Pencils: John Romita Jr.
This issue Avengers vs X-Men strikes out into eerily familiar territory as the clock ticks down until the arrival of the Phoenix Force. As Hope goes willingly towards what she believes is her destiny, Cyclops and his X-Men try desperately to find her so that they can help. Meanwhile, the Avengers are also searching for the mutant messiah, determined to stop her rendezvous with the Phoenix.
This issue sees our characters finally poised on the brink of the moment of truth. The Phoenix Force is only 10 hours away and Hope is doing everything she can to remain at liberty long enough to meet it. With its cliffhanger ending it looks like next issue we might finally find out whether Hope really can handle the awesome power of the Phoenix Force or whether the Avengers can manage to stop us ever finding out.
At this point I realise that we don’t actually know what the Avengers plan to do to stop the Phoenix Force joining with Hope even if they have her in custody. There are indications that Iron Man is working on some kind of weapon or technological countermeasure but seriously, isn’t it a little late in the game to still be coming up with ideas? Having spent this entire mini-series solemnly swearing that they will protect Hope from the Phoenix Force, what do the Avengers actually intend to do about it? Their team sent to meet the Phoenix Force in deep space have just had their arses handed to them; you better hope Captain America has something really spectacular tucked up his sleeve. I guess we’ll find out next issue…
My other concern is that even if they do manage to kill or somehow contain Hope, what’s to stop the Phoenix Force from defaulting back to Rachel Grey? I mean, as everyone knows, Rachel Grey has played host to it in the past, why not again? Sure, perhaps it is Hope who has sparked the Phoenix’s interest this time but if it can’t have her will it just go away? This seems like a risk that no one has taken into consideration yet. 7/10