Hi there, welcome to my tumblr. I was going to link you to some of the previous times I have answered this question, but thoses always only covered aspects of the whole. This time, I will attempt to give as comprehensive an answer to the question that I can.
There are a lot of ins and outs to this. But in it’s most basic form, it refers to whose side a person chose during the war between the X-Men & Avengers. This was a Marvel Comics event that took place in 2012, and set the stage for the current dynamic of the universe.
Now I will get into the BIG PICTURE, as I see it. I am going to cover a lot of stuff here.
The seeds for this event start in 2004’s, Avengers 500. The story was called Avengers Disassembled. The Scarlet Witch would go mad, her reality altering powers out of control. This led to a chain of events that would break the Avengers as they existed at the time.
Fast forward, to 2005. The New Avengers, and the X-Men are meeting to decide what how best to handle Wanda in the long term. Up until now, she had been in the care of her father, Magneto.
Some called for further treatment. Some for execution. All think their plan is the most humane, but no agreement can be reached. It was decided that they needed to see her in her current condition to decide the best answer.
They do not get there first.
The heroes would arrive too late. Wanda’s powers would be used to warp, and create a new reality.
In this new timeline, mutants are the dominant class, and Magneto’s family rules.
Eventually, the skewed nature of the current timeline becomes known, memories are set right, and the X-Men along with the Avengers realign the world.
Unfortunately, the mad Avenger would use her powers once more.
The world as we knew it was back on course, but at a terrible cost. 90% of the mutant population had their X gene turned off. No more mutants were being born. Roughly 200 mutants were left in the world
This was the era of Decimation, and it would go on for a very long time.
Through strength of will, and character, Cyclops would rally the majority of the world’s mutants to his banner. He would hold them together in their darkest hour, and make sure they survived as a people until essentially, a miracle occurred.
And then one day, a child was born. The first mutant since M Day. Additionally, she was born a mutant, and did not have to wait until puberty for her X gene to activate. She was the first o her kind. This was the story told in 2009’s Messiah CompleX, and the birth of Hope Summers.
From the moment he was aware of her, Cyclops knew she was special. With almost a religious fervor, he believed she would be the key to bringing the mutant race back to life. To that end, he entrusted his son Cable to safeguard her in the future, until such a time that she was ready to fulfill her destiny.
The intervening time was not pleasant. Losses mounted, and people died. The world’s mutant population came to become their own nation, living on Magneto’s former Asteroid M. It was converted into the Island Nation of Utopia.
This brings us to 2010, and the Second Coming of Hope Summers. Events would start to snow ball at this point. Now a teenager, she and her father had returned to the time of her birth. From the moment she set foot in the modern era, she and Cable were beset by enemies, and hunted. This was actually not too far from the life she had lived every day up to this point.
Scott had spent every day since the last time he his son take the girl, waiting for them to get back. Everything he had done since was a war of attrition, keeping a remnant of a people alive until the miracle she would perform happened. When Cable returned, he was ready.
The entire might of the mutant population was given one task. Get Hope. Get her back to Utopia. Keep her safe. Every life lost, every compromise that had been made, all were done because of the faith he had in her.
The cost was heavy. before the story was over, both Nightcrawler, and Cable would die. Their shared faith in her purpose fueled the sacrifices they would make.
In the aftermath of the event, a couple revelations were made known. Hope would become the next incarnation of the Phoenix…….
and while only a trickle, new mutants had again been been born.
But then came a split in the house of Xavier. Cyclops and Wolverine no longer saw eye to eye. The X-Men became two groups, with Scott and Logan as the head of differing factions
Before too long we would learn that Cable had in fact not died. His body would pull itself together in a apocalyptic future. The techno organic virus that had ravaged his body all of his life was now out of control. Out of the fire, and into the frying pan. He was dying.
He would find out he had less than 24 hours to live. But that was not the worst of it. This tragic future came about because Hope had not been able to fulfill her purpose. The people at fault for that, were the Avengers.
Cable would spend his last day hunting down the Avengers, trying to find out why they would do this. His mind became more and more erratic as the virus overwhelmed his body. The Avengers were still no match for him.
Cyclops and Hope would find out what was going on. Realizing that Cable was becoming more deranged as the virus spread, they helped to free the Avengers, and stop Nathan from doing further damage. Cable was defeated, as the techno organic virus finally claimed his body.
Later, while alone with the body of her father, the Phoenix would once again manifest in Hope.
After so many years, his body and mind were able to begin to heal. While catatonic externally, his mind was still active inside. He was able to reach out to Cyclops on the astral plane.
Cable would inform Cyclops of the oncoming storm. The Avengers would come, and if they got their way, all hope was lost.
Hope would become the next avatar of the Phoenix, and that was one hell of a scary proposition. Father and son reaffirmed their faith in this girl who they knew was destined to give rise to a rebirth of mutants. The trust they had in her outweighed the fear of the universal force known as the Phoenix. When the Avengers came, Scott would be ready.
Now, everything I have said so far is what laid the ground worked for the main event. You see, the next chapter is when the Phoenix came back to Earth.
The Phoenix exists outside of the concept of good and evil. It is a universal force of death & rebirth. Like the lion hunting its prey, the storm or fire that leaves destruction in it’s wake. It also allow for new life to be born.
Nova would would provide an early warning to the Avengers, letting them know the Phoenix was coming.
The Avengers are Earth’s mightiest heroes, and all that jazz. Once they perceive a threat to the planet, they are going to do everything in their power to eradicate it. They are also very strong defenders of the status quo. Their leaders are men of high ideals, with rigid views of the world. Leaps of faith, do not come naturally to them. They see an enemy, and punch it into submission.
At this time, Hope would manifest the Phoenix again.
Before coming to his final decision on how to handle coming event with the X-Men, Captain America would consult with Wolverine. Decisions were made. The die was cast.
Rogers would come to Utopia, and lay out the scenario as he saw it. The X-Men were to hand Hope over to the Avengers. They would take it from here.
Cyclops had the experience that would allow a belief in Hope. Captain America had not. This is a key detail I have to keep in mind when I consider each man’s stance. To give this a personal spin, I believe in a higher power. The experience I have that gives me that is personal, and has no value to anyone other than myself. Trying to convince another person based on it is futile, so I do not try.
But there are some real world factors that were ignored. Never mind that the X-Men were the only people on Earth to have any experience with the Phoenix. Forget the cost they had born keeping Hope alive to get to this point. There was no coming to the X-Men in a sense of cooperation.
The Avengers saw themselves as the only viable force able to deal with the issue. The X-Men could help, but Rogers and his people would take the lead, and make the final decision.
Years of stress, and problems that were never properly dealt with would finally come to a head.
In the end, Captain America would leave no room for compromise. He did not come here to negotiate. In the back of his head, I imagine Cyclops remembering the conversation with Cable. The Avengers would come, and they would try to take Hope.
These are the pivotal moments in history. When an action one way or the other will have consequences reaching years down the road. Cyclops made one of these. He would not let the Avengers have Hope.
There would be no going back.
Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war.
As in any war, neither side would come out clean. It is my view however, that every major escalation came at the hands of the Avengers. Their view that that only they were equipped to handle the problem was the initial instigation.
Their continued efforts to destroy the Phoenix before it reached the Earth would cause it to fissure. Instead of taking a single host, it took five. Five mutants that were woefully unequipped to handle the power raging through them. At this point. the story could only end with tragedy.
The five hosts of the Phoenix would all commit atrocious acts. Corrupted by forces he was not fit to bare, Cyclops would eventually kill Charles Xavier, and become Dark Phoenix.
Along the way the Avengers would realize they never stood a chance at stopping the Phoenix from doing what it had intended to do. The only way survive what was at hand, was to allow Hope to become Phoenix herself. They had to take the leap of faith Scott had done the night Hope was born. The leap of faith that had taken him to this tragic point in his life.
It would take the combined efforts of Hope, and the recently returned to sanity, Scarlet Witch, along with a nudge by the dead Jean Grey, to fell Scott Summers.
There is a cost to what the Phoenix gives. Part of that included the fall of Cyclops.
Had The X-Men kept her on their own, the Phoenix would have corrupted Hope. If the Avengers successfully taken her, the Phoenix would have destroyed the Earth. I believe the war was a necessary evil that provided Hope with additional training and experience to properly host the force. It was through the events that transpired that she gained the emotional maturity, and sense of self sacrifice that was needed.
Mutants would be returned to the Earth by the energy released when Hope successfully accepted, and then discarded the Phoenix from her body. The cycle of death and rebirth was complete.
The Avengers would ride off into the sunset, believing themselves to be the white knights of the story, even though they had really only cleaned up a mess they were largely responsible for making.
Cyclops would accept the cost for the new genesis his people had received. He was not without blame, or culpability for the tragic events that occurred.
In my final analysis of the situation. When I take in everything that transpired, I believe Cyclops was right in his decision. I do not white wash his actions. I do not remove any and all guilt. But in the fullness of the events that transpired, he made the best decisions with the poor options available to him. Because of the choices he made, the Marvel Universe still stands, and new mutants are being born.
Cyclops was Right.