We are treated this week with another Jason Aaron installment Avengers Vs X-men with the release of Round 9, which gives Spiderman which Aaron describes as “his Rocky moment!”
After Namor’s attack on Wakanda, it took all of the Avengers, including the Scarlet Witch, to bring him down. Once defeated Namor lost his share of the Phoenix force, which was redistributed to the remaining Phoenix Five (four?) making them that much more powerful.
The issue opens 12 days after the Avengers were forced to retreat to the ancient city of Kun Lun, the magical city Iron Fist received his training and probably the only place in the universe the Phoenix powered X-men can not follow. While in Kun Lun Hope is being trained in kung fu by Spiderman who is the biggest reflecting on how grim times are when he mentions he hasn’t been able to crack a joke in days.
Captain America and the remaining Avengers travel regularly back to Earth in hopes of rescuing their captured teammates, but are constantly returning with fewer Avengers they left with and more wounded. With the help of Professor Xavier and Storm, the Avengers make a hail Mary run to save all their captured allies. Standing between them and their friends are the Phoenix powered Colossus and Magik. With the Avengers against the wall, Spiderman stands up and has his moment.
As part of the Marvel Augmented Reality App feature, writer Jason Aaron spoke about Spiderman’s big moment. “The idea here was to give him sort of Rocky moment. At this point, he’s obviously way out-matched in terms of power levels, but he’s Spider-Man. He’s a guy who’s used to diving into these situations, time and time again, so he’s not going to back down because of that. He takes a savage beating, but refuses to stay down. I like the idea of him helping to win the day with determination, stubbornness and ultimately his most powerful weapon, which is his mouth.”
The issues writer Jason Aaron has scripted have been the best of the series. Aaron captures not only the high level action and story like this demands but showcases the social and ethical conflict the actions of both teams creates. Aaron’s is a character writer and these few issues that he’s scripted shows he truly understands them.
This issue was beautifully drawn by Adam Kubert, a master in superhero storytelling. With only three issues left and teaser for AVX aftermath, the question remains: Who will make it out of this alive?