As evidenced by his historic “pipe bomb” and succeeding WWE Championship reign, CM Punk is a revolutionary and controversial figure in WWE’s history. As such, it’s only fitting that mighty Marvel Comics sought out The Second City Saint when it came time to write an introduction for the publisher’s historic and controversial universe-spanning event, “Avengers vs. X-Men.”
The book, which will be released in a special hardcover edition that collects all 12 issues of the record-breaking sales juggernaut series, set the comics world on fire in 2011 and into 2012, as it pit Marvel’s two premiere super hero teams against each other. For comics fans, the thought of seeing X-Men leader Cyclops and his band of usually merry mutants take a very firm stand against the likes of Captain America, Spider-Man and Thor presents a dream matchup akin to seeing, say, CM Punk square off against WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
Axel Alonso, editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, took time out of his insane schedule at the recently concluded New York Comic Con to talk about the upcoming release and reigning WWE Champion’s involvement in the project. For his part, Punk, a noted comic book fan, certainly brought his A-game to the intro. “It’s funny, he provides great context, and he understands the heart of what we were doing and I couldn’t be happier,” Alonso said. “If I had to describe my writing style,” The Second City Saint told USA Today in a recent interview, “it’s very sarcastic and self-deprecating.” About the series itself, Marvel’s head honcho stated, simply, “Avengers vs. X-Men” (or, as it’s become known online and in comic shops, “AvX”), is “the biggest event Marvel’s done in a decade.”
“It’s a fight that transforms the Marvel Universe,” Alonso explained. “There was a winner and loser, and it was as big an event as you could possibly imagine.”
“AvX” is a unique event for a number of different reasons. As Alonso told WWE.com, “AvX” marks “the first time [Marvel] did a universe-spanning event that was equally important to both the Avengers and the X-Men.”
It was a story so grandiose, in fact, that it took a group of creators to see the vision through to fruition. Written by five of the top writers in the industry — Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron, Matt Fraction, Jonathan Hickman and Ed Brubaker — and with art by comic book luminaries John Romita Jr., Olivier Coipel and Adam Kubert, “AvX” is unlike anything the comics landscape has witnessed in a long time.
“Because we knew we were doing a story that was so big,” Alonso said, “It just felt like it needed to be powered by more than one brain. Our motto was, ‘five fingers make a fist.’ ” Broken down into three distinct acts, each issue of “AvX” was handed off to the writer/artist team best suited for the events of that particular issue. The results speak for themselves, as the series was both a commercial and critical success.
In addition to presenting the entire story in one massive hardcover book for the first time, the upcoming “Avengers vs. X-Men” collection will have an assortment of special features, including behind-the-scenes peeks, AR applications and previously digital-only Infinite Comics supplemental material.
“Topping it all off,” Alonso added, “What is a good collection without a great introduction?”
The editor-in-chief continued, “CM Punk wrote the introduction — it’s fantastic, it’s pitch-perfect, because who understands two teams getting into the ring and going at one another for all the stakes more than CM Punk?”
“I worked really hard to get to where I’m at and it’s cool to be afforded opportunities like this,” Punk told USA Today. “To me, it’s hard work paying off and I’m having a lot of fun right now.”