Slight recap before we get going: During a battle on the moon, five X-men were given the power of the Phoenix after Stark miscalculates a weapon and separates the Phoenix rather than destroying it. The Phoenix Five (Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor, Magik, and Colossus) have gone around the world and fixed it. They have given the homeless places to sleep, they have fed the hungry, and they have branded Avengers as Global Terrorists. During this time, Captain America formulates a plan which required the Avengers to rescue Hope Summers from the Phoenix Five, with the help of Wanda Maximoff. Yes, that Wanda, who wiped out the mutant race with a sentence. The X-Men have not forgotten about that. With that final act, the very straight-laced smart thinking Scott Summers decides enough is enough and it is time that the Avengers realized how bad you can get burned when you play with fire.
Avengers Tower is tightly secured by the Phoenix Five as they discuss how Wanda is the only real threat they face. Somehow Wanda was able to hurt them, and they felt it. Magik continues to be a crazy demonic monster that appears to have very little of her soul left, if there is anything at all, as she comes face to face with Scarlet Witch. She prepares to kill her but the voice of reason stops her: Emma Frost. Vision and Havok get attacked by the Phoenixes, but Captain America and the rest of the Avengers get out while they can.
As all great stories go there is a lot of friction between both teams. The X-Men are newly reformed as a whole, except for Wolverine and Beast, who remain with the Avengers. The Phoenix Five continue to fight among themselves about whether they should kill the Avengers, while Scott remains the only (semi) level headed person who is trying to use the power as responsibly as possible. Namor says they should kill them all. Magik thinks they should kill Wanda as she is pure evil. Illyana believes the Phoenix Force came to them so that they could destroy that evil. Both Colossus and Emma are quite on their thoughts.
Cap talks with T’Challa and Stark about a solution to kill something that has been alive and destroying everything in its path for millions, if not billions, of years. Tony realizes that his miscalculation is what changed everything and is willing to do whatever it takes to stop the Phoenix. Panther says they should attempt to work on the spiritual aspect of the Phoenix Force rather than the magic or science. Cap explains that the Avengers will have to tussle with the X-Men a little bit longer as they continue to look for answers. Hope comes forward and explains that they want to stop the X-Men but she wants to save her friends. Hope then continues to bash the hell out of Wanda, explaining how much the mutant race despises her. But they are also very afraid of her. With that the Sorcerer Supreme has an idea that could keep Wanda safe since she is obviously the number one target.
The concept works as the X-Men are shocked to find Wanda is in three different places at once. But the X-Men aren’t as dumb as the Avengers think, especially a very determined Scott Summers who decides that Wanda needs to be contained no matter what the trick is. Eventually, the real Wanda is revealed as Namor is face to face with Scarlet Witch. She utters the words “Go away”. Namor breaks up into pieces and returns to Utopia, obviously frustrated as sweat drips off his face in anger. Namor and Summers have words once again about how the X-Men are winning, slowly reducing the Avengers to fear. Namor tells Cyclops he makes a fine leader but failed as a ruler.
Just as Stark realizes the similarities between Wanda and the Phoenix Force, Iron Fist and Lei Kung show up and decide they are going to train Hope, which we kind of already knew would happen thanks to New Avengers. But that just goes to show how Avengers vs. X-Men has done a great job of being a solo book without needing the tie-in books for the event to make sense. Frost confronts Namor about agreeing with him rather than Summers, right before she kisses him.
One thing that I have to pat the entire AvX team on the back for is creating two groups who have a disagreement and for using the past five years worth of agony to bring them to the brink of war. Captain America is the epitome of heroism and you always want to root for him. But the writing team has done such a stellar job of creating this animosity between the two teams that your torn between both sides. That is extremely rare in comics these days. The Avengers were so quick to dismiss Wanda back in Avengers vs. X-Men #0 yet now she seems like she is back on the team. I guess if you have someone who can actually hurt the Phoenix, you’d want them on your side regardless of how insane they might be.
See ya next week for Avengers vs. X-Men #8