“Play nice Tony.” – Captain America
Our issue opens with the Phoenix soaring in from outer space destroying a planet or city on a planet named Gliese 581C. We then jump to Avengers Tower NYC where Iron Man is arguing with Protector about touching his equipment.
“Guys…we got a thing here.” – Iron Man
The team of Avengers sees a fiery streak hit an airplane taking out its wing and then takes out the top of the Chrysler building. Thor, Iron Man, Protector and Ms. Marvel jump into action and save everyone. Spider-man arrives and captures the people falling out of the Chrysler building in a giant web.
“I thought he died.” – Hawkeye
The Avengers then discover Nova at the point of impact and see burn marks on his helmet which leads to them to believe the Phoenix is responsible.
“Again!” – Cyclops
We then switch scenes to Utopia – the island home of the X-men located of the coast of San Francisco where Cyclops is training his daughter Hope, who is a mutant with an ability of unspecified limits to manipulate and mimic the genes which are responsible for superhuman mutation. Cyclops pushes her to the point where she unleashes the phoenix force. Hope is in shock and cannot believe what she has done as her father goes flying across the field but is unharmed. Cyclops now believes Hope to be the mutant messiah.
“It is coming here.” “The Phoenix force is headed towards Earth.” – Iron Man
Captain America and Iron man meet with the President and his staff and report their findings that the Phoenix is returning to Earth looking for a vessel to take on and eventually destroy everything. The Avengers have set-up a suicide team to intercept the Phoenix force when Hope Summers’ energy signature is caught by Stark’s sensors and they discover its origin: Utopia.
“I know where it’s going.” “Everyone in the mutant community knows where it’s going.” – Wolverine
Captain America meets with Wolverine at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning to get information on meeting with Cyclops and making sure he can trust Wolverine. Wolverine never really answers him and we jump to Utopia.
“Respectively, get the hell off my island.” – Cyclops
Captain America meets with Cyclops about handing over Hope to him for protective custody. Cyclops refuses and after a lengthy debate as to why Cap and the Avengers were not there for the X-men when they were in need attacks Captain America and the discussion is closed.
“Avengers Assemble.” – Captain America
Fifteen Avengers, including Wolverine, deploy from a shield hellicarrier as the X-men prepare for battle! Issue ends as we get a close-up of Hope as she has the power of the Phoenix in her eyes. Great start to this series as the writers were smart to employ the phoenix as the reason to get the teams to do battle. Hope has been designated as the mutant messiah to rebuild the mutant population by her father Cyclops and he refuses, and rightly so, to let her go into protective custody with the Avengers.
Writers Brian Bendis, Matt Fraction, Jason Aaron, Ed Brubaker and Jonathan Hickman have their work cut out for them for the next twelve issues and I for one am looking forward to this cross-over as it was long overdue but needed now to combat DC’s New 52 universe. The artwork was great and consistent by John Romita, Jr. and Scott Hanna. Romita does not disappoint here as he captures everyone’s emotions so well, especially Cyclops, as you can see and feel his pain for his daughter Hope and his determination to set things right in the mutant community. The artwork of the Phoenix and the rescue of the airplane and Chrysler building were amazing.
Please keep in mind that in addition to the main Avengers vs. X-Men series, Marvel is going to release a six-issue tie-in series named AVX: VS, which will focus solely on fight scenes. Each issue will contain two fights occurring during AvX in more detail, with each fight done by a different writer and artist. The fights for the first three issues have been confirmed, with issue one featuring Iron Man vs. Magneto and the Thing vs. Namor, issue two featuring Spider-Man vs. Colossus and Captain America vs. Gambit, and issue three featuring Black Widow vs. Magik and the Thing vs. Colossus. Marvel has confirmed that this will be the only special series to tie-in to the main series, though other ongoing series will also have tie-ins. I was hoping they would keep it simple with just the twelve issues and maybe a couple of tie-in but as usual Marvel likes to spruce it up and make us buy multiple books. Next issue in less than two weeks. Here is a preview of Round 2 courtesy of the the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2012/03/22/avengers-vs-x-men-2/#/1