Captain America versus Cyclops. Iron Man against Namor. Hulk fights Colossus. Two of Marvel’s biggest teams, the Avengers and the X-Men, are duking it out for the survival of the Earth in Marvel’s epic crossover event. But which team is in the right, and will the rest of the Earth survive their feud?
Hope Summers, believed by many to be the mutant messiah and of some importance to the X-Men, may be bringing the destructive cosmic force known as the Phoenix to Earth. The Earth is not expected to survive. Captain America and his Avengers deduce that it would be best to place Hope into their protective custody and try to convince Cyclops of this. Cyclops isn’t really feeling it. A big fight breaks out between the two groups, while Hope, who feels guilty for the fighting, flees. She teams up with Wolverine, asking him to take her to the moon (for some reason) and for him to kill her if she can’t control the Phoenix. Once they arrive on the moon, Wolverine being the kind gentleman he is, summons the Avengers. This in turn catches the eye of the X-Men and the two groups fight some more. Then the Phoenix Force arrives and Iron Man shoots it with a giant robot mech laser. That actually happens. Rather than defeating the cosmic force, the laser merely caused the Phoenix to break into five different parts, each taking shelter in an X-man. Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor, Colossus, and Magik all find themselves to have almost god like powers. They proceed to whoop up on the Avengers and then reform the world, ending armed conflicts around the globe, providing free clean energy to all and ending world hunger.
The White House and the Avengers, despite the good efforts of the Phoenix Five, are convinced that Cyclops and his team of now godlike beings are a threat. The Avengers plan a raid on the X-men headquarters of Utopia, busting in and attempting to kidnap Hope. That doesn’t go too well, and in the fight Emma Frost burns Hawkeye to a crisp. Scarlet Witch appears and takes Hope with her, and Cyclops declares that he will no longer tolerate the Avengers. Still, he is reluctant to risk all-out war with them. Namor, however, is not. With the might of the Atlantean army he attacks Black Panther’s nation of Wakanda. Captain America summons every available avenger and defeats Namor in a hard fought battle. Cyclops learns of Namor’s actions, and the rest of the Pheonix Five rush to Wakanda. There the Phoenix Force leaves Namor and divides itself among the remaining four members. Iron Fist brings Hope to K’un-L’un to train her, and the Avengers also take refuge there.
There has been no shortage of conflict in this event, though so far there have been no real casualties. Though Hawkeye was literally roasted alive, Cyclops and the Phoenix Five healed him back to health. What’s really interesting here is that not even all of the mutants are on the side of the X-Men. As shown above, Wolverine is firmly on the Avengers side, and Beast also is helping Captain America, believing that the Pheonix Force needs to be stopped. However, the actions of the Avengers, and their attacks on X-Men territory, pushes Beast further and further away from Captain’s team until he becomes a neutral of sort. Black Panther also is against raiding Utopia, believing it to be wrong, and opts out of the mission. Ironically, Namor doesn’t know this, and attacks Wakanda. I personally am rooting for the X-men in this, as they pretty much solved every world problem, and now contain the Phoenix Force within them. As long as the Phoenix doesn’t decide to break out of them, what is there to worry about? Plus I don’t believe the Avengers busting into the mutant safezone and trying to kidnap Hope wasn’t the right way to go about things. It remains to be seen how events will pan out, though expect the conclusion of this 12 part series to have some lasting ramifications in the Marvel universe.
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