Michael Moccio ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Ever since the first X-Men movie in 2000, up until 2012 with the release of the Avengers, super heroes have been getting more and more renown. Now, the majority of the world knows about the team of mutants gathered by the erudite Professor X, just as they know about the team of heroes gathered under the leadership of Captain America.
The Avengers was made in 1963 under Stan Lee with the original roster of the team consisting of: Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man, and Wasp. Captain America would join the team in the fourth issue, replacing Hulk as a ‘founder’. Shortly thereafter, Lee created another series focusing on young teenagers with mutations that gave them incredible powers—the X-Men, consisting of: Cyclops, Ice-Man, Beast, Marvel Girl, and Angel.
Each series dealt with controversial issues and grew into flagships of Marvel Comics. The teams evolved over time, gaining new members and expanding into multiple titles. Originally a distained form of media, the comic book has started getting a new reputation from its successes, especially from the company-wide crossover events. Even the Avengers have dealt with the Justice League from rival comic company DC. Strangely, though, it wasn’t until recently that the first head-to-head combative storyline entitled Avengers vs. X-Men was released.
Though the Avengers and the X-Men have not had this sort of mash-up before, the titles haven’t been mutually exclusive. Mutants such as the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver have been members of the Avengers. The Scarlet Witch also know as Wanda Maximoff serves as a titular character in the crossover and the reason why the mutant populace dwindled to a couple hundred after she uttered the words ‘no more mutants’ and used her reality altering powers.
In the crossover, an entity known as the Phoenix Force is heading towards Earth to inhabit the body of Hope Summers. Iron Man describes the Phoenix during the event as a mass of energy that simulates that of the Big Bang. The last time the Phoenix came, Jean Grey died and almost destroyed the world as the Phoenix corrupted her. Cyclops, now leader of the X-Men, sees the Phoenix as a Messiah for the Mutant Race, a now an endangered species. However, Captain America and Iron Man, of the Avengers, believe that it’ll only bring destruction. These two conflicting viewpoints inevitably causing the teams to fight.
Marvel has done a rather ambitious event and already, the effects of which have started to ripple throughout the Marvel Universe. Wakanda—a technologically advanced country and home of Storm’s husband Black Panther—has been crippled, world hunger and violence have dropped, Cyclops was corrupted by the Phoenix Force and subsequently killed Professor Xavier.
That’s it; you read that right. Professor Xavier, a penultimate character since the beginning of the Marvel Universe, has been killed. Granted, the Professor hasn’t been in the series for awhile, but Xavier stands for something far greater than Lee would’ve ever anticipated at the beginning of the X-Men run in 1963. He’s been worked into the foundations of the Marvel Universe, guiding and mentoring for decades; his death has shaken the Marvel Universe to its core and has dealt a crippling blow to the same foundations he’s been worked into.
The final issue of Avengers vs. X-Men comes out on October 3rd, 2012 and the conclusion entitled Avengers vs. X-Men Consequences, a five-issue weekly series, debuts October 10th.
Read it: Because who doesn’t want to see the Avengers fight the X-Men?
Don’t Read it: Because you’re not into comics—that’s a discussion for another time, though.