The Avengers’ recent embrace of the Phoenix Force shows that 2012’s huge crossover between Avengers and X-Men ultimately didn’t matter.
Warning! Slight spoilers for Avengers # 46 go ahead!
The massive crossover of 2012 Avengers vs. X-Men It divided fans as much as it did Marvel heroes, but the publisher seems to be acknowledging that the event ultimately didn’t have much of an impact on their universe. While at least Captain America still remember the battle for him Phoenix Force, did not stop him from later fighting for the cosmic entity and letting his host join the Avengers.
Avengers vs. X-Men It begins with Earth’s mightiest heroes sensing that the Phoenix Force is heading towards Earth. Believing that he seeks to possess Hope Summers, who at the time was considered the mutant messiah, the Avengers are determined to prevent this powerful force of cosmic destruction from reaching out and threatening all life on Earth. When Captain America leads a squad of Avengers to the mutant island of Utopia to take Hope into protective custody, the mutant leader Cyclops refuses and war breaks out between the two teams. The Phoenix eventually ends up possessing five X-Men, who reshape the world in his image of perfection. Cyclops becomes the Dark Phoenix and kills Professor Xavier before a united team of X-Men and Avengers finally defeats him and frees the world from the Phoenix.
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The Phoenix didn’t stay away forever, and a recent history arc in Avengers saw different heroes compete in a tournament to become its new host. In the end, Phoenix chose Maya Lopez, also known as Echo, as his new host. On Avengers # 46 by Jason Aaron, Javier Garrón, David Curiel and Cory Petit, Captain America and Black Panther are testing the new Phoenix as well as the new Starbrand. Cap is concerned about letting the newly powered Echo enter the field and says, “Maya, while you’ve been a worthy Avenger before, you now wield a power that I once went to war for, to keep it off Earth.“Starbrand points out,”Looks like you lost that war.“Captain America overlooks this and reiterates that he has reservations about keeping Maya on the team. Black Panther says they should use these two ancient powers, adding that Steve already allowed them to join his team during the Heroes reborn event.
The brief exchange highlights the ultimate futility of the entire event. While Cap admits he has reservations, his protests don’t get over a rather polite conversation with Black Panther about why Maya maybe shouldn’t go out on the field. This is a man who believed that the Phoenix was so dangerous that he was willing to risk his life and the lives of all his fellow Avengers to prevent it from reaching Earth. If you’re willing to take part in a tournament to become your new host, and then you’re not trying to stop Echo from entering Avengers Mountain and possibly joining the team, then why did they fight in the first place? If he had taken the same approach in 2012 and calmly expressed his concerns, a lot of chaos and destruction could have been avoided.
At the time of its launch Avengers vs. X-Men received mixed reviews. Many believed that the characters were too fast to rush into violence, and that the entire event was really an excuse for many scenes of superheroes hitting each other. Few people consider it one of their favorite stories. At the end of the day, the crossover didn’t really matter and everything that happened in it has been reversed. The Avengers and the X-Men are getting along now (for the most part), Cyclops is a hero again, Professor X came back to life, and despite Captain Americareservations, the Phoenix is on his way to becoming a key member of the Avengers.
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