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Jason’s Vault – Age of Apocalypse

There are multiple reasons why I’ve put this comic series in the vault this week.  One, is that X-men: First Class just opened.  Another is that The Uncanny X-Force has Wolvie and the gang going to the Age of Apocalypse to stop Archangel from turning into the heir of Apocalypse.  Also, Flashpoint is looking like a similar story for the DC Universe.  The final reason is that back in the day, Jim and I went to the comic book store to buy this series and it’s what got Jim hooked on comics and thus was born – the Age of Nerdlocker!

So what is the Age of Apocalypse?  Well, Legion goes back in time to kill Magneto but accidently kills his father, Charles Xavier.  Legion then ceases to exist since Xavier never fathered him. 

WAIT! If Legion never existed, then how could he go back in time and kill Xavier?  If he isn’t able to kill Xavier, then Xavier would go on to father him and Legion would go on to kill Xavier.  It’s a time paradox!

Now that our heads have exploded, we can remind ourselves that this is a comic and not a phillosophy class on time travel theory. Let’s journey to a world without Charles Xavier – the Age of Apocalypse!

The series starts with X-Men Alpha, where Bishop, who finally loses his mullet, is the only one who realizes that this alternate reality, in which Apocalypse has conquered all of North America, should not exist.  He meets up with Magneto who is now leader of the X-men.  From here, Magneto assigns different groups of mutants various tasks to either combat Apocalypse or find a way to repair history.  Thus this is the launching point for the eight storylines that take the place of various X-titles that were currently being published.

Like with any alternate reality storyline, the most fun is seeing the alternate versions of your favorite heroes and villains.  So below I will give you a brief summary of each of the storylines and some of the character changes to be found within. 

Sure the art is very 90s. But the 90s rocked! BTW, that's Shadowcat, not X-23.

X-calibre: This series is only cool because Nightcrawler is in it with his mommy, Mystique.  He’s being chased down by the Pale Riders, who are the poor man’s Horsemen.  Even Deadpool is a disappointment as Dead Man Wade, a humorless version of our favorite mercenary.  At least Nightcrawler is much more ruthless.  The way he kills Dead Man Wade is worth not spoiling it for you.

Gambit and the Xternals: This was the one I was looking forward to most back in 1995.  Gambit was my favorite X-man and in the 90s his desire to hook up with Rogue was only equaled by Ross and Rachel’s unrequited love in Friends.  Unfortunately, his team consists of loser characters and his mission is a boring trip to find the M’kraan Crystal.

Generation Next:  This replaced the title Generation X, which was only a year old at the time.  Thus this team was left intact so as not to lose any of its new readers.  We have Colossus and Shadowcat (who has always been one of my favorite lesser-known characters) as the husband/wife leaders of these youngsters .  The ending of this series is ruthlessly cool.

Amazing X-men:  The Amazing X-Men consist of team leader Quicksilver and Storm, Dazzler, Banshee, Iceman, and Exodus.  They have to help the remaining humans (who have been sent to the equivalent of concentration camps to either be exterminated or experimented on by the Dark Beast) escape to Europe.   They battle the new version of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

Astonishing X-men: The Astonishing X-Men are led by Rogue (Magneto’s wife) and consist of Sabretooth, Blink, Wild Child, Morph, and Sunfire.  If there is any one series to get it’s this one.  It has the coolest of villains turned hero in Sabretooth.  Sunfire is easily the coolest costume change. And Blink has the best character make-over.  Whoever decided to include this short-lived (literally) character is a genius. Like Harlequin from BTAS, she becomes such a popular character in this series that fans clamor for her return to the Marvel Universe for years.  It took those dolts at Marvel until 2001 to bring her back from the dead, which might be why you’ve never heard of her.

Weapon X: Wolverine looks ridiculous with those red stripes on him, but the fact that he is somehow missing a hand is very cool.  Plus, in this reality he hooks up with Jean Grey, which is understandable when you see Cyclops’ evil grunge rock hairdo.

Is it me or does he look like Brad Pitt in Legend of the Falls?

Factor X: This is the evil book.  Here you see the emo version of Cyclops betray Apocalypse and help humans escape the “breeding pens” where Dark Beast has been experimenting on them.  Sibling rivalry ensues when Havok tries to stop him.

X-man: This reality’s version of Cable is Nate Grey. It appears he is the key to stopping Apocalypse.  Forge is all Obi Wan to his Luke and Mr. Sinister is all Darth Vader in this series that is fairly interesting.  Nate ends up one of the few characters who crosses back over to the mainstream storylines.

X-Universe: A two-issue miniseries that is NOT worth purchasing.

X-men Omega: The final issue, this book has wicked battles and epic deaths.  After all, it’s an alternate universe so big names should be killed off.

Hopefully, I’ve peaked your interest. The entire storyline can be collected in four graphic novels.  Or pick whichever storyline you liked most and hit the cardboard boxes at your friendly neighborhood comic store.

I've been a comic nerd since Spider-man and his Amazing Friends and the Super Friends. So someone please explain to me, when did Aquaman become so cool? Also, why isn't She-Hulk in more media?

3 Comments

  1. The Dork Knight

    June 5, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    “Or pick whichever storyline you liked most and hit the cardboard boxes at your friendly neighborhood comic store.”

    I’m sure you meant to say:

    “Or pick whichever storyline you liked most and hit the cardboard boxes at MaximuM Comics!”

    😛

    LLAP

    • Jason

      June 6, 2011 at 2:46 PM

      True. True. If you live in Vegas drop by MaximuM Comics. I live in Michigan, so it’s a bit of a drive. Next time I’m in Sin City though I’ll drop by. Say, you don’t have slots in your store do you? Maybe one with the jackpot being a mint condition of Detective Comics #27?

      • The Dork Knight

        June 7, 2011 at 11:33 AM

        LOL!!! No slots yet, but I’ll see what I co do about that! 😛 Great article by the way.

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