I’ve said it elsewhere, but Chad Nevett’s GraphiContent blog has been home to some really wonderful commentary on Marvel’s Avengers Vs. X-Men event during its entire run. I’m particularly taken by his commentary on the scheduling of New Avengers #30:
I’m a little fascinated by the fact that both New Avengers #30 and Avengers #30 seem to take place after the end of Avengers vs. X-Men and… things are fine. We all expect that to be the case, but it’s more than that. Things aren’t just fine, they’re almost ‘normal.’ You could put either issue in a different place in Marvel’s history and not much would change. You’d need to rework some of the specifics in New Avengers #30, sure, but the basic idea of that issue was, after a big superhero to-do, Luke Cage struggles with what it means to be a husband and father while also being a superhero, and joins some other Avengers in fighting some bad guys before quitting the team. Take out Emma Frost and the fact that the bad guys hate mutants and… nothing that matters would change. The same thing applies in this issue, except in an even bigger way. You literally just need to take out the opening double-page spread and I’m not sure there’s a specific Avengers vs. X-Men reference in the comic.
This is the event that Matters (capital M, of course) and Will Change Everything Forever (for now) and, before it’s over, we’re being treated to comics that demonstrate just how much it doesn’t matter. At all. It’s just another crisis — another big event. Another giant threat to the planet that the heroes have to stop. The specifics don’t matter. Phoenix? Might as well be Thanos or the Beyonder or Norman Osborn or an act of congress or the Scarlet Witch or Apocalypse or Kang or Ultron or Dr. Doom or the Skrulls or the Kree or the Kree and the Skrulls or Galactus or anything else. Because it doesn’t matter.
I wonder whether the issue was originally supposed to come out after #12 of the main series – An issue that was solicited for September release originally, remember, then pushed back for good reason before release – which would have mitigated this reaction. But still: Things like Captain Marvel or Hawkeye take place explicitly after AvX, and have featured a perfectly-fine world for a couple of months now. It’s a thing; we as readers ultimately know that the world isn’t going to end/be massively changed by big crossover events, and yet releasing comics that show that before the end of an event nonetheless feels as if the game has been given away, in some way.