STORY: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman, and Matt Fraction
ARTWORK: John Romita Jr. and Scott Hanna
In this seminal first issue, good ol’ Nova returns to Earth! Unfortunately, he’s brought omens of the returning Phoenix force, the interstellar entity that possessed Jean Grey years ago. Meanwhile, Cyclops is going a little Mommy, Dearest on poor Hope Summers, the supposed ‘Mutant Messiah’. After badgering her one too many times, Cyclops gets a face full of Phoenix. Hope’s just as surprised as the rest of them before Bendis & Co. take us back to the Avengers (meeting with the President on Capitol Hill) who immediately sense the Phoenix energy signature.
The disagreement between Marvel’s two most popular teams boils down to a lack of respect. The Avengers want to take Hope under their custody – especially after Nova’s warning – while the X-Men believe that Hope’s situation falls under their responsibility as leaders of mutantkind. Both parties have pushed the other around quite a bit in recent Marvel U history, so it makes sense that a fundamental issue like jurisdiction could be the catalyst to a massive conflict.
Being disappointed by Marvel events has left a sour taste in my mouth. Last year’s Fear Itself was so lackluster I stopped reading after two months. Even 2010’s Siege was half-baked at a measly four-issue main series. Apparently, Marvel took note with Avengers Vs. X-Men, giving readers a perfect-sized 12-issue main run, a six-issue VS. series dedicated to fights, fights, and more fights, as well as multiple tie-ins throughout the imprint.