Avengers vs. X-Men #3

Issue Date: 
July 2012
Story Title: 

Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman, Matt Fraction (story), Ed Brubaker (scripter), John Romita Jr (penciler), Scott Hana (inker), Laura Martin (colorist), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Jim Cheung & Laura Martin (cover artists), Sara Pichelli & Justin Ponsor (variant cover artists), John Denning (assistant editor), Lauren Sankovitch (associate editor), Nick Lowe (consulting editor), Tom Brevoort (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive editor)

Brief Description: 

Wolverine learns that Hope has escaped Utopia, and that the X-Men have apparently surrendered to the Avengers. Iron Man discusses with Captain America as to where they are going to put the X-Men, when Dr Strange returns with the captured Magik. It is all a ruse however, and one that Wolverine expected, as it was Magik in place of Dr Strange who had returned. She then teleports Cyclops, Storm, the White Queen, Magneto, Namor, Colossus and Danger to Long Beach. Wolverine instructs Rachel Summers at the Jean Grey School to track Hope down, but she picks up multiple locations. Secretly, however, Rachel has aligned herself with Cyclops, and gives him some information. Captain America divides the Avengers into various teams to search for Hope at the locations they were given. Wolverine is on his team, but Captain America believes Wolverine has lost his ability to be impartial on this mission, and after a battle aboard their Quinjet, drops him in Antarctica. Hope, meanwhile, is in San Francisco, and on the run, plagued by visions of the Phoenix entity.

Full Summary: 

‘AAHHH!’ Wolverine shouts as he sits up inside a room on Utopia, island home to one faction of X-Men. His Avengers teammate, Spider-Man, is sitting in a web nearby and tells Wolverine to relax. Looking at his naked, fleshy body, Wolverine asks what happened, to which Spider-Man explains that Wolverine just spent the last few hours regrowing his flesh. ‘Which, by the way is yuck’ Spider-Man adds, before handing Wolverine some clothes. As his body continues to heal, Wolverine puts the clothes on and asks where Hope is. ‘She’s gone…don’t you remember?’ Spider-Man replies.

Looking at the large hole in the wall, Wolverine remarks that it is all coming back to him. ‘She’s already more powerful than any of us and it ain’t even here yet’ Wolverine remarks, before asking Spider-Man what happened after he got taken out. Spider-Man announces that Cyclops and his people surrendered to Cap, and that they are all outside trying to figure out what happens now. Wolverine is surprised, ‘Scott gave himself up?’ he asks, before stating that he doesn’t like the scent of that, and rushes outside.

Outside, several members of the Avengers - Captain America, Iron Man, the Black Widow, the original Spider-Woman, the Red Hulk, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Mockingbird, Hawkeye, the Thing, Black Panther, Daredevil and Giant-Man - have gathered. Captain America tells Iron Man that he doesn’t care what Cyclops told the United Nations, and that they can’t just decide they’re above international law. Iron Man agrees, and asks Captain America what he is planning on charging the X-Men with, and where he proposes to lock them up. He adds that Cyclops may have even given up to just prove his point.

Standing several feet away are several members of the X-Men and residents of Utopia - Cyclops, the White Queen, Magneto, Colossus, Storm, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Domino, Warpath, Magma, Danger, Loa, Pixie, Surge, Velocidad, Sunspot and Madison Jeffries. Glancing at the mutants, Iron Man points out that having to deal with them does not get the Avengers any closer to this potential Phoenix girl, and Cap agrees, but states that it does keep the X-Men out of their way. ‘Again, where? Are you going to empty the entire Raft to put the X-Men in there?’ Iron Man enquires, telling Captain America that doesn’t sound like his style at all. ‘I’m trying to save that girl…I’m trying to save our whole world’ Captain America replies. Referring to the Civil War, Iron Man tells Cap that it wasn’t too long ago he was saying things like that. ‘And you were on the other side, then’ he reminds Cap.

At that moment, Dr Strange materializes above the X-Men, holding the motionless body of Magik. ‘Is she hurt?’ Cyclops asks. Strange replies that it is just a temporary holding spell, and that there is nothing to worry about. ‘Good. We don’t need any more -’ Cyclops begins, before Wolverine arrives, and shouts HEY! Are you people blind?’ as he and Spider-Man approach the others. Wolverine unsheathes his deadly claws, while Dr Strange’s thoughts tell Cyclops (via Emma’s mind-link) that Wolverine knows. ’Of course he does’ Cyclops replies.

Captain America grabs Wolverine by the arm as he tries to rush past, ’Those people are our prisoners!’ he declares. ’No they’re not! Because that ain’t Doc Strange!’ Wolverine announces. ‘Do it’ Cyclops declares, and “Doctor Strange” casts a spell - in fact, Wolverine was correct - that’s not Doctor Strange, but Magik, while Dr Strange was the wounded party.

Magik teleports away with Cyclops, the White Queen, Magneto, Colossus, Storm, Namor and Danger. ‘NO!’ Wolverine shouts as they vanish. Captain America goes over to the real Dr Strange and asks him if he is okay. ‘I will be…Magik took me out of my element…that’s all. Made us look like one another’ Dr Strange explains as he is helped up. Spider-Man asks what just happened. Wolverine tells the Avengers that they got played, and now Cyclops has a head-start on finding Hope.

Long Beach, Cyclops, the White Queen and the others materialize, and Scott tells his lover to make sure no one sees them. ‘We don’t need the Avengers getting reports on X-Men sightings’ he tells her. ‘Already done, love’ the White Queen replies, while various workers go about their business, unaware that the X-Men are in the same building as them. Magneto asks what the plan is now. Cyclops admits that he is not sure, that he is making this up as they go along. ‘Clearly we need your mutant tracking device to find Hope…Cereberus’ Namor declares. ‘He means Cerebra’ Danger corrects him. Cyclops agrees, but remarks that the only functioning Cerebra is at Logan’s school. The White Queen suggests that they need to find some sympathizers among Wolverine’s turncoats. Cyclops announces that he has one candidate already, and tells his X-Men to move on, for Hope needs them, even if she thinks she doesn’t.

San Francisco, Hope Summers is inside a store called the Tech Shack, tinkering with a device that she has created and attached to her wrist. ‘Okay, Hope…let’s see if you were paying attention when Cable was teaching’ she remarks. She pauses, and looks at herself in a mirror, frowning. She sees an image of the Phoenix entity, and runs from the building, telling herself to keep it together. Walking down a street, she decides that she simply needs something that flies, and to pray that this thing works so she cannot be found.

Meantime, at Avengers Tower in Manhattan, Wolverine and Captain America speak with Rachel Summers via computer monitor. ‘What do you mean she’s in five places at once?’ Wolverine asks Rachel. She confirms that is true, but she doesn’t know how Hope did it, only Cerebra is showing Hope’s energy readings in fiver different locations. Wolverine tells Rachel that she must have done something wrong, and asks her to try again. Rachel confirms that she already did try again, and got the same results. ‘Believe it or not, I know how to use Cerebra’ Rachel declares, telling Logan that if he wants to help the Avengers track Hope down, those coordinates she sent are all she can do. Wolverine frowns and asks Rachel what the means. Rachel rubs her head and replies ‘nothing…it’s just early…and using Cerebra always gives me a headache’.

‘Look, kid, if you got a problem with this then -’ Wolverine begins, but Captain America interrupts him, thanking Rachel for her help. ‘Sure…no problem’ Rachel replies, hanging her head. Wolverine is annoyed, and asks Captain America what that was about. ‘I can deal with my own people’ he snarls. Captain America replies that they have already lost enough time, and that they already know what Logan’s solution to this problem is. ‘What were you going to say that would make her feel better?’ Cap asks.

But at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, Rachel telepathically contacts Cyclops as she walks down a corridor, past several students. ‘I’ve got some information on Hope, and you’d better hurry…the Avengers are already on the trail’ Rachel reports.

On the roof of Avengers Tower, several Quinjets are prepared, while Captain America reads from the coordinates, announcing to the assembled Avengers that Iron Man will remain at the Tower to work on a countermeasure against the Phoenix Force, while Hawkeye, Red Hulk and Doctor Strange head Wundagore Mountain. He states that Luke Cage and his people will go to Tabula Rasa, while Black Panther and Iron Fist head to Wakanda, and Spider-Man and Spider-Woman go to Latveria, while his own squad will recon the Savage Land.

None of the Avengers seem to be in particularly good moods, and Captain America tells them that he wants reports every hour, and orders them to stay out of the spotlight and out of trouble, before telling Wolverine that he is with him. ‘Fine by me’ Wolverine mutters as everyone heads to their assigned Quinjet.

Sharon Carter has joined Captain America’s group and sits at the controls, alongside Giant Man, while Wolverine asks Cap what the deal is. ‘What do you mean?’ Cap asks. ‘You think I didn’t catch that look between you and Sharon when we boarded the ship?’ Wolverine asks. Cap frowns, and suggests that Wolverine walk with him.

They leave the cockpit of the ship and enter a room dowsed in a red light. ‘You went off on your own in Utopia and you scared Hope into jack-rabbiting’ Captain America points out, but Wolverine just asks Cap if he didn’t think that kid wasn’t scared out of her mind already. ‘The point I, you didn’t follow orders’ Captain America declares, adding that he is not sure he can trust Wolverine to follow orders on this mission, either.

Wolverine replies that he is willing to do whatever it takes, because he has seen what the Phoenix does. ‘I’ve seen it destroy people I love!’ Logan adds, referring to Jean Grey. ‘You think you can lock Hope up somewhere it can’t get to her, but you’re wrong, Cap!’ Wolverine declares, but Cap tells Wolverine that he will not let him kill that girl. ‘Then we’ll all die!’ Logan retorts. ‘Damn it…I didn’t want it to come to this…but you’re not listening!’ Cap exclaims before punching Wolverine in the face, then telling Wolverine that he is sitting this one out. Wolverine unsheathes his claws and shouts ‘The hell I am!’ as he lunges at Cap, his claws clanging against Cap’s trusty shield.

Cap punches Wolverine in the face, knocking him backwards. ‘You seriously think you can take me?’ Wolverine asks. ‘I have no doubt’ Cap replies, reading to lunge forward with his shield. ‘No - you have no clue!’ Wolverine exclaims as he ducks, and uses his claws to slice the straps that are attached to the shield, which Cap uses to hold on to. Logan then kicks Cap in the stomach, causing Cap to fall backwards, he leans against a wall, and leaps out of the way just in time as Wolverine surges forward, claws outstretched, they locks into the wall of the jet. Captain America dives down and picks his shield up, throwing it at Wolverine, he strikes him in the back of his neck. ‘That all you got…super-soldier?’ Wolverine asks.

‘Not even close’ Cap replies, both men dripping blood from various cuts and scrapes on their bodies. Suddenly, ‘I’ve got the Avengers…too…’ Cap declares as Giant Man comes up behind Wolverine and whacks him on the back, knocking him to the ground. ‘Sorry, Logan’ Giant Man says, but as Wolverine tries to get up once again, Captain America slams his shield into Logan’s face. ‘Now, Sharon!’ Captain America calls out, and a hatch suddenly falls away on the outer of the Quinjet. Wolverine is sucked backwards by this, ‘What?’ he utters, before Giant Man kicks Wolverine out of the jet, and Logan begins to plummet to the icy landscape below.

Giant Man helps Captain America into the cockpit and Sharon gets up, telling Cap that he needs to get to the medical bay. Cap tells his trusted friend that he is fine, just winded. ‘Now take us to the Savage Land…we’ve got a universe to save’ he asks her.

Down below, Wolverine emerges from where he landed in the snow, and looks up as the Quinjet fades from view. ‘Stupid frigging…blind old fashioned fool…all right then. Guess it’s up to me’ Wolverine decides, as he trudges forward, through the snow.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Cyclops, Domino, Jubilee, Magik, Magneto, Sub-Mariner, Warpath, White Queen (all Utopia X-Men)
Magma, Sunspot (both New Mutants)
Hope, Loa, Pixie III, Surge IV, Velocidad (all Utopia X-Men students)
Madison Jeffries (member of the X-Club)

Marvel Girl III (member of the Westchester X-Men)
Angel, Blindfold, Genesis II, Oya, Quentin Quire (all Jean Grey School students)

Storm & Wolverine (members of both the Avengers and the X-Men)

Black Panther, Black Widow, Luke Cage, Dr Strange, Giant Man, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Iron Man, Mockingbird, Red Hulk, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman (all Avengers)
Sharon Carter

Civilians in Long Beach

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