Marvel kicked off their latest Big Event with a virtual press conference yesterday where the team behind the new Avengers versus X-Men title joined in. Like many fans, I too am leery of each “next big event” the Big 2 put out every few months. But I can say in this case, I was excited!
At long last we see the return of the Phoenix Force and Scarlet Witch, with a conflict that pits Earth’s mightiest heroes against mutant kind. Of course a lot of things were left unanswered by the powers that be at Marvel, but they gave enough info to get fans geared up for what’s to come. The presser included Marvel’s Senior Editor Nick Lowe, Editor in Chief Axel Alonso, Tom Breevort, Avengers editor and the AvX writing team: Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker, Brian Michael Bendis, Jonathan Hickman and Jason Aaron.
Tom Breevort addressed fans concerns about the overwhelming amount of cross-overs, tie-ins, and huge events Marvel has had over the years. He said that Marvel is “very sensitive to people who feel shell shocked to the big events” and that Marvel will be limiting the tie-ins almost exclusively to X-Men and Avengers titles.
Of course, with X-Men and Avengers being Marvel’s top sellers, expect a plethora of books to add to your pull list. Still, the main title will be focused on twelve issues and shouldn’t leave too many people with broken banks.
One title that won’t get any fall out from is the Avengers Assemble book, which was created with Avengers movie-goers in mind. Avengers editor Tom Brevoort said, “The reason we launched this was to have a nice, clean, easy, one stop place people can come and get their Avengers fix.”
Jason Aaron and Axel Alonso broke the news many people were waiting to hear. What role would the Phoenix play in this series? Aaron talked about how the series plans to handle the Phoenix in a way that honors what writers have done before, but they want to make it accessible for new readers as well, “You don’t need to know the whole story of the Phoenix, you wont have had to read the Jean Grey / Dark Phoenix saga.” This will be a new take on the Phoenix, he said.
Alonso went on to say that with the Phoenix force barreling towards Earth, “all signs point that it will head to a host with green eyes and red hair.” Hope Summers’ connection with Jean Grey, the Phoenix and even the Scarlet Witch will be answered in this new event.
Another story line that plays directly into AvX is the underrated Avengers: Children’s Crusade, where we have seen the rather lackluster return of the Scarlet Witch. Breevort said the last two issues of Children’s Crusade will deal with how the Avengers, the X-Men and the world sees Wanda’s return. But most importantly, how Wanda sees herself and how she will go forward from this point.
Fans had a chance to chime in with questions, and we got a bit more insight to whole we’ll see take part in the conflict:
- Bendis told viewers that Storm will be forced to make a decision between her mutant family and her membership in the Avengers.
- Matt Fraction says Hawkeye is “absolutely a big part” in the event.
- Johnathon Hickman says the Fantastic Four will be involved somewhat, but not front and center characters,
- Brubaker responded to a fan’s question if Ms. Marvel and Psylocke will have a part in things, and he confirmed both will be in the series.
- Nova will make an appearance in the first book, and Marvel has big plans for him.
- Bendis talked about the role S.H.E.I.L.D. will play and the possibility of a new peace keeping force when all of this is over.
It looks like Marvel has a lot of plans in store for us next year!
Avengers versus X-Men launches in April 2012.
You can check out all the info Marvel has over here: http://marvel.com/avx