Warning: Here Be Spoilers
Avengers Vs X-Men has officially started, which means the comic fanboys of the internet are no longer fervently arguing about who they think will win in each of the fights, instead they are now fervently arguing about how the actual outcomes are wrong. It’s a good time to be an argumentative comic fan. Here I will give my take on the fights, and compare the results to the predictions I made a few months ago.
If you don’t want to know the results of the fights DON’T scroll down.
Running Score: A5 – X4
Black Panther vs Storm & Angel vs Hawkeye
I’m going to start off by saying this may be the worst issue of AvsX: Versus so far.
It starts of with Angel vs Hawkeye, and the majority of the fight requires you to take two main things as being true. Firstly we have to believe that the master marksman Hawkeye cannot score a direct hit on Angel with his bow and arrow . Secondly we have to believe that Angel is accurate enough with his razor feathers to slice one of Hawkeye’s airborne arrows down the middle. I’m sorry but that’s too far for my suspension of disbelief. The fight comes to a close with a stand-off between Angle, Hawkeye and Psylocke with Hawkeye threatening to put an arrow between Psylocke’s eyes before she can telepathically subdue him unless Angel leaves. After Angel agrees to retreat Hawkeye shoots him in the abdomen before running off, while Psylocke just stands there watching.
The second fight is between Black Panther and Storm, who got divorced in Avengers vs. Xmen #9. Some people consider their marriage to be the most forced pairing in comics; I don’t know if that’s true but their break up definitely seems forced. Black Panther is the Batman of the Marvel universe, having a gadget and scheme for every situation, which for this fight is a suit that can contain and redirect a lightning bolt (the on page description of which only serves to make the feat even more unbelievable) and a series of weather altering devices used to make Storm’s weather control powers useless. Once Strom’s powers are nullified the fight switches to hand-to-hand combat. I don’t know the full extend of Storms hand-to-hand training but I get the impression it’s been exaggerated so she can keep up with T’Challa. The internal monologues that go on throughout the fight feel fake, they’ve used the trick of having them think the exact opposite things at the exact same time which never works; it never feels natural. In the end Storm gets the final punch, but there’s not meant to be a winner.
Winner: Hawkeye & No-one (least of all the reader)
Emma Frost(Phoenix) vs Thor & Daredevil vs Psylocke
Whilst not being the most interesting fight so far, this one seems to be the best match-up. Both Daredevil and Psylocke are exceptional hand to hand combatants, having had extensive training in this area. Psylocke states that Daredevil has the edge however and so tries to use her psychic powers against him. This doesn’t work however as she is instantly overwhelmed by his enhanced senses. I don’t really know enough about Psylocke to know if this is how her powers always work, by to me it seemed a bit like they shoehorned it in to stop her just instantly winning. After the failed attempt at using her psychic powers they go back to hand to hand combat. In the end Daredevil uses a bit of psychological warfare causing Psylocke to rethink her position before they go their separate ways resulting in the first (official) draw of the series.
The fight starts of with Thor having the advantage. Emma tries to read his mind but is overwhelmed, apparently she’s never tried to read the mind of a God before. This gives Thor a chance to bring the hurt with Mjölnir, knocking Emma around before shattering her diamond form. Because she is infused with the Phoenix Force though she is able to control her shattered diamond form and rain down on Thor as diamond bullets. This weakens him enough for her to just beat him into submission in her now reformed diamond state. The exact power levels of Thor are always being moved up and down, sometimes he’s dealing damage to Galactus other times he’s dialled back, but I don’t think it’s far fetched to have him lose to Emma + 1/5th of the Phoenix. The Phoenix is a world killer that had gone toe to toe with Galactus itself, so I’m okay with the outcome of this one.
Winner: Emma Frost
Colossernaught vs The Thing & Black Widow vs Magik
Colossernaught vs The Thing marks the second match up that was initially teased for the event, and once again my prediction was right on the money. The fight plays out in the Blue area of the Moon, during the events of Avengers vs X-Men #5, and although initially between Rulk and Colossernaught, the Thing tags in after one page and takes over. It’s a pretty standard fight between 2 powerhouses, with lots of punching and smashing. At one point they spice it up a bit by having The Thing throw a broken off part of his rocky skin into Colossernaughts mouth to choke him, momentarily gaining an advantage, but then it’s just back to them hitting each other really hard. Throughout the fight you see signs of combat on The Thing where as Colossernaught seems no different at the end as he was at the start. He defiantly deserved to win the fight, when it come to sheer power he’s literally unstoppable.
The second fight shown was Black Widow vs Magik, and was depicted as far less one sided than is should have been. Whilst Black Widow is a master assassin and proficient at both armed and unarmed combat Magik can do magic. Most of the fight takes place in Limbo, and it is here you can tell how hard the writer is working to make the fight balanced. Magik initially tires to teleport Black Widow to Limbo to get her out of the way, however Widow managed to pull Magik through with her. Once in Limbo however Magik has plenty of chance to teleport back the Moon, but instead she just hangs around, eventually giving Widow the chance to forcer her to take them both back. Once back on the Moon Magik eventually managed to subdue Widow with her soul sword, giving the X-Men another much needed, and justified, victory.
Winner: Colossernaught & Magik
Spider-Man vs Colossernaught & Gambit vs Captain America
The fights in the second Avengers vs X-Men: Versus issue are a lot better than any of the other match-ups so far. The issue starts with Cap vs Gambit, a fight briefly shown in AvsX #4, but fully fleshed out here. For those that don’t know, Gambit is a mutant with the ability to charge objects with kinetic energy causing them to explode, allowing him to turn harmless objects like playing cards into potentially lethal projectiles. His power also gives him superhuman speed and agility meaning he should have an edge over Cap, who is only at the peak of human ability. That being said, Cap holds his own in the fight, probably due in no small part to his superior combat training. The majority of the fight is hand to hand combat, broken up by a couple of key moments. The first is Gambit charging up Cap’s shield and throwing it at him. Unlike most things Gambit charges however the shield doesn’t explode on impact due to it’s unique composition. The other key moment is Gambit charging Cap’s uniform, which does explode like most things, however Cap is somehow strong enough to withstand the blast and uses Gambits momentary confusion to floor him.
The second fight has Spider-Man squaring off against Colossernaught. Spider-Man has fought Juggernaught on a few occasions, however this isn’t the Juggernaught of old. Piotr is a far smarter opponent than Cain, and thus more of threat to Spider-man. The fight starts with Spider-Man using some of his usual Juggernaught counters and apparently gaining the advantage, but as soon as Colossernaught has his turn it goes downhill quickly for Spidey. The rest of the fight is just Colossernaught shrugging off anything Spidey can throw at him whilst bringing the hurt in a big way. Spider-Man does get an amazing moment during the fight, and as expected has some brilliant lines, but even he has no way of winning this one. Even thought the fight was interrupted  I have no problem with this win going to Colossernaught.
Winner: Colossernaught & Captain America
Red Hulk vs Colossernaught
If I’d had to have predicted this one based on a teaser a few months ago I don’t know which way I would have gone. Both Rulk (Red Hulk) and Colossernaught are right up at the top end of the strength chart and their powers work in very different ways. For most of the fight Colossernaught is wiping the sea floor (quite literally) with Rulk. He seems to have him completely overpowered. However, when it looks like he might lose control and end up putting innocent lives at risk, Colossernaught allows Rulk to beat him. Some would say (and they have) that this is a bit of a cop-out, however I think it’s definitely what the character would do and it didn’t seem an unreasonable feat for Rulk.
Winner: Red Hulk
Iron Man vs Magneto
This one went almost as expected. Straight off the bat they let us know that Stark was ready for Magneto with a new suit made from carbon nano-tubes . From there is was each one trying to counter each other, with things like swarms of neodymium magnets, giant chucks of metal and siphoning the magnetic energy of Jupiter and other celestial bodies . Eventually Magneto, while siphoning the magnetic energy of planets as previously mentioned, detected the Phoenix Force killing an entire planet on it’s way to Earth and was overwhelmed by it (think Alec Guinness when Alderaan is destroyed in Star Wars IV), giving Iron Man the chance to win.
Winner: Iron Man
Namor vs The Thing
So far this has been the fight that has had the most people up in arms. Namor is the King of Atlantis and ruler of the seas, he is also a mutant which is why he is siding with the X-men, but they key thing you need to know about him is that his powers depend on his contact with water. Fighting The Thing underwater, a combat arena that Namor spends most of his time in and that powers him up, should be a no brainer. But in spite of all that The Thing still “won”. I didn’t put won in quotes because I disagree with the outcome, but because it didn’t seem like a win. The Thing simply pinned Namor to the see floor with giant fish teeth and walked away. And in the shot of him returning to shore you see Namor flying out of the water in the background. The story finished with “Winner: The Thing, For Now…”, so I guess that’s what I’ll have to put as well.
Winner: The Thing (For Now…)
It seems like this is going to be a tactic employed to end most of the fights. I’m predicting there will be more fights that end with both parties going their separate ways than one of them actually ‘winning’.↩
In the real world carbon nano-tubes can be affected by magnetic fields (like pretty much all materials), I guess the writers wanted something high-tech that people had heard of, and that they’d probably accept as being Magneto-proof.↩
Okay, this one is a bit far fetched, if only for the depicted time it took to get the energy from Jupiter to Earth (it should be over 44 minutes at the speed of light).↩
I know Angel is fast and agile but the whole point of Hawkeye is that he’s an amazing archer. He should have had no problems subduing Angel with a few well placed arrows.↩