The last installment of Avengers vs X-Men was pretty good and managed to keep the quality of the crossover pretty high. With the fifth issue, there is a little bit of worry as one part of the story sort of ignores some of the character development that took place in some of the recent related issues of X-Men.
Right before issue five came out this week I was really happy with Marvel for the character development they’ve been giving Wolverine during the crossover, specifically in the pages of Wolverine and the X-Men. The previous events surrounding the Dark Phoenix still haunt Wolverine, and Hope reminds him a bit of Jean. He realizes that she isn’t Jean, and is very different, but he can’t bring himself to kill her like he had to do with Jean. The last issue of Wolverine and the X-Men, which is set before they get to the moon, has a great bit of character development for Wolvie dealing with this…and issue five of AvX basically ignores that.
Right at the beginning of the issue, Hope realizes that she can’t handle the Phoenix Force and begs Wolverine to kill her. Without a second thought, completely forgetting what he decided to do in his own book, he gets his claws out and is ready to kill her. Of course, they won’t kill off Hope right now so Cyclops steps in with an Optic Blast to stop him.
The issue is pretty fast moving, and the big event past the halfway point is pretty unexpected. The issue pretty much removes Hope from the equation and changes the stakes of the game in a really big way. Going forward, The Avengers really have their job cut out for them and what they did in this issue almost makes up for ignoring the continuity from the other tie-in books.
As usual, Marvel includes a free digital copy with the book without raising the cover price at all. In fact, a large majority of the books Marvel released this week included a digital copy, so hopefully the trend will continue.