Writer: Jason Aaron.
Artist: Luca Maresca, David Curiel, VC’s Cory Petit, Leinil Francis Yu, and Sunny Gho
Release Date: February 3, 2021
The Phoenix Tournament continues with the Avengers working to stop the madness while the Phoenix ramps up the stakes by the end. Don’t worry, Moon Girl was not harmed in the making of this comic.
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If you’re not a fan of Jason Aaron’s storytelling or were maybe turned off by the previous issue, this one dives headlong into the tournament and doesn’t relent in the matches. I say matches because readers are only given brief glimpses of fights but never the full thing except for two matches in the beginning. The colors by Curiel continue to be great and Maresca manages to make everyone look good in action, especially their Phoenix-charged strikes. I have nothing but praise for the art. The story on the hand.
Aaron continues to push certain characters as the central points of the Phoenix tournament: Captain America, Namor, Black Panther, and Wolverine. Wolverine especially because Aaron set up Wolverine as the future Phoenix host in his far-future King Thor timeline. So, Aaron may be cashing his chips on that idea which explains why Wolverine is in the story at all. Of course, he also builds up Wolverine’s reasoning through narration boxes to show why Logan feels the need to be a part of this at all. It makes him feel like he should be a part of this. Though, the same can’t be said for everyone else in the tournament from the beginning to now. Like why was Moon Girl even in this tournament?!
The book continues to have the Avengers try to figure out what the Phoenix is after and how to stop the fighting. With little to no success and are still stuck at square one. While a separate Avengers team formed from the tournament’s losers try to figure out how to push the Phoenix Force off Earth. With Thor leading the charge but he is finally confronted by the Phoenix, specifically the new female, red-headed host Aaron created as part of his Avengers B.C. storyline.
So, some brief spoilers. Jason Aaron still isn’t done messing around with Thor’s origins and mythos. He has his new Phoenix host drop a major bomb reveal on Thor’s shoulders which will likely be explored in the next issue. So, if you weren’t a fan of what he’s done to Thor in the past 5 or so years, then get ready for some more. If there’s any fight to look forward to in this Phoenix Tournament, it’s the upcoming battle between the Phoenix-infused Black Panther and Wolverine.
If you’re not a fan of Jason Aaron’s Avengers run or the Phoenix Tournament, then expect more of the same but with great art. Things are progressing slowly as the tournament continues with more matchups with the stakes being reserved for a select few fighters. I don’t recommend buying this issue unless you’re already on board with the tournament, because this is not a good jumping-on point for new readers.