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SPOILER WARNING: The following contains spoilers for “Dark Avengers” #7

“Dark Avengers’ #7 on sale now

The ranks of the Marvel Universe’s mutant populace may have shrunk to approximately 198, but even at that low number, the mutants are still a force to be reckoned with. In the current “Utopia” crossover between “Dark Avengers” and “Uncanny X-Men,” a power struggle is underway to determine the fate of the world’s mutants. On one side is Norman Osborn, who wants to tighten his control over mutants everywhere so they don’t threaten his Dark Reign over the world. On the other side are Cyclops and the X-Men, who want to remain independent of Osborn’s sinister machinations. Complicating things is the presence of the mysterious Simon Trask, who wants to take care of the mutant problem by eliminating them all together.

In “Dark Avengers” #7, part three of “Utopia,” a new wildcard came into play as Emma Frost and her Osborn sponsored team of Dark X-Men went on their first heroic mission. But whose side is Emma really on? How do the Dark Avengers feel now that Osborn is sponsoring two super teams?

In today’s installment of EVOLUTION REVOLUTION, we get the answers to those questions and more, straight from “Utopia” writer Matt Fraction, who returns to walk us through “Dark Avengers” #7. If you’re just joining us, feel free to catch up with installments one and two. Don’t worry-we’ll wait.

CBR: The Beast lying there after experiencing the effects of the Dark Beast’s Omega Machine. It’s both humorous and horrifying.

MATT FRACTION: It’s a grim scene but there’s a little bit of gallows humor. And really, what kind of monster would torture Hank McCoy? If you’re wondering who the bad guys are here you have it. Fuck Osborn and Dark Beast-torturing Hank McCoy means they’re animals! I love Hank. He’s been one of the moral centers of this book and the fact that things have gotten this bad, for him especially, should give us all pause. Whatever this machine of Dark Beast’s is, it’s not good.

In this scene, we see Emma Frost intervene to keep Daken, Wolverine’s son, from ending the life of Avalanche, who was part of a pro-mutant riot in San Francisco’s Union Square.

Daken and Emma is a pot that will come to boil before too long.

While she may be forced to advance Osborn’s agenda as leader of his Dark X-Men, it seems that Emma is really trying to act as honorably as possible.

We very rarely have advanced warnings of crisis and catastrophes. They happen very quickly and demand improvisation and adaptability. There’s not a lot of time to sit down and call everybody you know to work up plans and solutions. Ultimately Emma is doing the best she can for her kind in these circumstances.

At the risk of being unpopular back at Graymalkin [the X-Men’s headquarters], what was the alternative? If she didn’t lead the team what would Osborn have done? How far away are mutants from being put in camps?

So even when things are at their most dire, Emma Frost is still acting as a teacher and protector of mutants?

Always. Even when she was in the Hellfire Club and hanging out with bad people her goal was always the education and protection of mutants. She was never Selene and Sebastian Shaw. She was there to train and protect people. Now, she might have been conniving, mean and a huge bitch, but protecting her people has always been her core value. She doesn’t give a fuck about who doesn’t like her because she’s saving lives and protecting people and she suspects that what she’s currently doing is keeping her people out of camps.

What was it like writing this scene with Cyclops and Norman Osborn?

It was fantastic. I had a blast. I think Scott is a great character and I wanted him to have this scene so badly. He comes off as a complete badass and that is Scott Summers right there.

How much trouble has Cyclops started by telling Osborn to surrender? Based on Osborn’s reaction, it seems like Scott has gone and made things very personal.

Yeah, he just went ahead and made himself a personal problem rather than a political one. Never the best strategy- or is it? Could Scott be trying to knock Norman off his game by using the old Rope-A-Dope?

In this scene it looks like the Dark Avengers are jealous of Osborn’s Dark X-Men.

Almost all of them are a bunch of psychotic, sociopathic, attention starved lunatics. And if you give them a little attention and positive reinforcement they want more! They’re petty, small and jealous and they don’t share well with others.

Is Ares also jealous of the attention? Or is he just spoiling for a fight?

Ares couldn’t give a shit about how many cameras are around. He’s a warrior and he’s sitting on the sidelines. He’s bored and misused. A hammer wants to hit nails; that’s just what it does. He’s seeing a perfectly ripe opportunity to ply his trade.

Emma Frost has a pretty strong reaction to the revelation that Osborn is working with Dark Beast.

Dark Beast built death camps for mutants. Everybody knows who he is and what he’s capable of. So the question is, is Emma surprised by his presence? Or is she surprised that Osborn would reveal his presence?

Is Dark Beast’s presence in the Dark X-Men a deal breaker for Emma?

Maybe. It’s never said explicitly but Emma realizes that if she’s not doing this that mutants are going to camps. That’s what’s going to happen if Osborn’s hand is forced. So Osborn and Dark Beast working together just reinforces everybody’s worst beliefs and expectations

The Dark Avengers and Dark X-Men finally come to blows. What’s at stake in the clash between these two teams?

Who is Daddy’s favorite? The Dark Avengers have been forced to share the stage with the Dark X-Men both metaphorically and literally in the sense that this month even their own comic book is being taken away from them. So they’re like, “No goddamn it! We’re better and bigger than this! We are stars! How dare they come in and take away our fame, attention, and spotlight!”

Here we finally learn the truth about who Simon Trask is and about his larger agenda.

He’s the last of the Human Sentinels and sort of the last of the dangling Ed Brubaker subplots. We saw Trask planting his seeds as early “Uncanny X-Men” #500. He did that by touching people and spreading nanites which turn them into superpowered mutant killing machines. So he’s been ambling towards this larger goal for a while now.


Thank you to artist Luke Ross. The scene with Cyclops with a jet pack is fantastic and he really sells Norman Osborn’s reactions in those scenes as well. If you look at everybody in the background you’ll see the H.AM.M.E.R. guards are snickering and laughing their asses off


Hang on because here we go! Trask goes mission critical. Surprises and twists happen as Cyclops is put to the test. There are three or four very important characters in the issue-they’re the last three people you would ever think of. Here’s a hint. They’re all girls.

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