Great moments in not-staying-on-message: Brian Michael Bendis in this week’s Axel-in-Charge column at CBR, talking about the genesis of Avengers vs. X-Men:
There’s a lot of ways that could go wrong. So Axel, Tom and the guys smartly said, “Let’s get together — just the five writers and the three editors with Nick Lowe.” They all came to my place in Portland, and I stuffed them full of donuts — as was reported last week [Laughter]. And we went there with not much more than “The Phoenix would make a really good MacGuffin for this.”
Axel Alonso, four paragraphs later:
Understand: We’d backed off doing an “Avengers Vs. X-Men” several times before because we didn’t have the right set-up or inciting incident. If we were going to have the world’s two biggest super teams go toe to toe, it had to be over something that mattered, not a McGuffin, and there couldn’t be a clear-cut good guy or bad guy.
More an amusing attempt to save face for those potentially horrified at the Phoenix not being given the “appropriate” respect than anything else, I have to admit that I’m hoping that Bendis is the more honest of the two here: I want the Phoenix to be a MacGuffin, because I feel like the classic Marvel intra-hero slugfests are all MacGuffinned-up, with the inciting incident being something that can be easily left in the background until everyone decides to team-up and save the day. In a story like this, don’t you want less talking and more punching, ultimately?