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Comic book titans to face off in ‘Avengers vs. X-Men’

Courtesy of Marvel

The line has been drawn in the sand. Cyclops vs. Captain America. Magneto vs. Iron Man. Storm vs. Thor. It is “Avengers vs. X-Men.”

But some sides aren’t as easy to pick, especially for mutant-avenger Wolverine.

Marvel fans are in for what Axel Alonso, editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, calls a lot of action and fighting when two of the largest comic-book teams duel in “Avengers vs. X-Men.”

The 12-issue series, “Avengers vs. X-Men,” will be distributed biweekly. The first issue is scheduled to hit stores April 4.

Alonso said he guarantees readers will be entertained and enthralled by the new Avengers and X-Men story arch, but what he can’t guarantee is what side Wolverine will be on.

“Lets just say, Wolverine is in a difficult position, because he’s a mutant who’s both a member of the Avengers, and a long-standing member of the X-Men,” Alonso told The Lantern.

For some fans, Wolverine’s loyalty determines their loyalty.

Justin Franklin, a second-year in finance, said Wolverine has been his favorite comic-book character since he was 7 years old.

“It depends on whatever side Wolverine is on,” Franklin said about where his allegiance will lie.

There isn’t much that can create a war between these two super teams. But one thing that can come in between them is the Phoenix Force, a living comet with a great deal of power that is a most difficult, if not an impossible force, to control.

Alonso said he did not want to give key elements of the story away, but he assured the Phoenix will be bringing these superheroes to war.

“The set up is that it’s (Phoenix) hurtling toward earth and this inspires very different reactions from the Avengers and the X-Men,” Alonso said. “The positions that they take with what this means, whether its positive or negative, cuts to the core of who they are.”

The Phoenix Force is nothing new for comic-book readers or X-Men movie watchers. The Phoenix has the ability to possess people and take control of their actions. In a previous storyline, Phoenix possessed former X-Men member Jean Grey, leading her to kill herself in an attempt to kill the Phoenix.

“We saw what it did to Jean Grey back in the day,” Alonso said.

Now it appears her death could not conquer Phoenix.

The power the Phoenix contains is what makes the Avengers and the X-Men so conflicted.

The question of whether the Phoenix can be tamed or controlled will be something these super groups focus on.

“Do you attempt to fight it or attempt to do something different?” Alonso said. “That’s certainly something that will be addressed in the course of the series.”

Alonso said his editorial staff has gone to great stakes to ensure this new series will be understandable for newcomers of the Marvel universe as well as long-standing fans.

“I think of the ‘Avengers vs. X-Men’ as being both a completely accessible story for new readers, something I could hand to someone who doesn’t read comics,” Alonso said, “just the same way I see it as being a story that long-time readers will love and embrace.”

With advanced orders placed for “Avengers vs. X-Men,” Marvel is expecting it to be the highest-selling book of the year.

“We have confidence that we are going to be selling through into second prints. … I’m very heartened by the numbers and very happy to see that it’s performing the way it is,” Alonso said.

Jeff Stang, store manager for The Laughing Ogre, a comic book store located at 4258 N. High St., agreed that “Avengers vs. X-men” has become Marvel’s most hyped book.

Stang said The Laughing Ogre has received more than 200 pre-orders for the series.

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