After getting back into the swing of every day life after an epic journey to San Diego Comic-Con, I was very disappointed to realize that I confused my release dates and assumed that Avengers Vs X-Men: Round 9 would come out a week before it actually was scheduled to. Oops.
Saddened but never deterred, I picked up an AvX tie-in with an amusing looking cover. Wolverine and the X-Men #18, entitled “Kitty’s Hot Date.” How punny.
The cover image shows Colossus, now one of the Phoenix Five in all his fire-y metallic badassness, presenting Kitty with a bouquet of flowers. As she awkwardly accepts/fist bumps her approval? I’m not sure what Kitty is trying to convey on this cover, but it seemed silly, and a fun little distraction from the overall plot seemed just in order as I skipped to the checkout line.
Being a gal who usually waits til the arc is over to pick and choose her tie-ins, suffice it to say that I didn’t expect much from this single issue. I don’t generally follow Wolverine and the X-Men and was worried I’d be lost in the subplot, but given that the focus of the Marvelverse is solely on the Phoenix Force at the moment, it couldn’t be that confusing, right?
Kitty and Colossus seem as if they’re Marvel’s very own Romeo + Juliet, given how many times they are thrown back into the star-crossed lovers role and also presumably dead. Most recently, they have been pitted against each other once again by choosing sides in the turf war, Kitty with her sensei and duty to her Headmistress role, and Colossus siding with head hancho slash boyscout, Cyclops. Maybe this time, Kitty and Colossus’ love can finally stick and playing host to the Phoenix Force will help them rekindle their fire.
The issue opens with our loveable Katya looking absolutely slamming, thanks to the talented Molina/Lee/Hollowell trio. Kitty and Colossus are apparently at a dinner date, dining on whatever Piotr can manifest. Not a shabby start for a God trying to spark up his lovelife. I’ll stop with the fire puns soon, I swear.
Colossus goes into a long diatribe about how amazing he is at fixing the world, but it takes two to tango through the tangled web of LURVE. (What, you took my fire puns away from me. Deal with it.) Kitty remains very solid as she knows what this conversation is leading to, and does not give Piotr the chance to finish his profession as she politely puts her foot down and asks to be heard over Piotr’s colossal (DEAL.) swooning. It’s easy to tell that Kitty isn’t exactly comfortable with her current situation or what she eventually has to say next, which will more than likely wipe the hearts out of those crazy ember eyes. But since the Phoenix Force inside of her oldest friend is very prone to rage, at least Kitty can count on her intangibility, which is quite a commodity at this point.
The issue takes a pause here, as we’re bamf’d back to earlier that day in the teacher’s lounge of the Jean Grey School, where the lack of faculty is taking it’s toll on Headmistress and Co. The break seems to be an excuse to insert some sillyness, such as Toad drinking tea with Tusk’s old skin, and the best line in the entire issue. “Shut up. Get back to your classes, all of you. The dragon’s in charge until I get back.” Though we only get this little tidbit, it goes to show that Lockheed is still the most awesome thing in the Marvelverse. The issue next jumps over to a city street, where Magik and Iceman are trying to subdue The Thing, for his crime of being an Avenger. Iceman takes some issue with the tactics used by Magik, as she seems to be on an all-out manhunt, and is torn between his loyalty to his team and his gut instinct that tells him what Magik is doing is wrong.
Just as a girl who has seen two Phoenix hosts consumed by the intoxicating power has learned to do, Kitty treads softly when she expresses her concern to Colossus that he and the other Phoenix hosts are taking their roles a little too far by locking up anyone who dares disagree with them. Colossus assumes this to be a rejection rather than an astute and carefully worded observation and quickly resorts to anger as he proceeds to demolish their lovely dinner and escort Kitty back to her school. When Colossus threatens to use his incredible new gifts to destroy the school, Kitty and co are certainly no match for his might but stand firm to protect what they love. Just as Colossus takes Kitty at her words, “You’ll have to kill me first,” and burns her arm, he seems to come to a halt and is hit by a wave of confusion at his own actions. All his talk of how everyone else has brought this on themselves by not adhering to the rules the Chosen Five have set before them crumbles like Jean’s statue as the realization of how wrong he could be finally breaks through that metallic skull. Colossus is struggling against holding his identity of the man he was versus the entity he is now expected to be. This proves to be too much for Piotr to handle, and he flies off. At the same moment, Iceman and the rest of his team who were too busy hunting down Avengers return to see the Jean Grey School in ruins, and admit that they chose the wrong side. Kitty promptly disperses the duties of her overworked faculty, and we see a single page of Colossus far away in the ice-capped mountains, ashamed of himself and what he has become.
For coming into this issue expecting a silly little love story in which Colossus spends most of his time trying to impress Kitty by flexing his fire muscles as she swoons her approval but always pulls away, I was definitely not prepared for the dark turn this issue eventually took. And maybe that was my own fault for judging a (comic) book by it’s cover. Kitty’s Hot Date, with flowers and fist bumps? I sure did get my 3.99 worth.
Did you pick up Wolverine and the X-Men #18, too? If you did, let me know your thoughts on the story in the comments below, or Tweet them to me directly! And don’t forget to check back in two weeks for my review of Avengers Vs. X-Men: Round 10!