Recently I read the run of the AvX comics, which I highly recommend. The entire event occurs over a multitude of different comic runs, but it is a pretty big story that involves the rise of the Phoenix. The whole story is pretty interesting and it is neat to see how a larger event can ripple out into separate storylines and affect them.
This story event happens after the House of M storyline, where Scarlet Witch reduced the mutant population from millions to hundreds. The Westchester school is still trying to train the mutants, and then the other group with Magneto and Cyclops is trying to figure out how to restore the mutant population. Then the power of the Phoenix begins to rise and the mutant Hope seems to be the intended vessel. The conflict arises due to the fact that the mutants want to use Hope to harness the power of the Phoenix, and the Avengers are worried because the Phoenix tends to be a force of destruction that cannot be harnessed.
Multi Series Events
Part of what I really loved about this series is seeing the ripples across a variety of stories. Part of it is the main story of the Mutants versus the Avengers, but then there is a Wolverine comic, a X-men school comic, an Avengers school comic and a couple of one shots. It really shows the size of the problems and how events such as these are not isolated.
It is neat to see the reaction from the students at the various schools and how they choose to either join the fight or stay out of the fray. Then there are other events brewing that are outside of the main conflict, but that have a tangential relationship to what is happening. It is interesting to see how all the different threads weave together to create the story.
Rise of Mutants
The actions of many of the mutants makes sense. It was a little shocking to see for me having not seen the rest of the comics, but Cyclops is leading the mutant rebels. They are coming from a place where the mutant population has been decimated and they are desperate to restore what they consider balance. Hope is a mutant who has a connection to the Phoenix and she can sense that it is coming. Cyclops and the mutants on his side see this as a possibility. They want to get the world back the way it was; to use the Phoenix to rebirth the mutant population. The Phoenix coming is their chance to create a “better world”.
Now Cyclops might have a noble goal and stand firmly in his belief that he is right. At the same time the last time the Phoenix came around it was not happy fun time, and it took a lot to destroy it and save the Earth. Thus comes in the Avengers. It makes sense that they would see the rise of the Phoenix as a problem and therefore want to take Hope in to a sort of protective custody to try and figure out what to do about the Phoenix. This is understandable considering that their purpose is protecting Earth and the Phoenix is a force of destruction coming for Earth. Thus creating the conflict between the Avengers and the Mutants.
Not All Mutants
The direction this story takes is pretty unexpected, but the one thing that it is important to note is that not all mutants stand together in the decision to go against the Avengers. At the same time the internal fighting within the mutant community is not a simple affair. The mutants who side with the Avengers do not want to forget about the mutant struggle, but do not necessarily see the Phoenix as the way forward. Then there are the members of the X-men who agree with Cyclops and the others and break ranks in order to follow Hope. It is amazing what you will cling to when you feel like everything you had was taken away.
I highly recommend taking the time to read the whole event series, it goes in a lot of different directions and brings up a lot of interesting perspectives.