It's Avengers versus X-Men. Last time we found out that there maybe a connection between the Phoenix and the Iron Fist.
|Executive Producer:||Alan Fine|
|Chief Creative Officer:||Joe Quesada|
|Editor In Chief:||Axel Alonso|
|Associate Editor:||Lauren Sankovitch|
|Writer:||Brian Michael Bendis|
|Artist:||Mike Deodato, Jr.|
|Cover Art:||Mike Deodato, Jr., Rain Beredo|
|Lettering:||VC's Joe Caramagna|
As with the previous issue, this story is set many years ago. It therefore features none of the New Avengers.
A messenger of Yu Ti has been sent to Earth to retrieve Leonardo da Vinci to help with the Phoenix prophecy. He agrees (nice chap).
In K’un Lun, Fongji is undergoing training and it is not going well. She is considered disrespectful as she will not speak (whether she can’t speak, or just refuses to, is unclear at this stage). Yu Ti gives her permission to attack him, goading her into doing so and she clearly has some skill as she disarms Lei Kung but cannot better the Master. Her attacks are animalistic but show her abilities, affirming Yu Ti’s belief that she is the next Iron Fist.
Leonardo arrives at K’un Lun, wanting to run some tests of Fongji and watches her train. As she spars with Lei Kung she temporarily manifests the Phoenix force, throwing him across the arena. Leo sees this as a sign and builds a giant telescope to monitor the heavens for the Phoenix’s arrival. Yu Ti (after a trip to the scrying vessel of Bo-Ling) takes Fongji to battle the dragon Shao Lao, as she is ready for the Iron Fist ritual. After two days she returns with the power of the Iron Fist and thanks Yu Ti, speaking for the first time.
Just in time as the issue ends with Leonardo spotting the Phoenix on its way…
I’ll be blunt; I thought this story was pointless. Fongji training and becoming the Iron Fist just before the arrival of the Phoenix could has been condensed and included in the last issue (which itself was drawn out in places). I thought the inclusion of Leonardo da Vinci was silly. The last issue was set 100 years ago, but da Vinci is from 500 years ago, so why is he here? I get that time flows differently in mystical lands, mainly to suit the author, but there is just no need for him and it kind of confuses the issue for me. He adds nothing to the story. The only thing he contributes is a telescope (which probably isn’t needed given the Phoenix is huge and you’d see it coming) and maybe the objective of someone not of K’un Lun. The latter point isn’t that bad and expresses things from readers’ point of view, which is a good thing. He also has quite a nice bit of dialogue with Yu Ti where he can’t believe Fongji is about to face a real dragon (as opposed to a make believe one), but the tale could have been told without him and in a shorter space of time.
For me, it seems as though they wanted to do some tie in issues to AvX, but the event hadn’t got to the point it needed to in time so they just dragged an issues worth of story across two. Lame! Tell another story in the meantime, or maybe include some New Avengers their own title! I'm sure this story will be important, telling how the Phoenix was dealt with in the past and so set up how a current character could do the same, I just didn’t like the way it was told. On the plus side, and as with last issue, the art is nice enough with some great use of shadows. However, I don't like misleading covers – neither Danny Rand nor Hope Summers appear in this issue so they shouldn't be on the cover.
Please can the next issue actually feature the AvX event, else don't bother using New Avengers for tie ins.
1 web may be harsh but if you got rid of all the da Vinci filler and put the important bits in last issue then you would have had one cool flashback issue scoring well instead of two drawn out flashback issues not getting great marks.