The Battle comes to an end?
It’s Earth’s Mightiest vs. the Children of the Atom. The Phoenix has been stirring up shit, which is reason enough for Hero and Mutant to clash and the Marvel Universe will never be the same again! And Geek Hard will be there to report on the battles and advise on the aftermath (well, I will, at least). No issue will be forgotten and no plot point left unturned. Hard hitting analysis will ensue. Consider this you’re Avengers vs. X-men Post show.
The time has finally come to crown a victor in this war of Avenger and X-Man…..which is really now just a war between every hero and one crazy douchebag who can shoot ray beems from his eyes. At least that’s how things were left at the end of Round 11. Now comes the Main Event: pitting the Dark Phoenix against the two women who have had some success in facing it so far: Scarlet Witch and Hope. The major quetions remain. Is Hope ready? Will she and Scarlet Witch be enough of a match? Why is Iron Man the main person featured on the front cover? Wouldn’t it make more sense to put the Hope or Wanda up Front? Maybe Jim Cheung likes drawing Iron Man? Why doesn’t he just get a job drawing Iron Man covers, then? Will any of these questions be answered in the final issue? We shall see.
This final issue is from the mind of Jason Aaron with art by Adam Kubert, who returns once again to deliver pencils that he, John Dell and Mark Morales all had a hand in inking. Both Aaron and Kubert have solidly delivered interesting and entertaining fare on this series. I really can’t see them screwing things up in the last issue. Like that’s ever happened before. Nobody’s ever screwed their mini-series in the last issue, right? Oh, people have? It happens all the time? I really wish you hadn’t have told me that.
Our tale begins 72 hours in the past, meaning 72 hours before Cyclops was a bitch, killed the only real father figure in his life and became the Dark Phoenix. Iron Man, who’s been gathering his thoughts on how to beat the Phoenix for more than a few issues now, finally has a plan to take ’em out. That plan being that they’ll just throw Hope and the Scarlet Witch at ’em. (Really? That’s the plan you’ve been working on? I think Cap and the boys had that one figured out ages ago. Thanks, though.) Iron Man’s belief is that the pair would have close enough to equal strength to the awesome power of the Phoenix as long as they work as a team. When they go to tell Hope and Wanda the news, they’re beating the crap out of each other. Flash forward to the present and Dark Cyclops is kicking hero butt all over the world while also laying waste to each country as he comes to it. So the Avengers and X-Men are working over time, trying to contain him and save people all over the place. Cyclops appears bored of this and plans to leave Earth’s atmosphere to set it ablaze. But thankfully, Nova shows up to stop him. Yeah, Nova. With ramming speed, he forces Cyke to the ground. But that’s all he’s got. Luckily Hope and Scarlet Witch are there to take it from there. They begin taking the fight to him. The other heroes jump in and it looks like they’ll beat him. But the Dark Phoenix power begins to rise again and it takes some quick thinking and trechery on Hope’s part to win the day. The Phoenix force leaves Douche-Clops on the ground and is looking for a new host. We then get another flashback where Cap explains to Hope that he trusts her to do the right thing. Back in the present, Hope accepts the Phoenix and fixes the damage that Cyclops has done around the world. When she returns, with a little help from Scarlet Witch, she’s able to not only expell the Phoenix force but to dissipate it. This causes a surprising effect on the rest of the world. The story ends with Cap trying to get the now-incarcerated Cyclops to see the error in his ways. Being a douche, Cyke doesn’t really see it that way. With no subtlety, the last page advertises the coming of Uncanny Avengers.
Now, for the final issue of the series, we finally get to see Hope and the Scarlet Witch in action…..TOGETHER! It felt like this was never going to happen. Although I would’ve liked to have seen more from both characters for the last couple of issues, we got to see these two ladies kick some ass and even save the world. The build up in this issue did seem rather horned in there but like I said, they didn’t really do proper set up in the issues that came before it. I don’t know if it was just left to him or if he requested it but it was all on Jason Aaron to make the dynamic between Hope and Wanda work. By the end of the issue, I finally felt like Hope could be the mutant mesiah – a feeling that was missing throughout most of this series. The characterisations were, for the most part, correct. I feel that Cap came off a bit too stiff at some points but nothing felt too far out of the ordinary. The last few pages of the book where the big moment that undid another comic event from 8 years ago felt a bit forced but it wasn’t anything that I wasn’t expecting. All in all, this entire series could’ve had a much worse ending that would defy it’s own story logic and gone off the rails completely. With what transpired in this issue, I can honestly say that this was a fulfilling ending. And Jason Aaron did Bendis proud and kept the ball rolling from last issue, delivering an even douche-ier Cyclops. Great Work.
The artwork by Kubert is enjoyable but not really consistant all the way through. None of the pages look bad but there is an obvious change in the look of the book throughout. It must be taken into consideration that 3 separate people handled the inking on this issue and that is where the inconsistancies would arise from. That being said, the book has the EPICness that you would hope it to have and the pictures look very pretty. I can’t complain that the art looks different in parts because I enjoyed the variations. The visuals brought the excitement and that’s all I can ask for.
So overall, this book, as well as the series as a whole, was enjoyable. As far as event books go, it did a good job of moving along the narrative of each of our major characters without making them do stuff out of character or put them in a stupid place to move on from. I know that X-Men fans are a bit sore about the outcome but hey, they’ve been building up to Cyclops going batshit insane for a while now. And how long will Professor X stay dead? I’m sure there will not be a lasting effect from Charlie buying it. Very rarely does an event book leave with the same satisfaction at the end of its run as it did at the start of it. This one actually did and that’s a true compliment to it. Hopefully the next crossover will be just as good.
Next up is Marvel Now. I will be checking out the number 1 issues of each of the new titles. So check back here for that when the books come out.
Rapid Tie-In Reviews
Not the greatest ending to this companion series. I feel like they forgot that this series was still going. They probably realized late in the game that they didn’t have an issue six so they got Kieron Gillen to pound out a script for the Scarlet Witch/Hope fight. Jim Cheung makes it look pretty good. The outcome is stupid as it changes the events of the main comic slightly. Then we’ve got a bunch of one and two-page fights done by various creative teams. The best one involves Hawkeye’s fantasy of Spider Woman facing various X-Women. There’s a couple of stinkers but overall it’s pretty good. Not the greatest end to this compainion mini but not the worst either. Pick it up if you’ve been enjoying the series.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading the AvX Post Show. Stay Tuned as we delve into Marvel Now in the coming weeks.
And if you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!