ⓘ Avengers vs. X-Men
Avengers vs. X-Men is a 2012 crossover event that was featured in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The event, consisting of an eponymous limited series and numerous tie-in books, involves the return of the Phoenix Force and the subsequent war between the Avengers and the X-Men. The 12-issue twice-monthly series was first published in April 2012, and features a storyline by Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman and Matt Fraction, with a rotating team of artists including John Romita Jr., Olivier Coipel and Adam Kubert.
The event was preceded by the four-issue limited series Avengers: X-Sanction by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness and Avengers vs. X-Men #0. Avengers vs. X-Men also ties into the limited series AVX: VS, described as "the fight book" which expands upon many of the one-on-one battles featured in the main series, the digital series; Avengers vs. X-Men: Infinite, and into a number of ongoing series including Avengers, Avengers Academy, New Avengers, Secret Avengers, Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine and the X-Men and X-Men: Legacy. The event was succeeded by the limited series AvX: Consequences.
Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, Avengers vs. X-Men was a commercial success that topped the comic-book sales charts from April to October 2012. The repercussions of the storyline resulted in the new status quos of the Marvel Universe presented in the companys Marvel NOW! relaunch initiative.
1. Publication history
In December 2011, Marvel Comics announced the launch of Avengers vs. X-Men, a 12-issue twice-monthly series featuring writers Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman and Matt Fraction, debuting in April 2012. The series focuses on the return of the Phoenix Force, the cosmic entity of death and rebirth, as it looks for its new host, believed to be the teenage mutant Hope Summers, who will possess all of its power. Cyclops and the other X-Men want to protect her and prepare her as if shes to be the mutant savior, while Captain America and the Avengers want her handed over to them so they can figure out what to do with her and keep the world safe from a potentially deadly fate. Brubaker described the series as ".one of those legendary ideas: What if the Avengers fought the X-Men?". Marvels editor-in-chief Axel Alonso said "Youve got two populations whose motivations are simple and understandable and defensible. Thats part of the beauty of this. Youre seeing a story that evolves out of What would you do?"
The idea of an Avengers vs. X-Men crossover isnt entirely new in fact prior to Avengers vs. X-Men both the Avengers and the X-Men had already met, clashed and teamed up with each other starting with Uncanny X-Men #9 in 1964 followed by Avengers Annual #10 in 1980, X-Men vs. the Avengers in 1987, Avengers/X-Men: Bloodties in 1992, Onslaught in 1996 and House of M in 2005. Some of the X-Men have also joined the Avengers most notably Beast and Wolverine while Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch had ties to Magnetos Brotherhood of Mutants before defecting and becoming members of the Avengers. Mystique, Deathbird and Rogue also debuted in Avengers related titles such as Ms. Marvel and The Avengers.
Avengers: X-Sanction, a four-issue miniseries published in December 2011 by writer Jeph Loeb with artist Ed McGuinness led directly into Avengers vs. X-Men. In the series, Cable learns somethings going to happen to his daughter, Hope Summers, and he has been tipped off that the Avengers are responsible. So he targets them one by one starting with their leader, Captain America. Loeb said "Its a story about a father and what hes willing to do in order to protect his family. There are lots of Easter eggs that will give you hints of this cataclysmic thing that is on the horizon. But by the same token, it is a story that is really driven by Cable and what he has learned in his journey through time".
The prologue Avengers vs. X-Men #0, illustrated by Frank Cho, published in March 2012, offers two short stories, one starring Scarlet Witch by Avengers writer Brian Michael Bendis, and another starring Hope Summers, the girl who many feel is the next host of the Phoenix by Wolverine and the X-Men writer Jason Aaron. Bendis wrote Avengers: Disassembled, where Scarlet Witch lost control of her magical powers and turned on the Avengers which led to the alternate-reality event series, House of M and her depowering of most of the mutant population. Bendis said in the series, is the same way but theres kind of a flip: She has everything to lose. There is something elegant in the way shes been told forever and ever, Youre meant for something, youre meant for this, do what youre supposed to do. Just because everyones yelling at you that this is what youre supposed to do doesnt mean you can or should, and I think everyone can relate to that, as well".
In April 2012, Marvel debuted the six-issue tie-in series AVX: VS which focused solely on fight scenes. Each issue featured two stories by two creative teams. Marvels executive editor Tom Brevoort described AVX: VS as "the fight book". Brevoort said, "Its the least essential read of AvX and yet it will probably be the best-selling. From the first page, somebody is going to punch somebody else and by the last page, somebody else is punching somebody else in the face".
In March 2012, Marvel announced the debut of Infinite Comics, a format of digital comics. Marvel Entertainments Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada said, "Infinite Comics are a new technique in comics storytelling that is built specifically for the digital world yet in a very elegant way manages to keep the purity of what makes a comic a comic. It gives readers the same feel of reading a traditional comic while also offering a whole new experience that really feels like the future of where the medium is headed." The first Infinite Comics is Avengers vs. X-Men #1 Infinite, a tie-in story starring Nova, written by Mark Waid with art by Stuart Immonen and Marte Gracia, available on the Marvel Comics app or included with the digital version of Avengers vs. X-Men #1. Quesada said, "While AvX is a huge story, we only have so much room by which to tell it. Infinite Comics will be bringing you some stories that may have fallen through the cracks or haven’t been dealt with in great detail".
A five-issue limited epilogue series, AvX: Consequences by writer Kieron Gillen and artists Tom Raney, Mark Brooks, Steve Kurth and Dale Eaglesham debuted in October 2012. Gillen stated the series explores the emotional conflict between the major players left on the board once the battle dust has settled.
In March 2013, Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso announced the launch of What If? AVX, a 4-issue limited series by writer Jimmy Palmiotti and artist Jorge Molina in July 2013. The series that explores alternate outcomes to the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline. Alonso said, "If youve ever wondered what might have happened if the Phoenix Force had found a different host than Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor and Colossus. then youll want to read What If? Avengers Vs. X-Men ".
2.1. Plot Prologue
Sam Alexander, a member of the Nova Corps, arrives on Terraxs home planet with a warning, but before he can deliver it, Terrax engages him in battle. The battle is interrupted by the arrival of the Phoenix, the threat that Alexander came to warn against. Terrax is seemingly destroyed in the aftermath as Alexander escapes, resumes his mission and travels to Earth, the next planet in the Phoenixs path.
2.2. Plot Avengers: X-Sanction
Cable who was presumed dead after the Second Coming event returns from a desolate future after having been informed by Blaquesmith that the Avengers are somehow responsible for the death of Hope Summers and the terrible future. To prevent Hopes death, he devises a plan to take down the Avengers one by one before they can harm her. Cable first attracts the attention of the Avengers by shooting down a prison transport plane. As the Avengers round up the escaping prisoners, Cable kidnaps the Falcon. Captain America follows Redwing the Falcons trained pet falcon to where Cable is holding the Falcon, only to be ambushed by Cable and put in restraints. Next, Cable defeats Iron Man using technology taken from a future suit of Iron Mans armor. Red Hulk arrives and surprises Cable, but is narrowly defeated when Cable infects him with the techno-organic virus. Believing that Cable has gone too far, Blaquesmith sends in Cyclops and Hope to stop him. Cyclops and Hope plead with Cable to release the Avengers, but are interrupted by the arrival of Spider-Man and Wolverine. While Cable is distracted fighting Spider-Man and Wolverine, Hope guided by Blaquesmith frees the captured Avengers, while the Red Hulk burns the techno-organic virus out of his body. Cable succumbs to the combined efforts of the Avengers and his own infection of the techno-organic virus, and is brought to Utopia. Blaquesmith tells Hope that she can still save Cable by absorbing the techno-organic virus with the Phoenix Force. Once fully healed, Cable informs Cyclops that Hope is indeed the Phoenix, and that he needs his help to protect her when war comes with the Avengers.
2.3. Plot Core miniseries
In Washington D.C., MODOK Superior tries to assassinate an ex-A.I.M. scientist, but the scientist is saved by the Scarlet Witch with the help of Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman. After the fight, Ms. Marvel invites the Scarlet Witch back to Avengers Mansion, but Vision turns her away for her actions in the Avengers Disassembled storyline. On Utopia, Hope Summers sneaks out to fight crime in San Francisco against Cyclops wishes, where she stops the Serpent Society from robbing a bank. Cyclops and Emma Frost follow Hope to the scene, but she tells Cyclops that he need not be afraid for her safety, and that she is ready for the Phoenix Force when it comes.