Avengers VS X-Men: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Jonathan Hickman, John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna, Laura Martin, Chris Eliopoulos, Jim Cheung, Justin Ponsor, Ryan Stegman, Marte Gracia
Leave it to Fraction. He should’ve written this entire series. Or at least him and Hickman. They did the last two books, and they did them best. I like Fraction, he’s got a good style. He knows how to tell a story and escalate it when and where necessary. Hickman seems to get the idea, based on last ish, but I can’t speak for him for certain because I’m not readily familiar with any of his other work.
The Phoenix has arrived, and Hope is fighting it off, saying it’s too much for her to handle. She asks Logan for death. I love these panels, where he’s about to give it to her. It’s really kind of breathtaking…and, no, not because they’re on the moon.
Apparently Tony has a plan that involves a giant mecha style suit of armor, specially painted Iron Man colors. …My question is…why is it painted? Shouldn’t it just be the color of the metal or whatever material the used to build it? Perhaps an amalgam of shades of steel and gray to make it look like it was built quickly and with whatever pieces they could find? Because this is definitely a situation that calls for an incredible amount of urgency. That’s all anyone’s been talking about. So who took the time to paint this thing?
Anyway, Tony’s machine has a BFG on it (and by BFG I mean from the good ol’ days of Doom BFG), and it fires at the Phoenix, shattering its being into pieces. What I don’t understand is, the Phoenix kind of explodes, right? Everyone on the moon is practically wiped out. Bleeding, charred, very much worse for the wear. But…Tony’s out there in his suit, at ground zero, and nothing. Nada. Shouldn’t something’ve happened to him too? Is the armor he built really that strong that the beautiful paint job somebody did isn’t scratched?
Suspension of disbelief again, I guess. Well, we know what happens to the Phoenix pieces…and it’s literally, the most interesting thing I’ve seen come out of Marvel since sliced cheese. The Phoenix Five. Yeah. Cyclops, Colossus, Emma Frost, Magick, and Namor are all hosts for the Phoenix energy. Each of them now wears a pretty awesome looking Phoenix-based costume with layered, spiky shoulderpads.
They declare their intent to change the world, to do what was supposed to be done through Hope, separately. The Avengers don’t seem to buy it, but this is the Phoenix they’re freaking talking to. What chance did they ACTUALLY think they would stand?
That’s kind of been my whole problem with this storyline so far: who actually thinks they can go toe-to-toe with the Phoenix?! Captain America?! HA! He’d be blown to bits like Professor X in that awful third X-Men film! Spider-Man? Pfffft don’t even make me laugh. He’d explode just from the amount of spider-sense that’d go off as the Phoenix took aim. Even Red Hulk wouldn’t last two seconds against the Phoenix Force power. He’d be taken apart, every last gamma-irradiated atom split into nothingness.
IT’S THE PHOENIX FORCE.
And that’s why I think this crossover is stupid.
Avengers VS X-Men #5, the verdict: While the premise of this entire thing remains absolutely ludicrous, the execution is actually getting interesting. Again, we had to wait four and a half freaking issues to get to the meat of it, but it’s finally picking up. Some may argue that this was just the prologue, the set-up to the story…like in any film we see. The introduction of the characters, the establishment of motives and behaviors, the flaws, and then finally the turning point where everything changes. But I counter with this. In movies where the first act is as boring as the first four issues of this series…I tend to tune out and stop watching.
(Photo Source: Comic Vine)