The long awaited moment is here. Last Wednesday marked the conclusion of the whole Avengers Vs X-Men saga and I know some fans are breathing a collective sigh of relief.
In case you didn’t follow the event, or missed a few parts, here’s a short rehash. It’s been more than ten years since the X-Men and the Avengers have found an excuse to share the same battlefield, except this time around they meet as enemies. Why? The Phoenix Force has returned. This is a carryover from when Chris Claremont wrote X-Men in the 90s. The Phoenix is basically a giant bird-shaped collection of energy that grafts itself to a human host, usually causing them to lose their minds in the process and do horrible things (see: Jean Grey). This time, the Phoenix has come in search of Hope, a girl who has been fated for big things for a long time. Hope is also a member of the X-Men.
The earliest part of the Avengers Vs X-Men story centers around Hope, with Cyclops thinking this will be a boon for mutantkind, while the Avengers have good reason to believe it will be doom for mankind. The Avengers then show up to take Hope into protective custody, but Cyclops won’t let them. Hope then goes on the lam and the Avengers split into two groups, one to find Hope, the other to try and intercept as well as stall the Phoenix Force. Both teams don’t do that well…
Wolverine plays a large role in the first half of the series, as we learn that he has vowed to kill Hope rather than let the Phoenix ruin her good nature. There’s a short interlude where Hope escapes to K’un-L’un to be trained by Iron Fist as well as Spider-Man, preparing for the eventuality of the Phoenix finding her. As it turns out, her fears were a bit unwarranted.
When the Phoenix finally arrives, it ends up splitting itself into five parts, with each one claiming a nearby X-Men member. Colossus, Magik, Namor, Emma Frost and Cyclops are all possessed, and begin to wreak havok on the world and on the Avengers. In a hissy fit, Namor leads the Atlanteans to cause huge amounts of destruction to Wakanda, while Emma Frost “kills” Hawkeye, only to then rehabilitate him using the Phoenix force.
Namor, Colossus, and Magik are defeated, and their portion of the Phoenix Force are cycled back into Cyclops and Emma Frost. Magneto, who’s been an X-Men member for a while now, decides to call in Professor Xavier to try and talk some sense into his longtime pupil Cyclops (no pun intended). To repel Xavier’s psychic assault, Cyclops then defeats Emma Frost only so he can have her share of the power, which he then uses to kill Professor Xavier. He then becomes the Dark Phoenix.
In the final issue, Hope finally returns to the foreground and joins forces with the Scarlet Witch, an incredibly powerful mutant. Together, with the help of both the Avengers and the X-Men as well as a surprise appearance by Nova, they are able to defeat Cyclops, only to have the Phoenix channel itself into Hope. The Scarlet Witch then holds hands with Hope and together they wish “No more Phoenix,” thus expelling it from Earth, but not before it undoes the damage its created and restores the mutant population, which has been floundering since the House of M storyline.
Afterwards, Cyclops is placed under arrest while Captain America decides to create a new Avengers lineup. Surprisingly, the whole event only boasts one big fatality, Professor X. Now, allegiances will be very different in the Marvel universe.
–What was your opinion of the conclusion to the Avengers Vs X-Men series?