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Avengers VS X-Men #0: Review

Mar 2012
Brian Michael Bendis, Frank Cho

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers VS X-Men #0 Review by (April 12, 2012)
The Serpent Society debuted in Captain America #310. It was different from various incarnations of the Serpent Squad, although it did keep recruiting members from them. The Society was highly organised. As well as using teleportation to free any members who got caught, the proceeds of robberies were wisely invested. They probably even had medical insurance and a pension plan. However that superior organisation has long been forgotten, and recent appearances of the Society have really just been versions of the Squad with delusions of grandeur. This issue establishes Hope as central to the series. But it doesn't give any clue as to what role Wanda will play. I don't think she will show up again until #6.

Hope Summers isn't related to the other Summers mutants. She was adopted by Cable and taken to the future for her protection. The Mutant Messiah was the 1st mutant born after Scarlet Witch said "No more mutants" at the end of House of M, and she can kickstart mutations in others. Her other power is to mimic other mutants' powers, as used seen this issue. There have been various indications that Hope is connected to the Phoenix Force. The statement that the Phoenix Force drove Cyclops' wife Jean Grey mad and then caused her death isn't strictly true. The Jean that the Phoenix inhabited from Uncanny X-Men #101-137 was a copy it created. The real Jean returned in X-Factor #1. The Phoenix Force has shown a predeliction for females connected to Jean Grey. It occupied her clone Madelyne Pryor, and Rachel Summers, Scott and Jean's daughter from an alternate future. Even when it did later manifest in Jean it didn't kill her or make her crazy. She was killed by Xorn (who may or may not have been Magneto) in New X-Men #150.

MODOK conveniently summarises Wanda's recent past. She went mad and caused the Avengers to disband in the Avengers Disassembled story, and decimated the mutant race in House of M and Decimation. And then went into hiding. (Actually she was amnesiac.) As described in the recent Avengers 24.1, Wanda used her husband Vision as a weapon against the Avengers in Disassembled, resulting in She-Hulk tearing him apart. And he has only recently been rebooted by Tony Stark in Avengers #19. (Again recently) Avengers: The Children's Crusade restored Wanda's memory, and revealed that she had been possessed by a cosmic entity at the time. The Avengers know this, which explains why they aren't as angry as Vision. The Avengers present here are from a mixture of teams:- Iron Man, Spider-Woman and Vision from Avengers, Ms Marvel and Wolverine from New Avengers, Beast from Secret Avengers. And Thor hasn't been an active Avenger for a while. Perhaps this is an early indication that the teams are going to be jumbled together for the duration of this crossover event. And who knows who'll be on what team when it's over?

This is effectively a split book, with the same art team on both parts, but the Scarlet Witch section written by Avengers scribe Brian Michael Bendis and the Hope part by Wolverine writer Jason Aaron. As in Bendis's Avengers books, the Avengers vs X-Men issues have no titles. The original MODOK was created by AIM in Tales of Suspense (Captain America) #93 as a super-brain, who quickly became their leader. The original was reverted to his human form in Incredible Hulk #610, to be replaced by a clone MODOK Superior in Hulk (2008) #29.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers VS X-Men #0 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
MODOK Superior and a bunch of cyborg creatures and some ordinary AIM troops attack a convoy carrying an AIM traitor Dr Udaku. Scarlet Witch interrupts the battle, but is a little swamped by the enemy's numbers. Until the passing Spider-Woman and Ms Marvel join in. Leaving Wanda to take down MODOK himself.

Wanda thanks them for their aid. She says she's out of practice. Ms Marvel invites her back to Avengers Mansion, but Wanda's not sure she'll be welcome. Carol insists.

Beast, Iron Man, Thor and Wolverine are in. But the 1st person the Witch meets is her android husband Vision, who gives her a frosty (even for him) reception. He can't forgive her for using him as a weapon against his teammates the last time they were together.

The other Avengers think he's being harsh. But Vision tells her to leave, and Wanda obeys. Ms Marvel carries the sobbing woman away. And the last panel of this half shows (again) that even an android can cry.

One night on the X-Men's Utopia island, Cyclops tries to stop Hope Summers from flying off wearing a jet pack. It turns out she's been flying to San Francisco every night and fighting crime. Cyclops wants her to stay home where she's safe.

Hope wants to know why she's so important, and Cyclops gives her the standard Mutant Messiah answer. She especially wants to know about the Phoenix Force that took over his wife Jean, and that's supposedly coming for Hope. But Cyclops refuses to talk about that. So she uses his own optic blast power against him, and flies away.

Hope interrupts a bank robbery by members of the Serpent Society. Remembering being trained to fight in the future by Cable, she defeats lookout Bushmaster by cutting his cybernetic arms off. When Asp comes to investigate Hope sends her crashing through a wall, possibly using Asp's own mutant electric blasts.

Then Hope finds the rest of the gang, where Puff Adder is using his acid spit to break into the vault. Anaconda wraps her in her snake-like cybernetic arms, but Hope head butts her into submission. Mutant Puff Adder starts to grow, but Hope outdoes him at his own game, and knocks him out.

The final Serpent Cottonmouth tries to bite her with his bionic jaw, but Hope beats him up until she's pulled off by Cyclops. He and Emma Frost have come to take her home.

Hope says she's ready for the Phoenix Force. The last panel shows the Phoenix on its way.

Frank Cho
Frank Cho
Jason Keith
Frank Cho (Cover Penciler)
Frank Cho (Cover Inker)
Jason Keith (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank McCoy)

(Scott Summers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Jessica Drew)

White Queen
White Queen

(Emma Frost)

(James Howlett)

Plus: Anaconda, Asp, Bushmaster, Cottonmouth, Hope Summers, MODOK Superior, Phoenix Force, Puff Adder.

> Avengers VS X-Men: Book info and issue index

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