Warning: Spoilers Ahead
If you still haven’t read the last issue Avengers vs. X-Men #11, Cyclops killed Charles Xavier and took down his girlfriend Emma Frost to make Scott Summers the new Dark Phoenix. Yes they even went so far as to add, Dark Phoenix, in the dialog box. So Avengers and X-Men have united to take down Cyclops (Big Shocker!) and save the Earth from being destroyed.
As with my earlier review I can honestly say one thing after this issue. What a disappointment. That is not to say this issue is bad, or horrible…just disappointing. Jason Aaron didn’t do anything wrong as the dialogue is decent and moves the story along smoothly. Although I have been very disappointed in the artwork for Avengers vs. X-Men, not all but some, I’m glad the final issue had some very nice artwork by Adam Kubert. But the real star of this issue is John Dell, Mark Morales, Laura Martin and Justin Ponsor. The inks and color transition from page to page, the vibrant colors and dark tones pull in the concept better than even the words. Some pages don’t even need words the pictures scream more words than anything someone can write down in a coherent sentence. But to be fair to Aaron, he had one helluva job he had to pull off: Find resolution for the last 5 years of Marvel Comics (Specifically X-Men/Avengers). Not an easy task for a 22 page comic.
Where did it go wrong you may ask? A better way to put it would be where did it lose focus. Keep in mind Charles Xavier just died. This isn’t even mentioned until the very end of the comic. Granted most comic book fans really weren’t phased because he has died numerous times as is we all know he will be back. It lost focus on seeing Cyclops point of view. The series up until this point had done a great job of drawing a very gray line between the teams seeing as each one believed they were the ones in the right. Wolverine and Cyclops being split apart in two different teams (Schism) was done for one reason and one reason only. To set up what is to come in Marvel Now! I can’t remember what issue it was of X-Men where Cyclops was shown wearing Magneto’s armor but we are at that point. Cyclops is now a full blown villain. The guy I grew up with being team leader, being the best X-Man around is now the number one villain in the Marvel Universe. He’s decimated the world, destroyed millions of lives, and betrayed trust. Don’t even get me started on Wanda just getting a freebie on this one. She put the mutants on a course for extinction and all of a sudden she gets a clean slate?
What this issue did prove was it put things in the right direction. One thing Marvel loves to do is flip itself and then five years late flip itself back around. Now when I say right direction I don’t mean a more pleasing read. But a move in the direction of pleasing fans. Although House of M was met with mixed fan reaction it definitely affected sales. Marvel knows that. The most important thing in the world to them is keeping fans happy. If you really want Peter and Mary Jane to go back to normal with enough whining and complaining you can make that happen. Marvel listens.
The point here is that all the big changes that have changed the face of X-Men have been “fixed”. We saw the return of Jean Grey, The Phoenix is killed permanently (so it seems), while Captain America has a sit down table conversation that is waaaay too short for being the ending of the biggest event in years. Although having Wolverine sitting in on the conversation and having nothing to say to Cyclops was extremely disappointing. Wolverine has been neutered physically but his words have still been tough, and he has nothing to say to Scott Summers? Although these two have been at odds they were extremely close as teammates with a very bizarre relationship. You can’t just throw that away.
The series ends with the Phoenix being destroyed with Wanda and Hope teaming up. No big surprise here that new mutants start developing all over the world. So apparently that is the new big change that Marvel was talking about. Nothing all that crazy, nothing that wasn’t totally and completely predictable. So when I say disappointing I mean exactly that. I enjoyed the series, but I just can’t seem to get an ending that is worthy of holding the staple sign of “Marvel Comics“.