It's Avengers versus X-Men. Friends become enemies and enemies become friends, as the Phoenix Force heads back to Earth. Last time a team of Avengers managed to collect a sample from the Phoenix, only to be betrayed by their team mate Noh-Varr who is under orders to return the sample to his own people, the Kree.
(This story takes place before the event of AvX #4.)
|Executive Producer:||Alan Fine|
|Chief Creative Officer:||Joe Quesada|
|Editor In Chief:||Axel Alonso|
|Associate Editor:||Lauren Sankovitch|
|Assistant Editor:||John Denning|
|Cover Art:||Walt Simonson|
|Lettering:||VC's Cory Petit|
The Avengers have been incapacitated and left on their Quinjet flying straight into a sun. The Protector meanwhile has returned to the Kree throneworld with the sample of Phoenix. The Supreme Intelligence wants to use it to take control of the Phoenix so it may serve the Empire. The Intelligence is happy to let the Phoenix destroy the Earth as that will give the Kree time to execute their plan. Noh-Varr cannot let this happen, powers up and attacks the Supreme Intelligence, then flees with the Phoenix sample.
In the meantime, the Avengers have managed to escape (Thor effectively got out and pushed them away from the sun!) and now stand in the Protector’s way. He begs their forgiveness but they blast him away, take the sample and ban him from the Earth (Beast threatens to kill him should he return). The Kree then catch up to Noh and remove his Nega bands (the source of most of his powers) but he runs again, this time managing to get to a ship and escape.
The last page is back on Earth with Noh-Varr’s girlfriend Annie. The crystal he gave her last time starts to glow so she thinks he has returned. Unfortunately for Annie, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
A good conclusion to the story; Noh-Varr manages to betray everyone and pays the price.
I struggled with Noh-Varr this issue I must confess. I realise he is young and easily led (he joined Norman Osborn’s Avengers as he thought they were the good guys don’t forget!) but some of his decisions seemed a little off. He’s a Kree warrior (albeit from another Universe) so is going to obey the orders of the Supreme Intelligence. But did he really have to leave his Avenger friends unconscious and flying into a sun to complete his mission? Sure, knock them out and run off with the Phoenix sample – but kill them? Not very Protector like. I suppose he did finally do the right thing after his crisis of conscience but I don’t blame the Avengers for not wanting anything more to do with him. If he’d just run off under orders from his own people then maybe, but no chance after trying to kill them.
I don’t know much about the Kree, but from what I’ve read they are quite an aggressive race so them wanting to use the Phoenix as a weapon at the expense of the Earth seems relatively in character. Noh-Varr certainly wanted to destroy the Earth when he first arrived on it. Presumably the Protector will turn up again at some point as the last scene with the crystal seemed to indicate, but only time will tell.
There was a matter of convenience again, with the Avengers managing to escape from the sun and then catch up to Noh-Varr just in time to retrieve the Phoenix sample and flee before the Kree guards turn up. Noh was also very lucky to escape the entire guard especially after a lot of his powers had been removed. I know it’s a comic but there is only so much I can suspend my disbelief!
We had another misleading cover (you’d think the Protector wins based on it), but at least the art inside was more consistent this time. They are other artists I prefer, but then that’s just a matter of taste.
Much better than the last issue.