So we are down to only two X-Men holding the power of the Phoenix Force: Scott Summers and Emma Frost.   The Avengers are screwed six ways to Sunday, and Captain America is getting sick of losing.  As the last issue ended Scott Summers arrived to the mystical city known as K’un Lun demanding Hope Summers be returned to them.

What Ed Brubaker has done for Captain America is remarkable.  No words can explain how much my love for Cap has increased since Brubaker took on writing duties for the World War II legend.  Marvel has such an awesome team of writers but this issue really kind of writes itself thanks to the artwork of Kubert.  This is one of those rare issues of Avengers vs. X-Men that the art steals the show.  I don’t commend a lot of artwork from Marvel these days due to the massive amount of disappointment my eyes are forced to look at.  For the first time in a long time I was able to look at the pages and not even have to worry about the words and the story was crystal clear.

While this is definitely not a filler issue, it was the final issue to set things in motion for the Marvel Universe.  The big picture this issue painted (and nearly all tie-in issues) was that Cyclops and Emma Frost are officially going mad.  When Magneto says you’ve gone nuts, it’s time to get help.  While Emma seems to be turning into a tyrant, Scott Summers appears to be losing sight of who he is/was.  Cyclops has always been the boy scout of the X-Men.  Xavier’s golden boy.  Times have most certainly changed as The Avengers have now recruited Wolverine/Storm/Beast/and Xavier.  Judging by Emma Frost calling Magneto “Little Man” I think it would be a safe bet to assume Magneto will be joining the fight as well.

Then we have Hope Summers.  I am still not clear as to whether Hope is on the rise to becoming an Avenger but she has great dynamic with the rest of the team.  She doesn’t really fit in and should feel out of place.  Kind of like everyone on the team.  So basically she’s a perfect fit.   While being trained by Spider-Man, Iron Fist, Lei Kung, Cable, the X-Men, and whoever else has made Hope Summers the perfect weapon, she has also acquired the ability to take out a Phoenix Force. Near the end of the issue as Cyclops is prepared to wipe the floor with the Avengers (again) it is Hope Summers who comes to the rescue and delivers a Chaos Fist for the ages.

This marks the first time since the book has started that the Avengers are walking away with a victory.  Yes, they have defeated Colossus, Magik, and Namor (kind of), but they have never knocked Cyclops down; let alone for an hour on another planet!  Even The Watcher was caught by surprise.  I would say this was definitely in the top three issues so far.  Even though the tie-ins have been incredible, the story in the actual title of Avengers vs. X-Men is the only book moving the story forward and personally Marvel, I appreciate that.   The question remains…who will be the last man (or woman) standing?  Will it be the golden boy Scott Summers, or the reformed villain turned head mistress?  One thing is for sure, this is definitely a more emotional battle between the two as it is only fitting for the two lovers to be the final flame for this arc.