Blatant Insubordination: The Punch That Ruined Avengers vs. X-Men
- June 10th, 2012
- Posted in Blatant Insubordination . Comics/Graphic Novels . Opinions
- By Rob
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I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, and I’m finally ready to say something.
Like a lot of people, I’ve really been enjoying Avengers vs. X-Men. It’s a great event comic. But something happened toward the end of AvX #3 that put a major damper on things for me. The story was flowing just fine up to this point, and then it threw a big monkey wrench into things.
Written by Ed Brubaker and pencilled by John Romita Jr., the scene in question sees Captain America trying to bench Wolverine because he wants to kill Hope Summers. You see, the Phoenix entity is coming to Earth, apparently to possess Hope as it once did Jean Grey. Having seen what the Phoenix did to Jean, Wolvie thinks the only way the world can survive is if Hope dies. Cap won’t have it though, and we get the following exchange…
Cap: “I won’t let you just kill that girl!”
Wolvie: “Then we ALL die!”
Cap: “Damn it…I didn’t want it to come to this…but you’re not listening!”
Then, without provocation, without threat, not even aggressive body language, Captain America decks Wolverine.
I got into a mini-fight in elementary school once. Some kid did something mundane I didn’t like, so I elbowed him in the back really hard. We both got sent to the principal’s office, and when he heard what I had done, all he could do was look at me and say: “So you hit him??” That more or less sums up my train of thought in terms of the way this scene was written. These two characters had no animosity with each other at this point in the story. The only time we’d even seen them interact was a scene where Cap asked Wolverine if he could trust him in a fight against the X-Men. Obviously they’ve got major philosophical differences going on in this conversation. And yet, Cap sees fit to haul off and hit Wolverine in the face. Really? Captain America, leader of the world’s mightiest friggin’ heroes, pulls Wolverine, a notorious and murderous hothead, aside and tells him he’s off a mission. Wolvie argues with him, which Cap had to know was going to happen. And yet, his best plan is to punch this mutant rage machine? He didn’t have any plan to contain him? No trap door, no restraints, nothing? Smooth, Cap. Real smooth.
To me, this sequence cheapened AvX. It reinforced the position of fans who see it simply as an excuse to have superheroes fight, as opposed to a story with depth and consequence. Am I still enjoying the book? Sure. But it’s got a blemish on it that may be very, very hard to erase.
Front page image from comicbookviolence.com. Image 1 from majorspoilers.com. Image 2 from whatculture.com.