Story Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and Jonathan Hickman
Script Matt Fraction
Pencils Olivier Coipel
Inks Mark Morales
Colors Laura Martin
Letters Chris Eliopoulos
Cover by Jim Cheung
Cover Dated September 2012
What Came Before :
The Phoenix Force has arrived! Tony Stark built a “Phoenix Killer” suit of armor to stop the potentially cataclysmic cosmic entity, instead he fragmented it, causing portions of the force to inhabit in X-Men Cyclops, Magik, Colossus, Emma Frost and Namor!
In the days since, the Phoenix Five have been on a mission to reshape the world, destroying armaments, raising crops, purifying water. However, there are still those who don’t trust the all-consuming nature of the Phoenix Force. The Avengers launch a mission to kidnap Hope, believing that she still holds the secret to the Phoenix Force’s power.
The X-Men disrupt their plans, and just as it looks like the war will start anew, the Scarlet Witch appears, speaking of visions of a terrible future and then leaving with Hope and the Avengers. Believing the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will never allow mutants to live in peace, Cyclops makes a vow : “No More Avengers.”
The Avengers are -
Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Vision, Valkyrie, Doctor Strange, Spider-Woman, Red Hulk, Luke Cage, Mockingbird, Daredevil, Thing Giant Man, Iron Fist, Black Panther, Wolverine, Beast, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, She-Hulk and Sharon Carter
With them are -
Hope Summers, Lei Kung and Black Panther (Shuri)
The Phoenix Five are -
Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus, Magik and Namor
The X-Men are -
Magneto, Warpath, Domino, Sunspot, Magma, X-Man (Madison Jeffries’ picture), Psylocke, Dr. Nemesis, Danger, Boom Boom, Velocidad, Transonic, Surge, Armor, Gambit, Iceman, Angel, Havok and Polaris.
While doing the review for issue three, I saw that Captain America is on the cover to issues four and eight as well. To let you in on the process for picking which 14 comics to do for these Event Months, at least one aspect. I go to my cover gallery of my collection, over at comicbookdb, and I look for all covers that I can clearly see Cap on. Also, which covers had the shield, as then, if you see that, Cap isn’t that far behind. If you ever see your cover gallery, they are done in a four by five grid, so not the largest images. In this case, I overlooked them, thus, they are not on the list. The list is plenty long enough, so I won’t be adding to it with those. There are other steps to the process, but that is the biggest step, after choosing the character.
The Phoenix Five are all powerful and super intimidating, with how their word balloons don’t leak cosmic fire, they explode with it!
The Avengers are hiding, which Cyclops enjoys but Scarlet Witch showed up last issue, and her power somehow hurts the Phoenix Five. So now Cyclops wants to seek her out and take her off the board. Plus, she undid the mutant race with a sentence fragment – which is an awesome line, I wonder how long Fraction sat on that one.
Magik has located the Avengers. She along with Warpath, Nate Grey, Gambit, Havok and Polaris are on their way.
Colossus does nothing with his Phoenix powers, he sits around and watches.
Captain America throws his mighty shield but Polaris reflects it.
Captain America shouts, Avengers — Scramble! Which is another good line, which makes sense with Fraction on script.
Gambit tries to talk to Iron Fist and gets a shut up in return. Danny can probably take that accent for only so long.
Spider-Woman venom blasts Warpath.
Tony Stark is in the command center. He tells Wanda to focus her power, as he needs to collect data on how her power relates to the Phoenix.
The half page of Wanda, reminds me that Coipel drew House of M, so he gets to draw her again here.
On the next page, Magik gets her own half page panel. She looks magnificent. Of the Phoenix Five, her new costume is my favorite with Cyclops’ a decent second. If he wasn’t wearing a red thong over his pants, it would be a closer second. What’s the alternative? Red thong, but no pants?
Magik wants to kill the Scarlet Witch, in the name of the mutant race. It really is something Wanda needs to keep having thrown in her face, no matter how Marvel tries to distance her from the Decimation.
Havok and Polaris take out Vision, Wanda’s former husband, thus she gets unfocused with rage.
Once Magik collapses, Emma arrives. She calls Wanda, the murderer of the mutant race. Captain America wants an emergency evacuation.
By the time Doctor Stange arrives, Hawkeye has jumped at Emma. He fires an arrow with a big explosion. Emma is not thrilled by this, and straight up sets him on fire!
Cyclops is not pleased, the end goal is to work together to make the world better. Emma states she had no intention to kill Hawkeye. She immediately started healing him. Namor believes they should just kill anyone who gets in their way.
Cyclops tells him, that they are shutting the Avengers down at every turn, there is no reason for such measures.
Namor shouts that this isn’t a gang fight, it is war. This is when I realized that Namor is as outside the X-Men as it gets. He spent some time with Xavier in the Illuminati, but as an equal. Xavier was never an ideal or any sort of guidepost.
Magik speaks up. She is under the impression that they might have this power to take Wanda out as she seems to be the only person who can hurt them.
Cyclops is using the X-Birg to hold prisoners. He claims this is a rescue mission, not a war.
Wakanda. Cap is trying to rally. They need wins to keep morale going. Tony tries to make a joke, and Cap shuts him down. If it wasn’t for Tony, the Phoenix Five won’t even be a thing right now. A fact, I wouldn’t let Tony forget, even three years later.
Though in Gillen’s Uncanny run, he reveals that the Five Lights that will make up Generation Hope, would have been part of the Phoenix along with Hope. Unit is the character who tells this information. He already saw happen once, he wanted this time to see what happens when the wrong five out the power. So Tony is only largely to blame.
Tony needs more data, and Black Panther is there to also analyze the information. Cap leaves disgusted.
Black Panther looks over Tony’s plans for his next Anti-Phoenix armor. Who ever pilots it when confronting the Phoenix would surely die.
Black Panther smacks Tony, like Tony was a bitch. In the dialogue, Tony implies it was a sucker punch but the art and lettering tells a different story. SMAK is definitely a smack and Black Panther’s arm after the follow through, is in a slap position instead of a punch position.
Black Panther believes science can only go so far, they might have to mix it with magic. Tony is not happy, but he failed and now the Phoenix Five are terrorizing them, so he should shut up.
Cap gives the rest of the Avengers a set rep. The plan is to send out Wanda when one of the five shows up. Doctor Stange brings out Enchantments of Ikonn, who wears this will appear in the form of the Scarlet Witch. Strange states that they are to be used selectively and only under extreme circumstances.
Cap has a team of Sharon Carter, Luke Cage, Daredevil and Spider-Man. Colossus, Magma, Sunspot, Psylocke and Danger show up. Luke Cage gets dragged into a portal, screaming out for Captain America. The screams will probably haunt Cap’s thoughts for days. As soon as Luke Cage is in the portal, Cap tells Sharon to wear the enchantment.
Sharon is the worst, as she can’t mirror Wanda’s powers in the least. The appearance of Wanda is enough to scare Colossus into calling for reinforcements.
The Ukraine, was not familiar with the country having the need for the ‘the’ before it. Turns out, there is a Scarlet Witch there, too.
The Artic Circle, has one.
The Pacific Ocean, has the real Wanda standing up.
I like the implication that Doctor Stange told them to only use image spell for dire situations, and it seems like everyone pretty much used it as soon as any X-Men showed up. At least attempt a fight.
Namor fights Wanda. Doctor Stange, Thing and Mockingbird all teleport back to Wakanda along with Transonic slipping in at the last second. She will be the Avengers first prisoner.
Wanda powers up, and does the House of M brick separation spell, making Namor break apart. He makes it back to Utopia, not pleased.
I thought Cyclops’ red thong over the pants was the worst design of the Phoenix Five suits, but Colossus is barely wearing a skirt / loincloth hybrid. He has always suffered from having suits that only look good once he is armored up. His suits would look silly on a hanger.
Namor is way out for blood, and has no taste for how slow he is taking things. Going as far as to claim that Cyclops is a fine leader, but poor ruler.
Tony believes there is a connection between the Phoenix Force and Wanda’s Chaos Magic. Iron Fist introduces Tony to his fellow Immortal Weapon, Lei Kung – the Thunderer. They want to take Hope to K’un Lun and give her Phoenix fighting training there. Tony wonders if they can all go.
Namor is by himself brooding. Emma shows up, and we get another glimpse of their on again flirtation that they keep happening into when Cyclops isn’t around and once when he was around.
Emma reminds Namor how Scott is an actual boy scout, so make world changing decisions are new to him. Emma knows where Transonic is, thus she knows where the Avengers are. They make out.
Captain America reconfirms that they can travel between the two planes of existence. Thunderer states they can. Black Panther is in the process of moving all the equipment to the magical city.
One of the Wakandan soldiers comes with grave news. The lakes are rising and a tidal wave approaches. Cap knows what that means.
Issue ends with a double page splash – literally – has Namor declares WAR! as a tidal wave crashes unto Wakanda. People are for sure dead.