How Avengers Vs X-Men Should Have Been

Logo of Marvel Comics

Logo of Marvel Comics (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a post I’ve been waiting to do for a while, as comic book events are now coming under intense scrutiny. Why? Comic book events are making fans shell out a ridiculous amount of money on monthly issues and weekly tie-ins, for stories that lack any emotional context and effective characterization. Sadly though, comic book events are not likely to slow down anytime soon, as they seem to generate quite a boost in sales.

My main concern with comic book events in recent times is that they are simply becoming ‘slugfests’ between the heroes and villains. The stories are often lacking emotional context, because we know whoever dies is likely to be revived in a year or two. Take 2012’s Marvel event ‘Fear Itself’. It was said that the event was to be based on the concept of fear spreading across the Marvel universe due to the rise of The God of Fear. What actually occurred was an endless series of battles between villains with hammers and heroes. At least DC have temporarily taken a step back, and rebooted most of their universe. Marvel seems to be pushing on with more and more events, which isn’t a good thing. They need a good one, and this is how I would do it.

My event would take some inspiration from the works of Grant Morrison and J. Michael Straczynski. There would be a bigger focus on ordinary civilians, as they react to the actions of the superheroes around them. One of my biggest concerns with the Marvel universe recently is the concept of the X-Men. In a universe that now contains hundreds of superheroes, why do the X-Men come under such scrutiny? The only thing that separates them from other superheroes is that they are mutants who are born with their powers, although these powers usually manifest at a later date. Why do the public react so badly to mutants, when groups like The Avengers and Fantastic 4 exist? The prejudice just doesn’t make any sense. I realise the concept of mutation might frighten the public more than other superheroes that received their powers through accidental or government means, but it’s not enough to warrant the extreme prejudice towards the mutant community.

The concept of my event is based on the human backlash towards the superhuman community. After the events of Fear Itself, the humans grows tired of their world coming under danger from superheroes and villains constantly fighting each other. There is an ever-growing feeling that the superhuman community are causing more damage than they’re worth, and that both the superhumans and the mutants need to be disbanded and arrested. It’s a similar event to Dark Reign, although the minds of the public are not influenced by PR stunts. They genuinely want rid of the superhuman and mutant communities. This would be depicted through panels showcasing the point of view from the human civilians (much like JMS’ Thor), some would be in favour of the arrests and some would be against it. The military begin arresting all super-humans and mutants, and the Asgardians are banished from Earth and told to never return. There is of course, some resistance from both communities but most surrender.

The mutant community are affected the most though. After struggling for survival for years, the event pushes Cyclops over the edge and he kills several human soldiers who try to arrest him, setting mutant/human relationships back even further. I wouldn’t want Cyclops to become the new Magneto by any means, but he’s not about to turn himself in after years of fighting for survival. This is where the event becomes a matter of X-Men Vs. Avengers. With the humans so hateful towards both communities, the main Avengers team agree to help out one last time in attempt to win back public opinion by arresting the X-Men. After a long battle between the two groups, both Steve Rogers and Cyclops hand themselves in, accepting the world doesn’t want heroes anymore.

The event’s conclusion would result in there being extreme worldwide prejudice against the superhuman and mutant groups. From the civilian point of view, I would want the humans to be portrayed as confident, and no longer dependent on superheroes. From there I would cut to an interview with Steve Rogers where he says the Avengers have to earn the public’s trust all over again, and that they will be there, if they’re needed. Following that, I would have an imprisoned Cyclops in telepathic contact with Professor X, where they wonder if mutants and humans can ever truly co-exist.

 

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