At the end of 2011 Marvel asked us which side we were on: the Avengers or the X-Men. Now we are three issues into the mini-series Avengers vs X-Men which pits the two biggest teams in Marvel against each other over Hope Summers, the Phoenix Force and possibly the fate of the world.
To say that things have been a little tense would be an understatement. Like any good conflict there are pros and cons to every side and arguments to be had over who will and who should win. Here at GRCT we have found ourselves divided, taking opposite sides on this one. So we thought it would make a good edition of point/counterpoint. Playing for Team Avengers will be Lina, while Angel will be going to bat for Team X-Men.
There will be spoilers after the jump, so click carefully!
Scott Summers is a jerk. It’s not, by any means, my reason for siding with the Avengers (not by a long shot), but I knew that if I didn’t get that out of my system early this would be less of pro-team Avengers argument and more of a “any team but the one with Scott” ramble. Okay, quick, stopping myself before I tangent any longer.
Going into this arc, I honestly didn’t have a side. The X-Men were the team that I had first started reading as a kid, but the Avengers have had my heart for many years now. Both are flawed collections of people, full of their own internal rivalries and issues that make them interesting. When I saw the promos I wondered what sort of circumstances that they were going to drum up to pit the two against one another, presumably with the Scarlet Witch and Hope taking center stage. It could either be really good or genuinely terrible. I decided to wait it out.
Now we are awaiting issue #4 (technically the fifth of the run) and I can safely say that I have picked my team. Cap seems to have genuine reasons for wanting to scoop Hope up and see what happens. He doesn’t want to kill her (despite Wolverine’s arguments that’s the only way to save them all), but he knows that she has to be watched. The Phoenix Force is not something to be trifled with, having a proven track record of causing some serious shit to go down. The Avengers are still dealing with Wanda coming back, Wanda who seems to know more about all of this than she’s letting on, but there are bigger fish to fry. There is something admirable about the fact that they are willing to let their personal issues fall slightly to the wayside as they cope with the information that Nova gave them. If the Phoenix Force gets there, then everyone is toast. Drastic measures have to be taken. The Avengers have this sense of honor, this awareness that they fight for more than just the mutants and super-powered of the world, but for the normal, every day folks who are just trying to live. Not once have Iron Man or Captain America said that they plan on destroying Hope or causing a full-scale war. They just want to keep things together and keep the fight under control long enough to come up with a plan. Captain America is very straight forward with his motives, trying to reason with Scott who instantly jumps to the defensive. Hope may be a mutant, but the Phoenix Force is bigger than any of them. The potential for catastrophe is massive. Just pretending that it isn’t something real isn’t going to make it better. If anything it is going to ensure that something bad really does happen.
So why am I on Team Avengers? Because we’ve been down this road before, we’ve wondered about what happens when the extremely powerful amongst the already powerful are just left to their own devices. Bad stuff happens. Worlds get destroyed. It isn’t the “register or not register” argument of Civil War, it is more along the lines of preventing a re-hash of Decimation and the Phoenix Saga. The Avengers would rather be safe than sorry, work for the whole rather than a single group. I’m sorry X-Men, but I just can’t support you on this one. I just don’t play the backhanded game.
I think we’re all in complete agreement that Scott Summers is a jerk. Really, he is. But despite Cyclops’s constantly demonstrated douchebaggery, I am firmly Team X-Men when it comes to this one.
I think a lot of my stance here comes from the fact that the X-Men have been through so much lately. They were all left alone to deal with the fact that they were nearly made extinct as a species. Where were the Avengers when all that was going down? Certainly not hovering over the largest settlement of mutants in their helicarrier, waiting to take action. I think Scott’s right when it comes to the Avengers picking their battles poorly here, even if he is grasping at straws a bit. There’s just as large a change that the Phoenix Force will destroy them all as it will become a source of rebirth for mutantkind, but when you’re the leader of a dwindling species, you can’t let something like this pass without a fight. They’ve believed that Hope Summers is important to mutants for quite some time now, and to just hand her over to the Avengers— who are more far-removed from all of this than I’m sure they’d ever admit— would be folly.
I’m not saying that I believe Cap is fully in the wrong here. There is a danger to humans, to the planet. After all, no one knows yet what will happen when the Phoenix Force reaches Earth and Hope (if it’s even coming for Hope, but that’s another theory I have that I won’t get into here). But there has to be a better way to go about expressing concern over Cyclops’s actions than showing up at Utopia, clearly ready for a fight. It was an act of aggression, and it was entirely the wrong way to go about things if he was only hoping to discuss how to deal with the impending threat.
I don’t think that either side is completely right here, or that there haven’t been mistakes made by Cyclops and the X-Men, but if I’m definitely with the mutants. Scott’s just trying to do the best he can to protect what few mutants are left, and make sure that they don’t become the last of their kind. Maybe, at this point, he’s become a bit like classic-Magneto in his views (some of this is reading a bit mutants vs. humans to me), but sometimes drastic measures have to be taken to protect what is important to you, and Scott showed that he’s willing to be drastic the second he told Cap to get the hell off of his beach.
Which side are you on? How do you think this is working out so far? Tell us your thoughts in the comments or tweet them to us! Remember that AvX #4 comes out this Wednesday!