Comic events are always teased to be on the verge of changing everything. AVENGERS VS. X-MEN set out to be an ambitious crossover event that would top all previous ones put out by Marvel. While not the entire Marvel Universe was involved (the Fantastic Four must have been busy), many characters were pulled in and forced to fight against other heroes.
With the return of the Phoenix Force, it was clear that it would be bad news. Along with that, was the possibility of major changes happening. Being true to their vision, Marvel has made some changes to the Marvel Universe. Some are big and others will at least provide interesting stories in the coming months.
There will be some spoilers for AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #12. You will want to be sure to read the issue to witness the big changes happening for yourself.== TEASER ==
The Return of Nova (no, not that one)
AVENGERS VS. X-MEN kicked off with the INFINITE issue showing a new Nova Corps member, Sam Alexander, racing towards and arriving on Earth. Actually, he was first seen in last years POINT ONE issue by Loeb and McGuinness. As he crashed onto Earth in issue #1 and gave the warning that the Phoenix Force was coming, he hasn't been seen since. He does make a glorious return here. His involvement is minimal as there are so many other characters in the fight. He might not be Richard Rider but it was a glorious sight to see his entrance here.
The Return of Jean?
In the midst of the fight, Cyclops gets closer and closer to becoming consumed by the Phoenix Force. He begins to contemplate all his recent acts, including the pain and suffering he's caused. This calls out to his human side as he begins to feel extreme remorse over everything. As the fire surrounds him, a familiar figure walks towards him telling him he needs to stop.
Whether or not this is actually Jean could be debated. Scott did have a lengthy conversation with her in the second INFINITE comic but that was more Scott talking with the ghost/memory of Jean. Jean's essence residing in the Phoenix Force could be possible but it could also have been the Phoenix Force, still influenced by its time with Jean, that called out to Scott.
Hope Fulfills Her Mission
What the heck is Hope's reason for existing? Since she first appeared in MESSIAH COMPLEX, she was destined for greater things. Bishop was determined that she was the cause of his horrific childhood in the future. She later became the leader of the Five Lights but that quickly didn't amount to too much. It was then determined that she was destined to be the host of the Phoenix Force. With the defeat of Cyclops, the power does go to her. What she does with that will change the Marvel Universe.
Cyclops' Supporters are Being Hunted
Another area that will lead to some debate is the fate of the Phoenix Five. Cyclops willingly gives himself up and admits to having blood on his hands. As he has a conversation with Captain America in his Ruby Quartz prison cell, Cap mentions Scott having a long list of crimes. As Scott proclaims his willingness to take full responsibility, Cap mentions his "fellow renegade X-Men" are still in hiding. Those mutants, the members of the Phoenix Five, Magneto and others, are now WANTED until they turn themselves in or are found.
Steve mentions that the Phoenix Force is also to blame and that he was at fault for not doing more for mutants but those on the run are supposed to turn themselves in. It might seem unjustified but there were countless lives that were lost as a result of the havoc caused by the Phoenix Force. Whether or not they should be held accountable is up to someone else to decide.
A New Avengers Team
We now from the Marvel NOW! news that we will see a new team of Avengers comprising of members of both the Avengers and X-Men. The upcoming UNCANNY AVENGERS title will see this mix unfold. This could mean Steve is trying to stay true to his word in doing more for mutants. As sanctioned Avengers, he's making a statement that mutants can be trusted and don't have to be feared. Having several on an actual Avengers team will mean better PR for them. Mutants and the X-Men won't necessarily be seen as something to fear and a group that doesn't feel the need to answer to anyone besides themselves.
This is the big one. The Marvel Universe changed when Scarlet Witch said, "No more mutants." With the popularity of the X-Men franchise, it was surprising that it's taken this long to figure out a way to revert that decision. With new mutants reappearing across the Marvel Universe, this will bring both good and bad ramifications. There will now be an even bigger need for the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. These new mutants will need to learn or re-learn how to use their powers. There will likely be new mutants that will use their powers for personal gain. In other words, we're likely to see evil mutants pop up as well.
This isn't everything that happened in the issue. Twelve issues may not have been necessary. It did provide the opportunity to give scenarios for the battle threads but most agree this could have been executed in a quicker fashion. Now that these and the other developments are in place, the Marvel NOW! world will begin a new era for the heroes.