Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wolverine and the X-Men by Jason Aaron issues #9-10

Major crossover event alert! The truth is I'll be reading the collected graphic novel for Avengers vs. X-Men by January 2016 but it's great to read issues about it in Aaron's title right now. Or is it? From what I understand AVX is like a glamorized wrestling match between the two superhero teams and it's sort of just as cheesy but mostly mildly annoying because the narrative and the branched-out side-stories caught in it have been lacking whatever excitement the concept was trying to live up to. Much like the mutant decimation story arc for House of M, the threat of the Phoenix Force is real and the Avengers are determined to prevent it at all cost. The AVX story has aftermath effects for Brian Michael Bendis' The Uncanny X-Men and All-New X-Men where we see Scott Summers battling demons after his murder of Professor X while under the cosmic influence of the Phoenix. So, basically, my reviews of the crossover issues here in WAXM will never be spoiler-free because I will be referencing current events in the MARVEL NOW! roster in line with this story. Suffice to say, I'm both nervous and intrigued how Aaron will write his share of the AVX, and I sure hope his signature humor, and artists Chris Bachalo and Nick Bradshaw's fantastic visual work can make it interesting for me. WAXM hasn't disappointed me in any way yet. I hope it doesn't start.

Issues 9-10 are essentially the rising action part of the narrative. Wolverine was both approached by Captain America and Cyclops in said respective issues. Cap enlists Logan's help to make sure the Phoenix Force doesn't take human form on earth and that candidate was of course Hope Summers, the mutant messiah who was focal in the arcs Messiah Complex and Second Coming, the latter of which is one of my all-time favorite X-Men major stories ever. Beast and Wolverine have a serious discussion afterwards concerning young Hope, and how Beast warns Wolverine sternly that she's a kid but Wolverine resigns himself to the reality that if she becomes a receptacle for the Phoenix, he has no other choice but to kill her, much like the same decision he made with Jean Grey, the woman he loved deeply, when she became Dark. He was unsuccessful back then and he sure as hell won't be now this time around. As if on cue, Scott Summers dropped by to dissuade him from joining the Avengers. Emma and Kitty--who never trusted one another--get to verbally pick on each other as Logan and Scott went somewhere to have a private discussion. It occured to me that WAXM happened right after the falling-out within the established group from Whedon's stellar title The Astonishing X-Men, and that Wolverine cut ties with Scott because of many disagreements on how to run things about mutant diplomacy or meritocracy or whatever stubborn perspective they just cannot compromise in. 

In the end, Wolverine went away and was joined by Kitty, Iceman, Rogue, Rachel Grey and Gambit to form the Jean Grey School while Scott, Emma, Ilyana and some other stayed in Utopia. That has worked well for some time....until now. Because now the Phoenix Force is about to crash into Earth, and Scott was hoping to control it--to seize Hope before the Avengers and use the Phoenix power to populate the world with mutants again. And he offers Wolverine a chance to stand with him. Logan doesn't like that plan. He doesn't believe the Phoenix can be controlled, and rightfully so. He thinks Scott is both arrogant and foolish enough to think that he can. Scott counters that Logan will be betraying the entire mutant race by siding the Avengers because in doing so he is depriving their race's fighting chance to repopulate. Putting Logan in a tight spot like that is a douchey move for Scott but these are desperate times. 

Hope has managed to elude everybody and no one knows where to locate her. Meanwhile, Gladiator of the Shi'ar Empire travels to Earth to save his son from the oncoming Phoenix Force while he also ordered the empire to apply the Death Commandos which I think has something to do with ensuring the death of the future host of the Phoenix Force which is no other than Hope. What I have to wonder now is if they are going to target Rachel Grey and Quentin Quire as well who are possible candidates to receive the Phoenix too. 

I guess I'm going to find out in the next issues.


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