Last year we saw the reboot of every single DC comic title, starting at issue one, for the first time since the 1930s. The reboot followed Flashpoint, a short series from spring to summer that showed us an alternate reality centered on The Flash. And that’s not even counting Marvel’s comic arc of Spider Island, in which everyone in Manhattan develops spider powers just like Spider-Man. And now this year, there is a new event series to look out for: Avengers vs. X-Men.
Just in time for the Avengers movie coming next month, there is a new all-encompassing story arc that involves most titles in the Marvel Universe pitting the uncanny X-Men against The Avengers, Earth’s mightiest heroes.
The plot follows in the wake of several other event story arcs from years past. Mutants, once a dominant force and the next step in human evolution, are now an endangered species. There are less than 200 mutants left worldwide due to a reality altering extinction event courtesy of Magneto’s daughter, the Scarlet Witch. Concurrently, the Phoenix Force, the all-consuming power source that needs a human host to come to Earth, is returning.
Last time the Phoenix Force was here one of the X-Men, Jean Grey, a powerful psychic, took it in but couldn’t control that much power. It ended up killing her. This first meeting with the Phoenix Force was its own story arc – The Dark Phoenix. The Phoenix Force is returning and looking again for a mutant host.
Cyclops, leader of the X-Men, wants to train a young adult mutant to harbor the Phoenix Force and use its intense power to restore the mutant race to glory. But the rest of the world, especially The Avengers, know that this power is too great and the entire planet would be put at risk if the Phoenix Force was allowed to take a host once more. When the disagreements escalate, it becomes an all out battle between the two super hero teams forcing everyone to choose sides. Do you stand with The Avengers, or The X-Men?
Comic book shops across the country are alive with debate as fans get the comics and follow the story, choosing sides. Posters and buttons are available that state, “I stand with The Avengers” or “I stand with the X-Men” to show support for a favorite super hero team in their time of crisis.
Personally I stand, as always, with The Avengers.
Nobody can go up against Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Spider–Man and, my personal favorite, Giant Man (aka Ant Man, aka Hank Pym) all at once. Even the X-Men will falter.
In addition, Marvel debuts its new augmented reality – AR – app on smartphones to bring the panels to life with behind the scenes looks, interviews, concept art, character bios and even animatics. This will help introduce new readers to the characters and give added bonus to those who already know and love the comics. Download the app and read more about the AR app in the first issue of Avengers vs. X-Men.
This biweekly publication has many tie-ins, so head down to your local comic shop and they will set you up with everything you need to read to fully immerse yourself in the story.