The comic starts off with Captain America asking an unlikely person to join their side. I have to admit, that first page where Cap's trying to sell his offer had me on the edge of my seat. I would love to see more of this character in this fight but we only have this and the next issue. It does seem that this alliance will play a big role in the Marvel NOW! atmosphere.
How long can the fighting go on? Ever since we saw the Phoenix Force bestowed upon the Phoenix Five, the instability of those in power was evident. The X-Men siding with Cyclops appeared to be following him blindly. Finally we're seeing some of the members actually thinking over what is going on. Seeing some of the characters admit they were wrong is a great way to show the characterization or humanization of them. Throughout, many of the choices were washed over. Suddenly, mutants siding with Wolverine causally jumped over to join Cyclops without much of a mention. Throw in the fact that there was so much fighting going on with random characters, these events were lost in the shuffle.
As seen on the cover, the power of the Phoenix Force is split between Cyclops and Emma Frost. That means they are each one person away from possessing the full scope of the power. If something happens to one, the last remaining will control it all.
Of course, you may have heard the big spoiler for this issue. Marvel has released the fate of one of the characters.
Even though you sort of see where this issue is going, the final pages were still a bit of a surprise. It is common sense but maybe I just never actually envisioned what it would look like. Alll of this makes you wonder how everyone is going to react to this in the Marvel Universe once this is over and Marvel NOW! begins.
It's hard to believe it took eleven issues to get to this point. There has been great moments during this series but the series has been trying to do too many things. It comes across as a little strange when we get big action scenes and then pauses with long bouts of dialogue. The dialogue is important as this series shouldn't be random fight after fight (that's what AVX:VS. is for). Seeing a two page spread loaded with a conversation between Scott and Emma kept the suspense going a bit but you would think with so much at stake, they would get down to the action. The same goes with the attempt to talk down Cyclops.
Having so many characters involved makes the fight feel more intense and gives a sense of the importance in the Marvel Universe but unfortunately there are those fights we only get glimpses of. The action might be continued in AVX: VS or in a tie-in but by that point, we'll already know the outcome. Less characters with a closer look at the great match ups would have been preferable.
For those complaining that we haven't been seeing any big outcomes or repercussions, this is the issue you've been waiting for. With only one issue left after this, the action is heating up and you can see the end is near. With the bits of information we've seen about the changes happening once Marvel NOW! begins, you can get a sense of how this series is leading up to that. There are still some unknowns that will make you want to come back for the conclusion here. Bendis is great at delivering dialogue so you know there's going to be plenty for the characters to say and Olivier Coipel's art makes this a visual treat. You can't have a comic book event like this without casualties. It's unfortunate that Marvel released a spoiler on the death but chances are word would get out regardless. The stakes have been raised. The fighting in AVENGERS VS. X-MEN just got real. You'll want to see the full battle to appreciate how it all went down.