When it comes to fights between superheroes, it’s important to remember the rules are a lot like soccer: even if it goes into over-time, a tie is still an acceptable outcome. Most superhero fights I can think of end in a tie, usually in the form of a truce after a long battle spread out over countless issues. There’s always losses on both sides, but rarely is there a clear victor. Nothing about Avengers Vs. X-Men suggests the outcome will be any different.
The Avengers Vs X-Men crossover event, or “AvX,” is up to issue five out of a projected twelve. If you haven’t been following it, here’s a brief recap. In a previous event in the X-Men world, we were introduced to Hope Summers, the first mutant to be born after the House of M event decimated the species. Fast forward to the present. The Phoenix Force, basically a magical flaming bird that grants extraordinary power, is headed to Earth to make Hope its new host. Our heroes are skeptical of this, since it happened once before and didn’t work out so well (for more on that, read any X-Men comic from the early 90s).
The Avengers believe if Hope became the vessel for the Phoenix, she could potentially destroy the world, while Cyclops, leader of the X-Men, believes she could be the key to restarting the mutant race. Both sides then have to fight over the fate of young Hope, who doesn’t have much say in the matter. One more person is stuck in the middle: Wolverine, who is a member of the X-Men and the New Avengers simultaneously.
If you ask me how it will end, here’s my theory. Have you seen the film The Searchers? If you haven’t but don’t mind having the ending ruined for you, read on. Otherwise, skip the next paragraph.
In The Searchers, John Wayne plays a man tasked with saving his niece from a Native-American group who have abducted her. Two thirds of the way through the movie, it’s revealed the girl has a case of Stockholm Syndrome, and is not only choosing to live with her captors, but goes so far as to help them ambush John Wayne. After narrowly escaping, he vows that not only will he find her again, but he’ll kill her when she does. At the climax of the film, Wayne corners her, but has a sudden change of heart and instead picks her up and escorts her home.
My theory is much the same will happen with AvX, with Wolverine in John Wayne’s role and Hope Summers as the abducted girl. So far, the series has already made a big deal about Wolverine’s role in all of this, and I can only expect it’ll come down to a moment between he and Hope. The other characters will have some exciting fights, but I doubt that anything they do will be as important as Wolverine’s choice.
So in the end, I suspect neither side will win. I’m guessing at least two characters will die in the fray. Every crossover event features the death of one well-known character plus a few lesser known ones (ex: Final Crisis killed off Martian Manhunter and Batman, Fear Itself killed Bucky Barnes and Thor). I doubt Hope will truly inherit the Phoenix Force. Sound anticlimactic? What do you expect?
Can you imagine the fallout that would come from Marvel saying once and for all that the Avengers are better than the X-Men, or vice versa? What would fanboys and nerdlingers have to talk about then?
Just for fun, I would say that if the X-Men and The Avengers really did go into a knockdown drag-out war that didn’t end until one team was left standing, I would say the victor would be the X-Men. The reason for that is simple: while The Avengers are more powerful, the X-Men are scrappier. Plus, the heavies in the Avengers, like Captain America and Thor, have a clear honor code that would hinder them in battle, while the X-Men spend more time in a world of gray matter (for an example of that, read X-Force, where mutants are allowed to use lethal measures). Of course, it would be a pyrrhic victory, but the X-Men are used to those.
I’m sure AvX won’t come down to a struggle that intense. I am interested in seeing what curveballs the writers throw in. I didn’t foresee the recent twist where Cyclops and Emma Frost were made into mind-controlled drones of the Phoenix, but I’m not too surprised at the same time. Blackest Day and Fear Itself involved hypnotized heroes as well.
If AvX doesn’t end like I predicted, I won’t be too upset. If it doesn’t lead up to a company-wide reboot, I’ll be happy.
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Hypothetically, if Avengers Vs X-Men did play out to a total victory for one side, which team do you think will be left standing?