX, Captain America, Cyclops, Evil Geek Book Reports, Geeks, Iron Man, Marvel, nerds, Skrulls, spider-man, Wolverine, X-Men. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.