AvX Consequences #4: Villains, It Is

Event books make money, but characterization like this is why anyone gives a damn about events.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

AvX Consequences #4

AvX Consequences is much more interesting than Avengers vs. X-Men ever was. I think we have Kieron Gillen to thank for that. While he was keeping Uncanny X-Men interesting and helping make sense of the nonsensical business during Marvel's big summer event series, now, he's tasked with the aftermath of the debacle, which is much more engrossing, because it involves studying radical changes to the characters that populate such events, and give those events whatever relevance they manage.

Gillen will be writing Iron Man shortly, so AvX:C #4 sets up something where Tony Stark visits Scott Summers in prison, saying he's expanding his horizons beyond science to try and understand the Phoenix, and he's getting Scott's help to research it. That may come into play at some point during the Shellhead run. Then, we've got Agent Brand of S.W.O.R.D. helping Magneto stay one step ahead of his pursuers, as Scott's former "Extinction Team" is half on the run, revealing to him that she's half-alien, half-mutant.

Then, it's time to catch up with the rest of the Phoenix Five. We saw last issue that Emma's lamenting the fact that she's in a common prison wearing an awful jumpsuit and considers Scott to be an idiot on some level. Now, we see Namor for the first time since he nearly wiped Wakanda off the map, as Hope comes across him while searching for leads on Cable's location amongst the undersea wreckage of Utopia. We see him struggling to maintain his formerly aloof and arrogantly regal demeanor in the face of what he's done. But his explanation seems to be that the Phoenix Force gave him his first ever lesson in humility in the face of the cosmos.

Colossus, however, has isolated himself in a Siberian cave, sculpting likenesses of his sister out of the stone walls simply so he can smash them. For more on why Piotr Rasputin now despises his former Snowflake, check out Uncanny X-Men #20.  Storm is trying to bring Peter back to answer for what he's done, but he refuses. He's got a cool metal beard, and he's deeply introspective, perhaps for the first time in his life. "I am thinking and thinking deeply. It is perhaps an endeavor I shoul have embraced earlier," he says, perhaps as a way to slough off the sheer stupidity Jason Aaron introduced in him when he was using the Phoenix power to give whales feet. His next line is more chilling, though. "The heart is a sentimental organ. I trust it no longer." This is a tremendous sea change for the character of Colossus.

Perhaps most talked about will be what Ororo encounters when she leaves that cave – Magneto, who agrees with the windrider that Piotr should be left to his own devices. Revealing that the sister Piotr wants dead is now working with him, and he summarizes this changing era for mutantkind thusly: "For a while, the hero and the villain walked arm in arm for a puprose grander than ourselves. And now that is over." When she counters that he's not a villain, his response is "Our roles are nothing more than how the times choose to cast us." Great line.

The kicker, however, is that after one more peacemaking conversation between Wolverine and Cyclops in prison, Magneto's new team – one assumes, a new Brotherhood, consisting so far of Magik and Danger and secretly Brand – is apparently poised to break Scott Summers out of prison. Cyclops in the Brotherhood.

Man, these are interesting developments. It's sad to see that the bridges between events seem more interesting than the events, but that seems to be the way it is. Fear Itself: The Fearless was more interesting than the event that birthed it, and such is the same case here. Gillen has made his case for me to read Iron Man despite the fact that my artistic nemesis Greg Land is involved, and aside from the occasional proportion issue with Colossus, Mark Brooks' work here shows he'd be a much better addition to that creative team.

It's disappointing that Gillen is managing to make me an X-Men fan just in time to see him stop writing X-Men. Let's hope the Marvel NOW X-books can rise to Gillen's game here.

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