Written by Brian Michael Bendis and Jason Aaron
Artwork by Frank Cho
For months, Marvel has been teasing it’s Avengers Vs. X-Men crossover as the event to read this summer. With a huge 12-issue main series, the all-fight companion series AvX: VS, and countless tie-in issues from across the imprint, Marvel is bringing fans an awesome event without going overboard, an issue that’s plagued crossover events – for both Marvel and DC – over the past ten years. And it all starts this week with Avengers Vs. X-Men #0, a prequel issue that features two stories about the Scarlet Witch and Hope Summers.
We start with Scarlet Witch and her fight against M.O.D.O.K. Spider-Woman and Ms. Marvel show up to lend a hand and a few words about friendship. Against Wanda’s better instincts, they all fly back to Avengers Mansion only to be greeted by Scarlet Witch’s ex-husband, Vision who wants nothing to do with her. It seems a bit odd to me that it’s been eight years since the Avengers: Disassembled story arc and seven since House of M, and loose ends from both of these events are just now being tied up. Why wouldn’t Wanda and Vision have at least seen each other before now? It might be a bi-product of Brian Michael Bendis’ writing style. Dedicating twelve issues of a series to a day’s worth of events – for example – severely hinders the ability for the entire imprint to keep a consistent timeline.
The second story focuses on Hope Summers, the mutant messiah, as explained to me by the character bio at the beginning in the issue. Holed up on Utopia, the X-Men’s island sanctuary off the coast of San Francisco, Hope has been sneaking out to fight crime and Cyclops has finally decided to approach her about it. Before I keep going, I’d like to mention the fact that Scott Summers (a.k.a. Cyclops) is supposed to be the leader of the X-Men and an inspiration for all of mutantkind. It’s been 70 years and he still has to wear a visor. Seriously? It’s actually kind of annoying that Marvel hasn’t allowed Cyclops to evolve beyond needing his visor. Anyway, Hope is set to be the next avatar for the Phoenix Force, which is hurtling through space toward Earth. Scott doesn’t want to talk about the Phoenix, due to the whole Jean being possessed by it thing, and Hope wants answers about this mysterious alien force coming to possess her body.
For fans who regularly follow Marvel’s titles, Avengers Vs. X-Men #0 is probably an integral issue that offers payoff for months of build-up, but as a jumping-in point for new readers, it fails to give enough backstory to create a narrative understandable enough to continue reading.