Story John Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman and Matt Fraction
Script Ed Brubaker
Penciler John Romita Jr.
Inker Scott Hanna
Colorist Laura Martin, so you know this is a big event
Letterer Chris Eliopoulos, solidifying that this is a big event
Cover Date July 2012
Look at that great cover of Captain America and Wolverine by Jim Cheung!
What Came Before :
The cosmic Phoenix Force is returning to Earth. To the Avengers, it heralds the end of the world. To the X-Men, it represents the rebirth of their species.
As both teams fought for custody of Hope Summers, the Phoenix’s choosen host, her connection with the Phoenix manifested in fire, and neither group of heroes was able to prevent Hope’s escape.
The Avengers are :
Captain America, Iron Man, Doctor Stange, Spider-Man, Iron Fist, Thing, Dardevil, Giant Man, Hawkeye, Luke Cage, Mockingbird, Red Hulk, Black Widow, Spider-Woman, Black Panther and Sharon Carter
Wolverine is in the middle, but not really
The X-Men are :
Cyclops, Namor, Emma Frost, Colossus, Magneto, Domino, Warpath, Magma, Magik, Storm, Pixie, Danger, Blindfold, Oya, Kid Omega, Angel, Genesis, Rachel Summers, Madison Jeffries, Velocidad, Loa, Surge, Sunspot and Hope Summers
I really like this opening credits page as it does tell you everything you need to know. This was the first event, I believe, where they start putting the cast up on front street like this, which made it super easy to decide if I needed to buy an issue or not.
Which of the twelve, I only not own issues 1 and 11 (I know! I reread that thing at least five times in the store to make sure that Magik or Kitty didn’t appear or were mention but they weren’t). Issue one is basically a set up issue with the Avengers, Nova and the Phoenix Force that is coming to earth.
For Captain America month, we are reviewing issues three and seven.
I do like how, knowing John Romita Jr. is doing pencils, that they don’t waste any time giving us him drawing Spider-Man and Wolverine. Wolverine was fried last issue and Spider-Man went ahead and created a web swing for himself so that he can watch Logan heal. It is a disgusting process, he says.
Spider-Man gives Wolverine a generic black spandex suit, that must have been sitting around Utopia or the Avengers brought it in their Quinjet.
I really like the Wolverine healing process, as he regrows his skin, then his hair starts coming in. Though it does beg the question of how his body knows when to stop with the regrowing of the hair. His head, I get, but how does it know to only give him the mutton chops, and not a full beard? Maybe he is able to control it on a purely preference level.
Spider-Man tells Wolverine that Cyclops has surrendered to the Avengers, Wolverine knows that can’t be right and starts running outside. He also informs him that while he was healing, that a couple hours has passed, as well as Hope has escaped.
There is an ad for Honda Civic, starting at $15,605 MSRP / 39 mpg hwy.
We see all of the Avengers and all the X-Men gathered in groups. Iron Man is telling Captain America, that they can’t just lock up the X-Men. For two reasons, they have no real crime to lock them up for and there isn’t a location that can house all of the X-Men. I like how Iron Man gives Cyclops the benefit of doubt and that this may have been why he surrendered so easily, to prove that the Avengers don’t know what they are doing.
Iron Man makes an awesome reference to the Civil War, and how he is now taking the stance Cap had there, and Cap is now in the Iron Man position of wanting to lock everyone up – for their own good, naturally.
Dr. Strange comes over to the X-Men side, holding Magik, he confirms that she is okay, only knocked out. Wolverine shouts to the Avengers, are you blind!?! Wolverine comes at the X-Men, claws popped. Cap has to restrain him, as it makes no sense. Avengers don’t kill their own prisoners. With this, and a smirk, Cyclops gives the command and they all teleport away.
Then Dr. Strange is revealed to be Magik, and she opens a stepping disc and teleports the X-Men away. Leaving behind Magik slowing turning into Dr. Strange. It is awesome!
I love how Magik was becoming popular before this, becoming part of the big team but this series really put her on the map.
Dr. Strange has to confess that Magik beat him, as she teleported the two of them into her realm, Limbo and showed him who is the real master. I wonder if he brought this up when she came to him for training – or did she go farther into his past?
Now Cyclops has a head start on finding Hope.
From here, the comic and the series, for a time, really opens up.
At Long Beach, the X-Men arrive. Cyclops tells Emma to hide them from the onlookers, which of course Emma has already done so. I so miss Cyclops and Emma as a couple, they really were the ideal fictional couple – two great characters, that once paired, both bring out different aspects of each other and both become better characters in their own right.
Cyclops has to tell Magneto that he is playing this as it goes. Namor states that they clearly need Cereberus, which is both funny and awesome. Namor goes to those senior staff meetings that Cyclops has, but why would he pay attention or learn the name of the tracking device. It clearly has a silly name and calling it what it is, isn’t the worst thing. Danger still corrects him, Cerebra – which might be the last remaining Morrison contribution that is still around, that we refer to it as Cerebra instead of Cerebro – but I’m not sure when was the last time someone needed it. Currently, Cyclops uses the news to locate new mutants and Wolverine has the school, so new mutants come to him.
The only Cerebra not at Utopia, is at the Jean Grey School, and Wolverine isn’t going to hand it over. They know where his loyalty lies now.
The problem is that Hope is destined to host the Phoenix. The X-Men know dman well what could happen if and when the Phoenix takes a human host (and a red headed lady, at that). Cyclops is hoping that the Phoenix will not destroy Earth but reignite the mutant gene that Wanda did away with at the end of House of M (which this series works as a conclusion of that story – vague spoilers!).
The Avengers problem is that the Phoenix has destroyed several planets on its way to Earth so that doesn’t make them happy, so they believe the Phoenix is a threat.
Emma wonders if there are any X-Men at the Jean Grey School who would help them out. Cyclops believes he has one that would work.
San Francisco, which is close to my heart as my wife lived there for a while – seven years! When the X-Men were based in San Francisco proper, I would show her the establishing shots and the artists did a good job of making those locations look like the Bay Area. Then they moved to Utopia, off the coast of San Francisco, and the establishing shots stopped.
In San Francisco, Hope is on the run. She finds some supplies for her wrist gauntlet – that looks like the Pip Boy from Fallout 3. Hope comments to herself that her training with Cable should start paying off. She looks at a glass and her reflection is that of the Phoenix bird and she runs off. She is now looking for something that flies. We don’t see it this issue, as this her only scene but she finds a jetpack that Cyclops used during the Dark Avengers / Utopia creation crossover, and it is the best thing Hope Summers ever does.
In New York City, at Avengers Tower – I can’t recall what makes them stop using the tower but it is still the headquarters of the Avengers. Wolverine and Captain America are talking to Rachel through a video monitor. Poor Rachel, this entire series deals with the Phoenix, and she is treated as an afterthought. She was able to host the Phoenix for a decade with very little issues or concerns. Though this adds to my ongoing theory that Marvel likes to pretend the entire 125 issue run of Excalibur never happened.
Rachel tells the two of them that Hope has no one location, but five locations. Which is clever as the number five and Hope and this series will play a factor soon. Wolverine tries to talk down to her, and she tells him she knows how to use Cerebra. Captain America tells Wolverine to drop it, now is the time for action.
Rachel then telepathically tells Cyclops, that she has given Wolverine some false information. Which is nice, as Cyclops and Rachel, even by 2012, still haven’t had much interaction. I wouldn’t mind having seen the scene where those two actually talk – as that is an actual moment. Did she need much convincing, did he hesitate when asking her a favor – and to betray her side of the Schism?
Another character JRJR is known for is Daredevil, who here unfortunately, has his walking cane out, in another panel, he still is walking around with it. At least it is in the upright position, but it is clearly a cane and not his billy club.
Captain America tells them where the teams are being split –
Iron Man is staying at the Tower to work on his Phoenix Solution (it makes things worst)
Wundagore Mountain – Hawkeye, Red Hulk and Doctor Strange is heading there (where Wanda and Quicksilver were raised, for a time).
Tabula Rasa – Luke Cage and his team are heading to Montana!
Wakanda – Black Panther and Iron Fist are heading there (makes sense as it is Black Panther’s kingdom)
Latveria – Spider-Man and Spider-Woman (Team Arachnid! – no one calls them that) are heading to Doctor Doom’s country, which is he super cool with visitors, as long as you are not there to bother him?
Savage Land – Captain America, Wolverine, Giant Man and Sharon Carter (when has she been an Avenger?) are heading there.
None of them are heading anywhere close to San Francisco.
Captain America tells them to break and that he wants updates every hour. Odd that so few members of the teams are actually going to places. Wakanda and Latveria are small countries, sure, but they are still bigger than Delaware. Right? It isn’t like a small one stop sign, two bars type of small town.
Captain America and Wolverine are on their way to their Quinjet. Cap states Wolverine is with him, and the panel showing that just has his face. Wolverine states that is fine with him.
I point that out as Wolverine, once aboard, asks what that was about, the look between Cap and Sharon – but there is no panel, nor a look – that I can see that look. JRJR is a great artist but one would think he would have shown that panel – unless it is to show how paranoid Wolverine is being. Which I would believe except – in a few panels, he will be shown that he is correct, something is definitely up.
Captain America asks Wolverine to come with him, and we enter my favorite scene of the issue. These six pages are bathed in the coler red, the the color of the lights on the Quinjet. I guess they are like Star Trek Next Generation, and are on Red Alert. Laura Martin’s color choice here is both stunning and amazing!
This great website has the battle if you want to follow along :
Captain America confronts Wolverine, about how he scared Hope into running away. Wolverine wants to kill her as that’s the only way to stop the Phoenix – deny her a host. Cap doesn’t like that Wolverine isn’t willing to follow orders – simple ones like, hey, don’t kill any young ladies. So Cap isn’t sure he can trust him to follow orders on this leg of the mission.
Wolverine tries to defend his position, he saw the Phoenix kill the woman he loves, Jean. He knows that no hidden location will be able to stop the Phoenix from finding Hope.
Cap states that he isn’t going to stand by and let Wolverine kill a young woman. Wolverine then states that they all die if Hope lives. Captain America realizes then, that Wolverine is a savage animal that needs to be put down. He tells Wolverine “I didn’t want it to come to this” and thus, the sequence that I reread twice the day I bought it, and then reread a couple more times for this review, begins!
As much as I thought the Cyclops vs. Wolverine fight towards the end of Schism was silly (Wolverine can gut Cyclops so easily) for some reason, Captain America vs. Wolverine, sounds like an awesome idea plus the fight does not disappoint. I think it is due to Cap having a shield, so at least he can keep the claws away for a time. Cyclops’ entire strategy has to be that somewhere in the back of Wolverine’s mind, he won’t kill Scott but take him as far as he is willing to do – and not do any permanent damage.
Captain America punches Wolverine in the face, telling him that he is going to be sitting this mission out. Wolverine claws back, striking Cap’s shield, stating the hell he will.
Captain America punches Wolverine again, in the face – as it worked so well last time. Wolverine asks if Cap really believes he can beat him. Cap has no doubts – proving why he is one of the best characters Marvel has!
Then this spectacular thing happens, Wolverine shouts that Cap has no clue, then as Cap makes a move on Wolverine, Wolverine slashes the straps on the shield. Has that ever been done before? I find it so much more interesting of a thing to do to the shield itself, than be a character that either tears it apart or dents it. The straps, are the weakpoint of the shield. It feels like an obvious thing to do and yet, unique at the same time.
Wolverine then continues the assault, kicking Cap to the stomach. Cap dodges Wolverine’s next attack, causing Wolverine’s claws to get stuck in the jet’s walls.
Captain America, moving fast, grabs his shield and throws it at Wolverine’s head. Wolverine, trying to be a tough guy, asks if that is all he has.
Cap, in a rare moment of being witty and clever – states that he isn’t even close. He has the Avengers too, and with that, Giant Man big slaps Wolverine to the ground. Before that, we get a nice drawing of the cost the fight has had. Cap is bleeding from the stomach where the three claws swiped at him. He’s been through something, that’s for sure. Wolverine looks like he is getting a second wind.
Captain America shouts at Sharon, she opens the quinjet’s door and Cap hits Wolverine upside his face with the shield. I guess that was Sharon’s main role, he couldn’t have a fellow Avenger do it, he needed SHIELD’s help. Just looked it up, she is a member of the Secret Avengers. But don’t tell anyone.
Finally, Giant Man big boots Wolverine and he goes out of the door. I wonder if Wolverine thought back on this when he had to go back in time to kill Hank Pym in Age of Ultron. That Wolverine, he is all about the long play.
Wolverine lands in snow. Which could mean he is in Antarctica, as they were headed to the Savage Land, or that they purposely went someone with a snow landscape and now they are heading to the Savage Land. I suspect that he is in Antarctica.
Sharon is concern for Cap, he tells her that he is only winded, he doesn’t need to go to the medical bay like she wants.
Issue ends with Wolverine stating aloud (and to himself, probably) that Captain America is an old fashion fool and that it is all up to himself now, as he tries to make way through the snow that is up to his knees. Could thing he has that healing factor, as that seems like Captain America left him for dead. But that’s what the X-Men did to Gambit at the end of Uncanny X-Men 350, leaving him in the snow of Antarctica, so maybe its a comic book thing.
There is a notice of a new app by Marvel, Marvel AR. We just got newer phones. I now have a LG Optimus Zone, which is not compatible with this app. The entire reason I wanted an Android, was to finally experience the Marvel AR. Maybe next year’s phone.