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Avengers VS X-Men #5: Review

Jun 2012
Matt Fraction, John Romita Jr.

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers VS X-Men #5 Review by (June 14, 2012)
The 5th and last round-robin scripter handles this issue, Matt Fraction. The 3 tie-ins in the 2 weeks since #4 relate to #3-4, so I've added descriptions of them to my comments on #4. There are 2 tie-ins this week, but only 1 belongs with this issue. Avengers Academy #31 continues from #30 and so fits more with AvX#4. Sebastian Shaw turns out still to be on the side of good, and persuades the Academy to set the X-kids free. Uncanny X-Men #13 runs in parallel with this issue, as the X-Men left behind on Earth discuss all and sundry. The major plot point is that Hope needs the 5 Lights (mutants from Uncanny X-Men #526-529 and Generation Hope) to control the Phoenix Force. At the end of last issue Thor crashlanded on the Moon as the Phoenix Force arrived. He's listed in the cast page this issue, but not actually seen inside. Protector is not with the Avengers space team. We'll need to wait for Avengers #27 and Secret Avengers #28 to see how they all got here, and what happened to Protector. Prof X has been looking after his son Legion since Legion's personalities were recombined in X-Men Legacy #253. They have previously had nothing to do with this story. Lei Kung had experience with a previous visit by the Phoenix Force, as revealed in New Avengers #25-26. Scarlet Witch has been lurking behind the scenes in this storyline. Next issue she will come to the fore. I presume Tony Stark's secret weapon was more than just a big robot with a big gun, but we aren't told any more than that. It is unclear whether it really had any effect. Was it the disruptor that stopped the Force from joining with Hope? Cyclops seems to suggest that it changed the Force so that the Force rejected Hope.

Extra comments on the next week's tie-ins:- Avengers #27 continues the deep space team's story. It turns out Protector hadn't really betrayed the Avengers because he thought the Supreme Intelligence was going to destroy the Phoenix Force and save Earth. When he finds that Supremor was going to let Earth die, and then harness the Force for the Kree, he rebels and takes the stolen Force fragment back. But the Avengers don't realise this, and leave him behind after taking the fragment off him. And protector has to flee from the angry Kree. This of course all happens before the end of Avengers vs X-Men #4. Avengers vs X-Men: Versus #3 expands some battles on the Moon in the current issue. It has Thing vs Colossus and Black Widow vs Magik. The current issue showed Red Hulk fighting Colossus and Thing tackling Namor. AvX:Vs#3 has Red Hulk punch Colossus through a wall, where he finds Thing. It doesn't say what happened to Red Hulk and Sub-Mariner. X-Men Legacy #268 is actually a spoiler for Avengers vs X-Men #6, where the transformed X-Men will return from the Moon and start ruling the world. This issue follows Frenzy, who is sent to help look after Africa.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers VS X-Men #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
A select group of Avengers (Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye, Red Hulk and Thing) and X-Men (Colossus, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik and Sub-Mariner) are duking it out in the Blue Area of the Moon over Hope Summers as the Phoenix Force hovers overhead. Hope calls out to them to stop, as Wolverine reaches her. But she also emits her greatest Phoenix blast yet, which downs everybody else.

Hope now realises she can't control the Phoenix Force, and asks Logan to kill her as he promised last issue. Still smouldering from the blast, he tries, but Cyclops stops him.

This starts a set of 1-on-1 battles:- Colossus vs Red Hulk, diamond-form Emma Frost vs Hawkeye, Magik vs Black Widow, Namor vs Thing, and Cyclops vs Cap and Logan (well 1-on-2). Watched from space by the outer space Avengers team (Beast, Captain Britain, Ms Marvel, Valkyrie, Vision and War Machine).

The Phoenix Force is felt by Prof X and Legion in Spain, Lei Kung in K'un Lun, and by Scarlet Witch.

Giant-Man and Iron Man are also on the Moon, in the craft that brought the Avengers. They initiate the device that Tony Stark has been working on:- a giant robot for Iron Man to pilot. Tony flies to the Phoenix Force and fires a giant disruptor cannon. The Phoenix Force explodes and disappears.

The Avengers see that Hope is unconscious. But the Force has instead occupied the 5 other X-Men (not Wolverine), even though they claim that Hope had been the intended recipient. They fly off, taking Hope with them, to do the Phoenix's work until she is ready to take over.

John Romita Jr.
Scott Hanna
Laura Martin
Jim Cheung (Cover Penciler)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Inker)
Laura Martin (Cover Colorist)
Plot: . Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank McCoy)
Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Piotr Rasputin)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Professor X
Professor X

(Charles Xavier)
Red Hulk
Red Hulk

(Thunderbolt Ross)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Ben Grimm)

War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

(James Howlett)

Plus: Captain Britain (Brian Braddock), Giant-Man (Scott Lang), Hildegarde (Hildegarde), Hope Summers, Legion, Lei Kung, Magik, Phoenix Force.

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

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