Since issue one, I have been cheerfully bickering with my beloved friend, and host of the LOIKAMANIA Pop Cultre Podcast, Mr. Pat Loika. Pat is fully on the side of the X-Men, whereas I am absolutely Team Avengers. Now, a third of the way through the event, Pat and I got together to have it out, mano-a-mano!
(Spoilers for AvX abound, particularly issue one, but they're honestly not as spoiler-y as I thought they'd be. We also spoil little bits of the Avengers: Children's Crusade series and basically nerd up the joint. So you've been warned.)
Pat Loika: First, let’s talk about - how are you enjoying it so far?
Travis Holyfield: I’m enjoying it very much so far, actually. I really, really am. I think it’s been a cool concept, I think it’s been executed really well, I’ve had lot of fun with it, and I’m enjoying where it’s going.
PL: I guess for the audience who maybe don’t read X-Men or X-Men vs. Avengers, the main concept is that the Phoenix Force - which is this all-powerful cosmic force for life and death - is returning to Earth, and it’s heading for the so-called ‘Mutant Messiah’, Hope Summers. The reason for the conflict is that the Avengers basically want to take her in, because in their eyes they’re keeping her safe from the Phoenix. Whereas Cyclops and the X-Men (well, his crew of X-Men, anyway), they’re thinking, “Leave her alone, this is part of her destiny”, and that maybe she can control the Phoenix and restore mutantkind. And that’s where the conflict comes from.
For me it’s an argument of scale, and the X-Men argument makes no sense. Because the X-Men are hinging everything upon this incredibly ethereal idea of “Oh, it’s gotta be coming here for a reason - maybe it’ll help out mutantkind” - but so far, all it’s been shown to do is destroy every planet that it’s gone across. So from the Avengers’ perspective, it’s like, “Alright, well - it’d be nice if it kickstarted all of the mutants the way that you’re talking about, but odds are good that what it’s really going to do is annihilate all life on the planet”. And that, to me, seems like a hell of a gamble to take. Cyclops is rolling all the dice on, “Hey, maybe this redhead can handle it”, as opposed to the previous redhead.
PL: He fell in love with a girl who reminded him of…
TH: She didn’t REMIND him, she looks EXACTLY LIKE HER.
PL: What can you do? He has a type.
Be sure to check Loikamania for an upcoming episode featuring the full conversation. Thanks to Pat for nerd-bickering with me, and a million thank yous to my beautiful wife, Jenny Langin, for transcribing most of this.
Hugs and Kisses,