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Avengers vs. X-Men #10 Review

Review by Paul Bowler

AvX #10 Bradshaw Variant

With the help of Storm and Professor X, the Avengers mount a daring rescue mission to free their fallen comrades from the hellish prison Magik has created within a volcano in the Verkhoyansk Mountains of Russia. The Avengers breach the defences of the Limbo realm and save their friends, beating back the hordes of lethal Hell Worms, but as Colossus and Magik block their escape route Spiderman valiantly faces the Mutants alone to give the Avengers time to escape to K’un Lun.

Spiderman is beaten to a bloody pulp by Colossus, yet his quips and banter are enough to turn the siblings against one another, and as Magik and Colossus fight their powers cancel each other out – causing the Phoenix Force to leave their bodies. Having left Emma Frost struggling to control the dark side of her Phoenix Powers in Ethiopia, Cyclops soars across the world to K’un Lun where he appears in the sky, demanding that Hope returns to Utopia!

With time now rapidly running out for the Avengers as Cyclops attacks their stronghold in the mystical city of K’un Lun, it falls to Iron Fist to hold off the X-Men’s leader to buy Hope enough time to flee and get help from The Thunderer. As Iron Fist falls before Cyclops might Iron Man enters the fray, but even his armoured form is unable to withstand the devastating onslaught of the Phoenix Force. Back at the Verkhovansk Mountains in Russia Captain America’s team tend to Spiderman’s wounds, but as they prepare to teleport back to K’un Lun,  Professor X decides to remain behind – determined to do what he can to help free Emma and Scott from the dark influences of the Phoenix Force.

Iron Fist helps Hope as Cyclops attacks K’un Lun

In K’un Lun Hope has found the Thunderer and together they ride the fabled dragon Shao Lao to attack Cyclops. This creature is the source of K’un Lun’s power, carrier of the Iron Fist energy, and its flaming breath is enough to bring Cyclops to his knees – but the beast is young; and unable to fend off Cyclops’ counter attack. When Cyclops tries to take Hope she suddenly unleashes the power she has unwittingly absorbed from the Dragon and knocks Scott senseless. As she tries to escape Hope runs into the Scarlet Witch and the Avengers. Wanda uses every reserve of her power to fight Cyclops but this time her hex energy is no match for the enraged Mutant, but as all seems lost, Hope steps in and uses the power she has also absorbed from Wanda – combined with the Chaos Fist – to deflect Cyclops’ attack and blasts him away in a ball of searing agony that teleports him into the surface of the moon.

All the remaining X-Men on Utopia have now been broken to Emma Frosts will; even Magneto has been forced to succumb to her omnipotent power. Yet as the Watcher silently observes Cyclops return to Earth, the master of magnetism issues a desperate telepathic plea for help to his old friend Charles Xavier…

Writer Ed Brabaker ramps up the action in Avengers vs. X-Men #10 as Hope Summers finally confronts Cyclops in a battle that will prove to be the biggest turning point in the series to date. It has been a long time in coming, but it would seem that all of Hope’s training in K’un Lun has finally paid off. Having been sidelined for the last few issues by the Scarlet Witch, it’s good to see Hope taking centre stage in this series again…

The fight scenes are superbly choreographed by Adam Kubert pencils and John Dell’s inks, although the battle initially feels a little one sided, you get a sense of just how the Phoenix Force has managed to corrupt Scott and the terrible lengths he is willing to got to in order to see his vision of Xavier’s dream enforced upon the world.

It is perhaps Emma Frost’s subjugation of the X-Men still on Utopia that is the most disturbing aspect of this story. While Cyclops has still managed to hold onto some semblance of his ideals, Emma has given herself to the dark side of the Phoenix Force, and it is quite shocking to see her humiliate Magneto and her fellow team mates.

Iron Man vs Cyclops!

Avengers vs. X-men Infinites #10 is also available to digital customers. This digital tie-in uses animation to enhance the comic book experience. In a story Ed Burbaker and Mark Waid we get to see Iron Man, Beast, and the Scarlet Witch as they run complex virtual reality simulations to find out if it would be possible to take out the hosts of the Phoenix Force. The art and animation is as fluid as you might expect from the format, and this instalment provides more background to Hope’s training in the events leading up to Cyclops’ attack on K‘un Lun..

Avengers vs. X-Men #10 certainly appears to set up a final struggle for power in the ranks of the X-Men as Cyclops and Emma look set to battle for control of the Phoenix Force. Now that Hope is ready to realize her destiny, the final battle is almost upon us, and AvX looks set to deliver a thrilling conclusion to this action packed series.