For months, Marvel Comics has been promising something big coming down the pike for readers invested in the Marvel Universe. The planned 2012 project has been described by Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso as "not part of a cosmic event, but a Marvel Universe event," adding, "Very soon, we're going to reveal all. Three simple words that speak to the hardcore Marvel fan and the guy or gal on the street who's seen one or two super hero movies."
Today, those three words became clear: "Avengers Vs. X-Men."
In a story published on the USA Today website, the publisher announced a 12-part bi-weekly series debuting in April. The core "Avengers Vs. X-Men" title will be co-written by Marvel's "Architect" writers -- Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron, Jonathan Hickman, Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction -- and drawn by big name artists Frank Cho, John Romita, Jr., Olivier Coipel and Adam Kubert.
The appeal of the series is obvious, Alonso told the newspaper: "You've got two populations whose motivations are simple and understandable and defensible. That's part of the beauty of this. You're seeing a story that evolves out of 'What would you do?'"
In a separate article, the mechanics of the title and its promotion were laid out, from each issue being scripted by one writer who then hands the story off to another for the next issue, to plans to integrate Google+ into the ongoing promotional efforts.
On a story level, the focus of 2009's X-Men "Second Coming" crossover, Hope Summers, will once again be the center of attention in "Avengers Vs. X-Men," as the presumed host for the returning Phoenix Force. In fact, it's the threat of the returning Phoenix Force that will instigate the conflict in the first place, Alonso says. "The Phoenix Force is the spirit of destruction and rebirth. It razes worlds to create something new. It's bad news if you happen to be living on the world about to be razed. It's great news if you're what's going to be the outcome of that world."
Also taking center stage is the Scarlet Witch, who, in many ways, instigated this conflict years ago when she used her reality-altering powers to all but erase mutantkind from the planet. Bendis, who scripts her story in the series' prologue issue, told the newspaper,"She's been on a road of almost impossible-to-perceive redemption over the last few years and now is going to come face-to-face with the Avengers."
Stay tuned to CBR News all week for more on this major story.