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Avengers VS X-Men #11: Review

Sep 2012
Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Avengers VS X-Men #11 Review by (September 16, 2012)
There are 2 official tie-ins this week, plus 1 unofficial one. X-Men Legacy #273 follows directly from #272, and neither have the AvX banner. Rogue was sent to another dimension by Magik at the end of #271. There she gets 2 alien races to cooperate. When it's over she returns to Earth determined to get the Avengers and X-Men to cooperate against the Phoenix 5. Which leads directly to her role here. Uncanny X-Men #18 takes place within the current issue. Cyclops and Emma have a mental chat while they're fighting the Avengers/X-Men. But the de-Phoenixed Colossus and Magik also 'chat'. It seems like in the future they're going to be villains. New Avengers #30 follows this issue. Some New Avengers are escorting the prisoner Emma Frost, but they have to protect her from the X-foes Purifiers. Luke Cage may be quitting the team. But then New Avengers may be ending soon anyway.

Black Widow isn't listed in the opening credits. Dr Strange is only definitely depicted in the 1 scene I mention. On the X-Men's team Madison Jeffries is on the cast list but is only mentioned by Rogue. And there's the uncredited blonde I suggest may be Boom Boom. Hulk enters this story for the 1st time. Currently he exists as Hulk most of the time, reverting to an evil Bruce Banner if he becomes too calm. The choice of Avengers seems somewhat random. Some who were recently injured show up hale and hearty. While others supposedly OK are missed out. But that's all irrelevant because apart from the instances I specifically mention, most characters just stand (or fly) around contributing nothing. (And that includes my Library's main man Iron Man.) The X-Men team is even more confusing. For instance it's Warlock's 1st appearance in this series and its tie-ins. And Karma was only in Wolverine & X-Men #9, right at the start of the saga. Some others have only been spear carriers so far. And Hope Summers is conspicuously one of the just-stand-arounders.

This penultimate issue of the epic is a series of set pieces. But returning artist Olivier Coipel doesn't go the big-pictures route, with only 1 single-panel page, and 2 double-page spreads. Instead he does many double-page arrangements of panels. And dramatic confrontations. Laura Martin's colouring has been good all through this series, but getting even better in the later issues. And the combination of artists really excel this time, especially in the abundant panels of flame and coruscating energy. As of this issue it's definitely no longer Avengers vs X-Men. The cast list page has Avengers and X-Men vs Cyclops and Emma Frost. Beast, Storm and Wolverine are with the Avengers but are listed as X-Men.

Late comment:- Of the X-Men arriving with Rogue this issue, Boom Boom, Cannonball and Polaris were definitely under Emma Frost's mental thrall last issue, and last issue's cast list suggested Psylocke and X-Man were as well. Emma must have lost interest and let them go. Similarly Angel, Primal and Velocidad from that list were free in Wolverine & X-Men #15. Iceman came from W&XM#15 to here.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers VS X-Men #11 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Captain America, accompanied by Beast, Black Widow (not on the cast list), Falcon, Giant-Man, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Mockingbird, Ms Marvel, Red Hulk, Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Storm, Thor, Valkyrie and Wolverine, recruits the help of Hulk.

Rogue comes to the Avengers' stealthed aircraft in the Wisconsin plains, saying that Madison Jeffries tracked Iron Man's energy signature, and asking for a truce. Professor X shows himself as aligned with the Avengers already. And loads more X-Men (Cannonball, Gambit, Havok, Iceman, Karma, Polaris, Psylocke, Warlock, Warpath, X-Man and a blonde who is probably Boom Boom (not on the cast list)) come out from the vegetation behind Rogue. Hope Summers appears with the Avengers too. They all know that Cyclops and Emma Frost, the last 2 holders of the Phoenix Force, must be stopped.

On Utopia Island Emma accuses Scott Summers of wanting to take the Phoenix Force all for himself. Scott denies it, suggesting Emma is projecting her own intentions on him. But Emma reveals that her urge is more to destroy the imperfect world and rebuild it from scratch.

Their conflict is interrupted when Cyclops detects Prof X nearby. Scott confronts his mentor who tries one last time to talk him down. But when Cyclops tries to attack Xavier he finds he can't. And Charles reveals that they are fighting within Scott's mind.

Cyclops breaks free and back to reality. Where he finds Emma Frost facing a selection of the combined Avengers and X-Men, with Dr Strange, Magneto and Vision (missing from the cast list) thrown in for good measure. In fact Dr Strange seems to be holding Cyclops magically prisoner.

Cap tells everyone to keep attacking, to keep the Phoenix 2 distracted while Prof X regains mental control of Scott. Summers tries to manifest the Phoenix, but Xavier battens him down. Emma tries to come to Scott's aid, but Storm hits her with lightning (saying it's something she's wanted to do for a *long* time).

Cyclops fires his eye-beam at Xavier, but Cap reflects it back with his shield, and it hits its originator. Scarlet Witch sends energy coursing all over Scott's body. And Emma retaliates by frying Wanda. But Hulk smashes her into the ground.

Cyclops returns in Phoenix-mode after Prof X, but is confronted by Magneto, who says he invited Xavier to Utopia to oppose Scott. Summers engulfs Magneto in Phoenix-fire. Scarlet Witch attacks to save her father. When Cyclops is down, Thor leaps to the attack with a rallying cry to others. But Scott easily beats him back with a wall of flame.

Then Hawkeye gets him in the back of the neck with an arrow, which Cyclops casually snaps off. He asks Xavier why he's helping the Avengers try to kill the X-Men. But Iceman chooses this point to attack, saying that it's just Scott (and Emma) who are the target. And the rest of the X-Men are on the Avengers' side.

At last Charles has Scott back on the mental battlefield, intending to put him in a coma. But it is Prof X who loses the battle!

Battered and surrounded by foes, Scott Summers attacks Emma Frost, and takes her portion of the Phoenix Force from her, leaving her for dead. Charles Xavier tries to stop him again, but Cyclops, possessing the whole Phoenix Force, renders him possibly dead or mindless too.

Scott is horrified by what he has done, but blames the Avengers. If only they'd left him alone, none of this would have happened. Sensing the last chance, Wolverine gets Hulk to throw him in a fastball special. But Cyclops burns him in midair without even looking.

The assembled heroes, including Emma Frost, watch in dismay as the Phoenix-fire consumes Cyclops, and he arises as the Dark Phoenix.

Olivier Coipel
Mark Morales
Laura Martin
Jim Cheung (Cover Penciler)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Inker)
Plot: . Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Axel Alonso.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Scott Summers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Clint Barton)

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Professor X
Professor X

(Charles Xavier)

(Anna Marie LeBeau)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Ororo Munroe)

White Queen
White Queen

(Emma Frost)

(James Howlett)

Plus: Hope Summers, Phoenix Force.

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

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