AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Post Game, Week 20: Illuminati Reunion

***This article contains spoilers for New Avengers #29.***

  Marvel's Avengers vs. X-Men event hits the big 2-0 this week, and celebrated fairly modestly: For the second week in a row, only one AvX tie-in book hit stores this past Wednesday: New Avengers #29, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato. But it was definitely a significant one, and the Post Game is here to talk about it.


If you're going to talk New Avengers #29, you might as well talk to Brian Michael Bendis — who, in the issue, revisited the Illuminati concept that he introduced back in New Avengers #7.

Newsarama: Brian, New Avengers #29 featured the return of The Illuminati, a concept you introduced early in your Avengers run. I'm guessing that it's not a coincidence that you went back to it as you're starting to wind things up — how proud are you of the Illuminati as one of your additions to Marvel lore, and how important was it to you to bring them back together during Avengers vs. X-Men? And as the end of your Avengers run approaches, can readers expect you to revisit a few more hallmarks from your time on the book(s)?

  Brian Michael Bendis: I love the Illuminati. It came to me while I was reading Rule by Secrecy by Jim Marrs. It's about these secret societies; all of the facts and theories of all of the secret organizations that have controlled our country and the world over the course of the last century. Some of the stuff we know to be true, some of it may or may not be true. But it's all fascinating, and I couldn't help but wonder what would the superhero equivalent of this be — and, of course, it became the Marvel Illuminati.

It's always hard to say, but I do think it will be one of the things people remember about most fondly about my time on the Avengers. It certainly is something people hadn't seen before. Every single artist who has drawn them has been a world-class artist who completely brought their everything. I think the miniseries is Jimmy Cheung's best work.

Will I be visiting other stuff like this from my runs? Absolutely. This is the last time I will be writing a lot of these characters for the foreseeable future. When I took on the X-Men I was very bummed out to hear that Spider-Woman was not a mutant.

(But is baby Cage?)

(See what I did there?)


  New Avengers #29: There is no hitting to speak of in New Avengers #29, other than in the opening flashback scene featuring the World War II-era Invaders — specifically Captain America and Namor in considerably friendlier times. There are, however, plenty of verbal barbs thrown back and forth (several of them blamed on a bad burrito Tony Stark ate) as the Illuminati reconvene as a somewhat desperate move prompted by Captain America. Plus, the answer to the question, "What side is Reed Richards on during AvX?" Looks like at least for now, he's taking a "wait and see" approach in regards to the Phoenix Five, and seems generally impressed with the good things that they've done — though it's worth noting that this issue clearly takes place before Avengers vs. X-Men #8, as Namor still has his Phoenix powers, and thus it's also before Namor tried to destroy Wakanda (and was relatively successful in his attempt).

Worth noting:

  - What's that, you don't know about the Illuminati? Kindly direct yourself to the New Avengers: Illuminati five-issue miniseries — from Bendis, co-writer Brian Reed and artist Jim Cheung — which details the collective influence Iron Man, Mister Fantastic, Professor Xavier, Namor, Doctor Strange and Black Bolt (replaced by Captain America in the most recent incarnation) have had on the Marvel Universe over the years.

- Professor Xavier has been an unhappy camper throughout AvX, and once again implies that he might (very reluctantly) take extreme measures to stop the Phoenixes: "I'm prepared to stop Scott, no matter what the cost." Foreshadowing?

- The meeting takes place at Stark Enterprises subsidiary Funtime, Inc., the same venue as the first Illuminati bro-down revealed to readers in 2005's New Avengers #7.

- Tony Stark has three doctorates.


  August 15 doubles up on AvX titles, with both Avengers #29 from Bendis and Walt Simonson providing a "flip side to Wolverine and the X-Men #12" (preview here); and Avengers vs. X-Men #3, the first issue of the main series written by Ed Brubaker since #3, plus art from Olivier Coipel (preview here). AND FINALLY: Got an Avengers vs. X-Men-related question you'd like us to ask in a future installment of the Post Game Report? Find us on Facebook or Twitter. More from Newsarama: Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!
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