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Avengers VS X-Men #12: Review

Oct 2012
Jason Aaron, Adam Kubert

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
5 stars

Avengers VS X-Men #12 Review by (October 10, 2012)
Since the only tie-in issue that appeared between #11 and this one connects more with #12 then I'll report it here along with the 2 tie-ins released alongside this issue. The early issue was Avengers #30 wherein Hawkeye and Spider-Woman deal with some baddies taking advantage of all the heroes being occupied in this crossover. However internal evidence says it actually happens after the final battle in this issue, but before the epilogue. A similar thing can be said about New Avengers #30 which was released and commented on with #11. AvX: Versus #6 came out at the same time as this issue. One half of it presents more of the fight between Hope and Wanda described here. The other half contains lots of mini-battles, mostly humorous and most probably not really part of the story. Uncanny X-Men #19 was published at the same time too. It is effectively #12 from Cyclops' viewpoint.

If Hope's destiny was to uncreate the Phoenix Force, and the PF created *her*, then this suggests that the PF *wanted* to be destroyed. Also we've got a Lord of the Rings scenario here. Hope, like Frodo, is the only one who can be trusted to overcome the urge to use the power, and freely destroy it. "No more Phoenix" of course echoes Scarlet Witch's "No more mutants" in House of M, and Cyclops' "No more Avengers" in #6. Cyclops is put in a ruby quartz prison because the ruby quartz lens in his visor is the only thing that can keep his eye-beam in check. This issue makes it clear that Cyclops *killed* Prof X last issue. We see wanted posters for Phoenix 5'ers Emma Frost and Sub-Mariner, but not for Colossus and Magik. However Magneto also seems to be wanted, and he wasn't one of them, and indeed opposed them. But it seems to be him depicted skulking in a hoodie. Also doesn't Emma being free contradict New Avengers #30 where she's a prisoner.

This is the final issue of this series. Jason Aaron takes the final scripting chores. And Adam Kubert returns to the pencils. Since Avengers: Children's Crusade it is known that Scarlet Witch was possessed rather than insane during Avengers Disassembled and House of M. Baby Hope Summers was taken and raised in the future by Cable, which explains how come she's a teenager. Tony Stark claims that his faith in Wanda and Hope is a fusion of science and mysticism, which I don't see. We haven't seen this Nova (whoever he is) since #1 when he crashed to Earth with a warning about the approaching Phoenix Force. Given that Rachel Summers is in the Himalayas at the climax, and Gambit is shown to be in Paris, the figure I identify as Gambit in an early Himalayan scene maybe should have been Rachel?

Added later:- Wolverine & X-Men #17 came out between this issue and last. It was billed as a tie-in but wasn't. It turns out because that story was put back to W&XM#18, which was published the week after this issue. As a tie-in it has the Stepford Cuckoos monitoring the events of the battle and its aftermath.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers VS X-Men #12 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue is split into 2 interleaved parts. One is the conclusion to the final battle begun last issue, and the other is a flashback to 3 days before the battle, but after Hope Summers beat off Cyclops in #10. I will separate the 2 strands out. There is also an epilogue.

In the flashback Iron Man summarises the situation as he sees it. At the end of House of M the insane Scarlet Witch depowered most mutants, and prevented more from arising. Tony Stark theorises that the Phoenix Force reacted to that by causing Hope to be born. It was believed that she was the Mutant Messiah, who would gain the Phoenix power and re-allow new mutants.

Iron Man is addressing an assembly of Avengers (Black Widow, Captain America, Dr Strange, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Ms Marvel, Red Hulk, Spider-Woman, Thing, Thor and Wolverine) in their refuge in the mystical city of K'un Lun. He reminds them that they have tried deflecting or containing the Phoenix Force before it reached Earth recently (the deep-space team in Avengers and Secret Avengers), but failed. He mentions that they tried to split it up (but strangely not that he himself succeeded in #5 and split it between 5 X-Men). He just says they've failed to kill it or control it.

He says that Scarlet Witch and the now K'un Lun-trained Hope are the only ones who have been able to damage the Phoenix Force. Having studied the historical account of K'un Lun's previous encounter with the Phoenix, Tony has come to the conclusion that their only course is to trust that these 2 can prevail together.

However Wanda and Hope are far from working together, because Hope blames the Witch for starting Cyclops down the path to ruling the world with the Phoenix Force. Tony and Cap find them fighting each other (with devastating side-effects).

After they've calmed down, Cap asks Hope what will happen after they defeat Phoenix-powered X-Men (now reduced to Cyclops and Emma Frost). Will Hope become the Phoenix? And will she be any better than the current holders of the power?

3 days later, and Cyclops drained the remaining Phoenix power from Emma Frost last issue, and became Dark Phoenix. He is still facing an array of Avengers (Iron Man, Ms Marvel, Red Hulk, Thor) and X-Men (Havok, Iceman and what looks like Gambit), or both (Storm) or neither (Hulk), but the scene seems to have shifted from Utopia Island to the Himalayas undergoing volcanic eruptions.

At the Jean Grey School the Stepford Cuckoos are using Cerebra to monitor what's happening worldwide, and pass the information to Captain America. Cyclops' rage is causing massive destruction all over the world, from volcanoes, tidal waves, fires, earthquakes and meteor strikes. Cap is on the way to the Himalayas in a quinjet with Beast and Iron Fist.

We see other heroes helping deal with catastrophes in various places:- Gambit and Hawkeye in Paris; Angel and Spider-Man in Beijing; Giant-Man and Pixie in the Mediterranean; Captain Britain and (probably) Rogue in the Amazon. We see Cyclops blasting Thor into space in the Himalayas. But strangely we also see him punching Hulk in Sydney so hard he lands in Sacramento.

Meanwhile Cap's group have joined the fight in the Himalayas. Wolverine's there too. But Dark Phoenix blasts them all, and flies off. Iron Man says it's time for their last shot, and Cap puts out a broadcast call for any Avenger who can bring Cyclops back. Nova responds, and smashes into the flying X-Man, bringing them both down to Earth with a crash.

Dark Phoenix of course survives the impact unharmed, although the same can't be said for Nova. But now he has to face Hope Summers and Scarlet Witch, who get him reeling. Beast, Cap, Iron Fist, Iron Man, Storm, Thor and Wolverine arrive by jet and join in.

The joint attack starts to break the Phoenix's hold on Scott Summers. He remembers the ideals that he tried to live up to, and temporarily begs the Avengers to kill him. Later a vision of Jean Grey, his dead love and the previous Dark Phoenix, tells him to give up. As Hope and Wanda continue to pummel him, they see the Phoenix Force leave his body. But only to take over its original target Hope.

The new Phoenix flies around the world, followed by Iron Man. He sees her calming the forces that Cyclops unleashed, and repairing damage. Then she returns to the Himalayan gathering (rejoined by Hulk and joined by Rachel Summers). She is clad in a white version of the Phoenix costume, and says that as White Phoenix she will lead the world into paradise, as the Cyclops and the rest of the Phoenix 5 tried to do but failed.

But Wanda persuades her that this isn't her destiny. She was created not to use the Phoenix Force but to give it up. The 2 women join hands and forces and say "No more Phoenix". The Phoenix Force leaves Hope and spreads over the globe. The Stepford Cuckoos see Cerebra showing new mutants springing up all around the world. Spider-Man is about to rescue a girl from a dangling train when she sprouts wings and rocky(?) skin and saves herself.

Later, Cyclops has survived the affair, and is imprisoned in a ruby quartz prison cell. He tells Cap that he accepts responsibility for all he did, including killing Charles Xavier and nearly destroying the world. Apparently the rest of the Phoenix 5 are on the run (and it seems Magneto too).

Cap admits that he was also partly at fault. He should have done more to help mutants earlier. He intends to do something to rectify that. And we see Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch probably reviewing possible members of the new Uncanny Avengers team.

There is also the unspoken suggestion that if the Avengers hadn't tried to stop Hope becoming the Phoenix at the start of this series, then the rebirth of mutants would have happened without all the fighting.

We also see Black Panther and Storm not talking to each other while Wakanda is rebuilt. Iron Fist asks Tony Stark if he'd figured out all along what would be the outcome of letting Hope and Wanda loose. Thor invites Nova to be an Avenger. Wolverine prepares a eulogy for Prof X. And Hope is in the ruins of Utopia, which has been cordoned off by SHIELD.


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

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Adam Kubert
Mark Morales
Laura Martin
Jim Cheung (Cover Penciler)
Mark Morales (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)
Plot: . Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Beast
Beast

(Hank McCoy)
Black Panther
Black Panther

(T'Challa)
Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Hulk
Hulk

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Fist
Iron Fist

(Danny Rand)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Nova
Nova

(Sam Alexander)
Red Hulk
Red Hulk

(Thunderbolt Ross)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)
Spider-Woman
Spider-Woman

(Jessica Drew)
Thing
Thing

(Ben Grimm)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: Angel, Captain Britain, Giant-Man (Scott Lang), Havok, Hope Summers, Phoenix Force, Pixie, Rachel Summers, Stepford Cuckoos.