Review: Avengers vs. X-Men #11
There is no way for me to talk about this issue without giving away some spoilers. It’s completely impossible for me to review this issue without doing so. You have been warned! Avengers vs. X-Men has all led up to one thing, Cyclops becoming his own worst enemy. Scott Summers, a father, brother, and leader has finally come full circle as far as character depth goes. I’m not entirely sure when Cyclops fell off his rocker but he has definitely hit rock bottom. And we aren’t even on the final issue of this universe changing story! Brian Michael Bendis has this uncanny ability to write dialogue, something very few writers ever really get the knack of. Anyone can write two characters having a conversation; captivating and emotional conversation is certainly Bendis specialty.
Round eleven opens with Captain America convincing The Hulk to FINALLY join the fight alongside the Avengers and the X-Men to take on the Phoenix. And then it comes to a head. The Avengers and X-men on one side, while the Scott Summers and Emma Frost are on the other. But no one seems all that concerned about Emma (which I found odd), but it is a bit of foreshadowing as Cyclops truly is the only threat they should worry about. Xavier calls to Cyclops and reminds him he still has an out. If he wants to stop this madness, Xavier and everyone will help him through this tirade. Charles Xavier has this gift of bringing out the best in characters. This confrontation between the two, while completely predictable, is heart-wrenching, emotional, and chaotic. Even though Scott Summers has completely lost touch with reality, Bendis still drives the compassion like a Delorean going 88 miles per hour. The Uncanny X-Men tie in (Uncanny X-Men #18) is absolutely necessary to truly understand the confrontation between these two characters. No, I am not talking about Xavier and Cyclops, I am talking about the most narcissistic lovers of all time: Scott Summers and Emma Frost. I never thought I would say this, but I think that relationship has hit the end of the road as Cyclops depowers Emma Frost causing Scott Summers to become the Phoenix Force! No more sharing it with five people, no more semi-logical thinking — just death and destruction.
Sorry, I am jumping ahead of myself, but with good reason. After Summers takes out Frost, Charles continues to yell at Summers about how, “this has to end,” and “I will stop you.” How anyone who reads this doesn’t feel for bad for poor Cyclops in the least is a total mystery to me. Marvel fans have been eagerly awaiting Cyclops to look like a fool. From the movies to the newest cartoon series, Cyclops is always shown to be a total tool bag. And maybe he is. But he has been through hell and back. Not only has he been through hell, he has been on a crusade for the injustice created by the Scarlet Witch, Purifiers, anyone and everyone who has been a threat to mutant kind. Summers finally had what he needed to truly fix the world. Not fix it because it was so broken; fix it with the intention of creating his version of the world, the most selfish thing Scott Summers has ever done. Why stop there? Why not truly display your god-like powers to the world. Take the life of the one person who put you on this wretched path to begin with. And just like that Charles Xavier is killed by his most promising student, Scott “Slim” Summers. As Wolverine leaps towards Cyclops he bursts into flames… again (will he ever learn?). Captain America and everyone look on in horror as Cyclops says, “This is what Jean felt like”. The Phoenix Force is now fully owned by Scott Summers. God help us all.
If this was always the path that Marvel had intended to go down then they have done a great job of putting Summers through the ringer. Not just Summers, but Wolverine as well. These two men have been through so much in one lifetime that I am trying to figure out how these two will ever become friends again. Even though there was always animosity between the two, at times they did consider each other to be close friends. Maybe not best friends, but most certainly best teammates. Seeing these two fall apart was exactly what needed to happen to bring us to the brink of Avengers vs. X-Men. To light the fire from underneath and set up a story arc that would not only burn traditional Marvel to the ground, but set us up for the all-new Marvel NOW! Round 12 hasn’t even come out, yet I still can’t help but wonder how in the world they are going to punish Summers, Frost, Magik, Colossus, and especially Namor. I really hope all of this won’t be in vein. I hate how much X-Men has “evolved” to becoming what it is today, but I have stayed loyal. I haven’t strayed from the pack and I haven’t given up on the X-Men yet. While the Avengers have thrived, the X-Men have nearly been run into the ground. Marvel NOW! is a chance to fix that, and I hope they do. If all of this is just an attempt to make Wolverine the leader of the X-Men then I will be incredibly disappointed. Anyone who knows anything about Wolverine knows that he is supposed to be so jaded and unpredictable that the word leader and Wolverine should never even be in the same sentence. Wolverine leading X-Force? A Death Squadron? Yeah, that I can get behind. Wolverine leading a recently split X-Men team who is once again uniting? Give me a break. I am hoping Storm finally takes the reigns as leader since she was ALWAYS second in command. How Wolverine got to cut in front is beyond me. Good luck Avengers vs. X-Men, you have one more issue to prove that these last five years of mediocre X-Men were leading up to something brilliant. Can’t wait to see how you plan to impress me.