"When this is done, when my wants have replaced my needs, I'm going to kill you." Those are the final words spoken to Namor on the third and final page of the preview to NEW AVENGERS #2 by Jonathan Hickman. They are in reference to the events that transpired in AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #7 and #8 where Namor, at the bidding of Emma Frost, attacks Wakanda, murdering T'Challa's people. Since Namor now has the blood of Wakandians on his hands, T'Challa will seek his revenge upon the King of Atlantis, and chances are that fight will very likely go down in Hickman's current NEW AVENGERS series. The question is, however, was the destruction of Wakanda really Namor's fault?
If you've been following the events of ALL-NEW X-MEN you might recall a series of panels in the third issue of the series where Magneto and Cyclops free Emma Frost from captivity. Following that scene, Emma and Scott get into a heated argument, and Cyclops apologizes profusely his actions when he was taken over by the Phoenix Force. According to that particular scene, all members of the Phoenix Five had had their minds, and powers, altered. In that scene readers are told that these 5 mutants chosen by the Phoenix had an influx of their powers, but that when the Phoenix left them, their natural mutant powers had been altered. Not only have they had their powers shifted in strength and control, but when the Phoenix had its hold of them, they acted irrationally. The dialogue between Scott and Emma indicates that it wasn't Scott who did those horrible things, it was the power of the Phoenix Force. Yet, it's hard to determine whether this applied only to Scott, or if it applied to all members of the Phoenix Five.== TEASER ==
In that scene, Scott tells Emma that she "knows it wasn't him," in reference to the murder of Charles Xavier and his betrayal, but Emma seems to disagree. So, was that really Scott who did all those terrible things, or was it the Phoenix Force? If this was all just the Phoenix, should these characters be held responsible for their actions? Following the events of AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Scott Summers was imprisoned for the damage he had caused while under the influence of a power he could not control. But was his imprisonment warranted? Should he be held responsible for the murder of Charles Xavier? And also, should Namor be held responsible for the death and destruction of Wakanda and Black Panther's people?
The way that these two characters (Scott and Namor) had evolved over the last few years might give us a better clue as to how their actions should be judged. Over the last several years Namor's relationship with Black Panther has soured, particularly during the Black Panther run during Dark Reign. During that time it appeared as if Namor had struck a deal with Dr. Doom that allowed Doom to attack Wakanda and cripple the country, taking its resources (Vibranium). If we were to weigh Namor's actions then to what the Phoenix essentially "forced" him to do, it seems like he was already going down a dark path, doesn't it? And the same can sort of be said for Scott, can't it? During the time leading up to A VS X Scott Summers had already taken a hard lined approach to leading the X-Men. In his eyes, he had no choice and therefore he had to become a more aggressive leader. He had to re-establish X-Force. He had to fight the Avengers.
So was this the Phoenix doing all the destroying and the killing, or was this the Phoenix merely enhancing these characters and their abilities and shutting off their inhibitions? How much of what happened was the Phoenix, and how much was these characters? What do you think? Do you think Namor should be held responsible for the destruction of Wakanda, and if so, what should Black Panther do about it?