The first news to be revealed was the line-up of talent. The series will be written by Marvel Universe architects Matt Fraction (Invincible Iron Man, The Mighty Thor), Brian Michael Bendis (Avengers, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man), Jason Aaron (Wolverine & The X-Men, Wolverine), Ed Brubaker (Captain America, Winter Soldier), and Jonathan Hickman (Fantastic Four, Ultimate Comics Ultimates) with John Romita Jr (Avengers), Adam Kubert (X-Men: Schism) and Olivier Coipel (The Mighty Thor) providing the art. That’s a pretty hardcore team behind the book, and with A+ characters involved, it’s almost guaranteed that the series will be a success. During the Livestream interview, Senior VP Tom Brevoort stated that the event will be a twelve-issue series, released bi-monthly, beginning in April. He goes on to say that, due to criticism from fans regarding Universe-wide crossover events that touch every book published, Avengers Vs X-Men will be contained to core titles, such as Avengers and X-Men titles, and will only tangentially touch other titles. Considering the number of events in the past few years, I’m very happy to hear this. Fear Itself is a prime example of an event gone wild, where some of the most obscure, uninteresting characters received their own limited series because “it tied into the event”.
One of the topics that came up is this month’s Avengers: X-Sanction title, which we already know is the beginning of a battle between Cable and the Avengers. Brevoort stated that X-Sanction will be the kick off of Avengers Vs X-Men, and the purpose behind the former title is that Cable returns to our time from the future to prevent the fallout between the two super teams. This announcement has since been clarified by Marvel in a press release containing preview pages of the inaugural issue.
The opening salvo in the upcoming war between the Avengers and X-Men is fired in next week’s Avengers: X-Sanction #1 from the chart topping team of Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness! The time-traveling mutant known as Cable, has returned from the future with 24 hours to save the world…by destroying the Avengers?! What makes Earth’s Mightiest Heroes such a threat to a better tomorrow? Cable’s on a mission to prevent the tragedies that lead to the events of Avengers VS X-Men…and every move he makes irrevocably changes the direction of the Marvel Universe!
“On the eve of the biggest Marvel event—maybe ever—Ed McGuinness and I are thrilled to be the lead-in for Avengers VS X-Men,” said Loeb. “Hopefully longtime fans and first time Cable, X-Men and Avengers readers will be excited by a story that can be read entirely on its own — and at the same time has lots of stocking stuffer-esque surprises just in time for the holidays.”
It all begins with Cable versus Captain America…and only one will emerge victorious! The Avengers and X-Men are on a collision course…and the first steps towards war are taken in Avengers: X-Sanction #1, available in comic stores and on the Marvel Comics app next Wednesday!
As far as the characters involved, emphasis was placed on Wolverine, Storm and Beast, who are all in a curious situation. As members of both the X-Men and the Avengers, it will be interesting to see who falls on which side. Given my understanding of each character, I would assume that they would stick with the X-Men. However, I would never have pegged Wolverine to flip Cyclops the bird and start his own school. So what do I know?
The writers also said that Ms. Marvel and Psylocke will each play a role in Avengers Vs X-Men, as will Thor. Iron Man will be receiving a new suit of armor, designed “with a particular foe in mind”. When asked about Loki, Matt Fraction hints that he will play a part, but remained excessively vague about it. And as for fan-favorite Hawkeye goes, he will play a rather pivotal role, being referred to as “the wildcard”.
So, what’s the purpose behind the event? Well, as fans saw in the Point One issue, the Phoenix is returning, and will play a major role in Avengers Vs X-Men, being a catalyst to the battle. The Scarlet Witch will also be returning, her whereabouts finally being revealed in Avengers: The Children’s Crusade (a title that is also important to AvX). Given the Scarlet Witch’s powers of improbability, and Hope Summers’ striking resemblance to Jean Grey, the original host of the Phoenix force, these forces will be clashing hard. Axel Alonso, Editor-In-Chief of Marvel revealed that AvX will show the relationship between the Scarlet Witch, Hope, the Phoenix, and even Jean Grey. Fans have assumed since the birth of Hope that she was some sort of reincarnation of Jean, that she will some day play host to the Phoenix. Will Marvel prove fan prediction correct?
Though Marvel is playing this one close to the chest, their slow, deliberate reveal of details has many fans, including myself, interested in the story. Finally, there’s this huge, Universe shattering event that features two teams of characters that I actually care about, written by some of the biggest names in the industry. I wasn’t too interested in Avengers: X-Sanction before, but now I’ll definitely pick it up. Not necessarily for the story itself, but to find out why Cable has come back, and what is so deadly that he has to defy all warnings of Doc Emmett Brown and alter history itself.
Wednesday can’t get here soon enough.
AVENGERS: X-SANCTION #1
Written by JEPH LOEB
Art & Cover by ED MCGUINNESS
ON SALE – 12/14/11