Avengers vs X-Men Review: Why I’m STILL Team X-Men

Each time I’ve read an issue of Marvel’s “biggest event of the year”  Avengers vs X-Men, I felt dirty. I feel like Tom Buchanan reading Goddard’s Rise of the Colored Empire because the themes in both are the same. In fact I’ve felt this way for too many comics I’ve been reading from the big two. But a theme in Marvel was even more blatant in the AvX storyline:

When minorities get too much power, you’ve got to put them down.

When women get real power, they forget their place. They can’t handle real power. Scarlet Witch, Jean Grey, Hope, they’re too emotional and too fragile, not like Silver Surfer, Nate Grey, Cable or Thor. Women can’t handle real power, you’ve got to put them down.

 

When blacks get uppity, you’ve got to put them down. That’s why the Avengers didn’t lift a finger to help Wakanda when Doomwar went down and we saw how Tony Stark betrayed Blue Marvel because he couldn’t be trusted with too much power. Blacks and other POCs can’t be trusted. You’ve got to put them down.

 

It’s okay to have gays as token sidekicks but if they prove to be serious players, a la Wiccan in Children’s Crusade who showcased some serious power and proved he might be a formidable contender in the sorcery game, and will quickly forget his place. Freedom Ring actually thought it was okay to be a gay superhero and an awesome one at that. He forgot his place. You’ve got to put them down.

It’s okay for mutants (the metaphor for marginalized people) to be be on the edge of extinction and be hunted and murdered. But we can’t allow them to get real power to dismantle institutional oppression and change the status quo. YOU’VE GOT TO PUT THEM DOWN!!!!!!!

For those of you who are just joining us, the series focuses on the return of the Phoenix Force, the cosmic entity of death and rebirth, as it looks for its new host, believed to be the teenage mutant Hope Summers, who will possess all of its power. Cyclops and the other X-Men want to protect her and prepare her as if she’s to be the mutant savior, while Captain America and the Avengers want her handed over to them so they can figure out what to do with her and keep the world safe from a potentially deadly fate (the return of a minority group.) —Summary courtesy of Wikipedia.

Marvel has produced some shoddy writing in its day but this might be the worst yet. In fact it makes Civil War look like A Tale Of Two Cities.

But what’s really frustrating about Marvel is that their stories have so much potential and they squander it almost without fail.

 

The fact is that The House of Ideas does indeed come up with some excellent concepts. However Marvel will consistently sabotage their own stories to maintain the status quo if said storytelling will result in character development or changing the landscape of the universe such as protagonists being unheroic or venturing the universe into unfamiliar territory.

Examples include but not limited to: Hulk being shipped off to another planet by his friends and their ship accidentally murdering his wife. And while his comrades had a legit reason for their dubious actions, rather than explore their corruption, it deus ex machina’ed that some random alien sabotaged the ship and thus all the Marvel “heroes” are still good. Scarlet Witch murdering three Avengers and wiping out mutants, only it wasn’t her fault, a bad force made her do it. Tony Stark violating the Civil Rights of metahumans (yes I know that’s a DC term but roll with me here) and minorities only he gets amnesia and doesn’t remember his crimes. To be fair the last one was probably the best play Marvel could’ve made because even now I still can’t look at Stark as anything other than a racist Nazi fascist (read Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel to see Stark’s racism at play).

The point is Marvel sabotages its great ideas maintain the status quo and maintain one dimensional characters: House of M, Civil War, World War Hulk, Children’s Crusade, Doomwar, etc. and so forth. AvX proved to be no better.

The story was sloppy and all over the place with a few flashes of brilliance. Said flashes came in a comment Rogue made which sums up the Avengers vs. X-Men conflict accurately. The Avengers were fighting to maintain the status quo, the X-Men were fighting to change it.

Of course the best point was made in this scene here:

What’s interesting that no one cared or bothered to lift a finger when mutants were on the brink of annihilation but when they suddenly get power to dismantle institutional oppression and thrive, the Avengers, champions of the Status Quo, are breaking their necks to shut them down.

I wasn’t a fan of the Phoenix Five and I’m not big on men having the Phoenix power. I liked the fact that was something exclusive for the ladies but let’s thank Tony Stark for one more failure.

And make no mistake, Wolverine is no hero. His interference with X-Men work stems from his jealousy longstanding rivalry with Scott. And has anyone else noticed how quick he is to want to murder children? He was ready to murder Hope who didn’t even have the Phoenix Force at that point. And let’s not forget this bastard nearly murdered Wiccan in cold blood as well. Yet he’s in charge of a school?

“But Denny” some of you would ask. “What about Wakanda? Wasn’t that just horrible? Shouldn’t you be outraged at the X-Men?”

HELL NO! I’m going to say the same thing to T’Challa that his momma told him when he was a young prince. THIS IS WHAT YOU GET FOR FUCKING WITH THEM WHITE PEOPLE.

Wakanda’s mandate has always been isolationism (more or less). They stay out of the affairs of others and no one interferes in their business. T’Challa decides to insert himself and his people into a war that didn’t concern him, ignore the concerns of his wife, Ororo (Storm) just so he could get involved in this nonsense. I won’t even mention how inconsistent and out of character this all was.

The Avengers want to go after Namor for crimes against Wakanda yet Doom is still walking free after his crimes committed against Wakandans in Doomwar? Again, this is why the Avengers (save for my man Luke Cage) are the REAL villains of this piece.

And what is it with Marvel lately using Wakanda as a punching bag? Oh that’s right. Uppity Africans. We’ve got to put them down.

One of the few good things Marvel did is that they finally ended that forced contrived sham of a marriage between T’Challa and Storm which was nothing more than Marvel’s Rendition of Pair Up The Negro.

And speaking of bad romances…..

To the Emma Skrull, pro-tip. You tell your boyfriend that you’re screwing another man on the side, don’t act shocked when he throws you under the bus and hands you to the police. Especially when you announce that you were plotting to do the same to him and he beat you to the punch.

This further proves my theory that this isn’t the REAL Emma Frost, who I haven’t seen since Generation X. A true player to the game, the REAL Emma Frost, wouldn’t have allowed herself to get played like Boo Boo the Fool.

Good job, Scott. You did right.

And speaking of Emma, my favorite scene was when Storm faced her and said, “Emma, there’s always something I wanted to tell you.” And goes Pikachu on her ass. Reminding everyone why Storm is the First Lady of Marvel and the baddest chick in the 616.

Respect the Goddess!!!!!

Oh and am I supposed to feel bad Xavier got killed? The guy who was in on the secret Cabal and has been manipulating and screwing over his own people for a minute.

Just when I thought I might’ve been too harsh on the Avengers, a recent issue of New Avengers showed me the error of my ways. As we learned that Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, Reed Richards, Xavier and Doctor Strange all possess them. That’s right. While they’re so busy running around telling others who should and should not have ultimate power, these straight white men are sitting here holding them in secret.

But they haven’t used them yet, you say. Think about this. They haven’t had to yet. Taking their powers out of the equation, they are still the five most powerful and connected men in the 616 universe alone. They are leaders in everything from corporations, science, magic, military, government, wealth.  Even without the gems the Avengers have been responsible and linked to every major catastrophe that has one down in the 616 in the past 10 years: Civil War, World War Hulk, Dark Reign, Skrull War, do I need to continue?

Hypocrisy much?

This is also one more reason why Marvel needs to diversify their writers and editors because as we’ve seen time and time again, most white writers are completely ignorant in the issues of civil rights and social justice.

What’s also interesting is that Scott is sitting in a jail cell for “crimes” against humanity yet Stark  is walking free.

And sorry Marvel, you’re not going to convince me that Scott is the villain of this piece. While he has lost his damn mind, he’s essentially that crazy white boy with nothing to lose and out of fucks to give and he’s possessed by the Dark Phoenix. What’s the Avengers’ excuse?

So what happened with the Phoenix Force? Avengers finally realized that hey, maybe they should let Hope possess it (like Scott pleaded them to do the whole time) the Phoenix Force and once that happens, mutants returns. In other words, had the Avengers took a seat and stayed the fuck out of grown folks business, none of this: Phoenix Five, Wakanda being attacked, Xavier getting got, would’ve happened.

In other words Scott was right. Just like Magneto was right. Just like the Original X-Man was right, Malcolm.

Here’s the thing, when you try to put minorities down, we tend to rise up and fight for our survival: BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!!!!!

So if you don’t want the war and bloodshed and mutual destruction (because at that point minorities have nothing to lose and not a single fuck to give) then, to quote Jay-Z, don’t let the necessary occur, YEP!!!!

*throws up forearms and makes the X symbol*

9 thoughts on “Avengers vs X-Men Review: Why I’m STILL Team X-Men

  1. I’ve heard about how bad that was, a great build up with a lack of pay off, gross mischaracterizations, and overall bad writing. Sounds like it was a good thing I skipped this.

    Also, would it be too much for superheroes to fight, I dunno, supervillains? Marvel started this trend YEARS ago when they became the rival to DC in the 60s, but it’s way out of hand now.

    And those opening paragrpahs.. damn powerful. I very well may need to paraphrash that when I do my duo Green Lantern review in my next episode of Brain Food. It encapsulates everything that’s wrong with most of the writing of minorities in superheroes these days.

  2. I thought I was missing out when it comes to comic books (the big two especially) since I haven’t brought one since 2002, but after reading blogs like this, I see I haven’t missed a damn thing lol.

    • Trust me, if ever you thought the 90s was bad for superhero comics, that’s nothing compared to nearly everything that’s been coming out in the past 4 years or so.

  3. Amen amen and, once again amen.

    This whole thing was one long hot mess. Go back to killing supervillains – Marvel just doesn’t handle this “moral ambiguity crap” well

  4. As a semi-off-topic aside. I hate the Avengers, I always have. They’re so simplistic and righteous and have a collective stick up their arses and have never been something I wnated to be part of (same goes for the Fantastic 4). The X-Men? I loved, more human, more nuanced, more levels, more conflict. But I didn’t even read them because of Marvel’s annoying crossover habit

  5. I enjoyed Ultimate X Men but comics tend to be as good or as bad as the person writing them. I admire Scott’s balls though.

    Yes Marvel doesn’t do moral ambiguity well. Certain issues are just black and white, not gray and gray.

  6. *slow clap*

    i was tempted to pick comics back up by this plot [this might be the ONLY time i'm thankful that SSDI pays so little...]
    then a read a copy of one in a local comic shop. to be honest, i’d mostly thought my incredibly BAD reaction to the story was the way i was treated by the people at the shop, so i bought the next one.

    dear. gods.

    re:Storm. i used to bitch about the things done to her way back in the day – being depowered, the mowhawk, being turned into a CHILD FFS! [though she and Gambit? were a rockin' team] and the evil crap that ruined her life with Forge [what ever happened to him? he was awesome] but now i look upon those days quite fondly.

    the thing, the ACTUAL THING here, is that there are really, really awesome stories being set up, there is at least the nucleus of diverse writers who can bring non-cis+white male POVs to their line… and they continually sabotage all the work done in that direction. this has GOT to be the only time, ever, where i find the movies better than the source materiel [i mean the Avengers, and most of the build-up to, NOT the Xmen or F4 or Spiderman movies. they were okay. but the Avengers an Pre-A, now - Iron Man I&II took a character i LOATHED and made him sympathetic and funny; Thor updated and streamlined a hazy story, turning into a fairly awesome movie that ALSO managed to pass the Bedchel test! and of course, Avengers, with it's Joss Magic... now, if only we can get a couple more kick-ass women on the team, and maybe Northstar? and Luke Cage...] and the sad fact that Hollywood tends to be WORSE when it comes to POC or LGBTQ issues than Parnassus and/or the sci-fi/fantasy publishing world only highlights the disparity between published Marvel and cinema Marvel – if *HOLLYWOOD* makes you look backwards on every social justice issue in the US, you’re so far behind the curve you’re practically back in the bloody ’50s! Marvel has become a place that i mine for myself and nothing else, which is sad because i used to want to write for Marvel [this is the closest i ever got to fanfic - in fact, i still take Marvel ideas and re-write them into what *I* think are better stories. of course, my 7-year-old nephew writes better stories than the general run of what's come out of *BOTH Marvel and DC in the past decade and some change. sigh]

    if i may suggest, since you’re a writer – superheros have moved into prose territory, and while it *is* sort of sad to read a superhero story without accompanying 4-color pics, there’s also something freeing about not trying to cram it into 24 pages-with-a-full-pagespread-in-every-installment. more writers writing superhero books = more superheros out there that neither Marvel nor DC have a chokehold on. that can ONLY lead to good things, na da?

  7. Pingback: Avengers Assimilate: Identity Politics in ‘Uncanny Avengers’ | Ars Marginal

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