In “AvX: Consequences” #5, Kieron Gillen and Gabriel Hernandez Walta do exactly what they should: deliver a strong and logical conclusion to this weekly mini-series. It’s easy with a set-up like this to imagine that when the dust settles, everything will be just like it was at the beginning.
Instead, Gillen has told a complete story about Cyclops, post-Phoenix. At the end of “AvX: Consequences” #5 he (and several other characters) is in a different spot than he was at the start, and it’s one that’s been informed by what happened in the first four issues. Perhaps more importantly, it’s one that makes sense. With the sheer firepower even just a handful of mutants together can wield, Cyclops having a three-person escape team (as established at the end of “AvX: Consequences” #4) is something that works well and is believable. Gillen not only ends up with something fun for the reader, but at the same time through actions reminds us just why mutants in the Marvel Universe are feared so much. The amount of damage that just a few mutants can create is quite impressive, to put it mildly.
I also appreciated that Gillen gets to somewhat wrap up Hope’s story, at least in terms of her connection to Cable. As the writer of the first year’s worth of “Generation Hope,” it feels right for Gillen to get to tackle the character one last time. After appearing in the prelude to “Avengers vs. X-Men,” it’s nice to have the status of Cable addressed again, and it also provides a satisfying sense of closure before Cable moves onto his new X-Force series.
Walta was a great choice to draw the final issue of “AvX: Consequences.” He’s always been good at the spooky, creepy, moody art, and that’s what you should have when Magik is involved. On the very first page, as Magik holds up her Soulsword and we see an eerie light and shadow pouring off of its blade, Walta (and colorist Jim Charalampidis) sells the moment. It’s dark, it’s deliberately not quite right, and it reminds you that Magik is not a character to cross lightly. Walta’s depiction of all the characters involved is good, but Magik’s demons and Danger both fare particularly well. Danger’s wires and rivets make her look unearthly and odd, and the demons are only seen in tiny glimpses but are sufficiently dangerous. Even something as simple as Magneto controlling tendrils of metal through Magik’s portals ends up looking top-notch and disturbing; they’re as much a demonic force as Magik’s beings from Limbo.
“AvX: Consequences” shouldn’t have worked half as well as it did, but it’s much to everyone’s credit that it opened and closed a success. Gillen and Walta (plus the artists from the first four issues) have turned out a fun mini-series that provided exactly what it promised: consequences. Add in a great last word from Cyclops, and it makes me genuinely interested in where these characters will turn up next. I’ll be ready to read that comic, whatever it might be. Well done.