Age of Apocalypse Part 25
X-calibre Issue #3
Wrtten by Warren Ellis
Art by Ken Lashley
Inks by Tom Wegrzyn (with Philip Moy)
Lettered by Richard Starkings & Comicraft
A recap page, oh how I miss the recap page. Warren Ellis brings us up to speed on the world this story takes place in as well as our main character’s motives. Which is this, Nightcrawler was fighting some pirates when his mother, Mystique swings into save the day. Rather literally at that too.
Back on the pirate vessel:
Mystique makes small talk with Nightcrawler; and he asks her what she is doing here and how did she find him? She gives a brief explanation and they both jump onto a rope ladder back to Mystiques hover vessel.
Somewhere behind a cloud, a similar vehicle with V.T.O.L. technology is hiding out and keeping a distance from Mystique to follow them. On board are three mutants, Damask, Deadman, and a dead Dani Moonstone from the previous issue. Damask shows us just how cruel she can be with her conversation with a feeble Wade a.k.a. Deadman.
Mystiques aircraft lands just outside her Castle built in the Cold wasteland of Antarctica. Both Mutants walk out of the ship and head to her home, while making small talk about Nightcrawler’s father. Once inside Nightcrawler uses this opportunity to confront his mother about Avalon. He loses his temper and strikes her. This causes Mystique to reveal her real association with Avalon; and how she hasn’t set foot on it’s shores in years and she is not worthy too. More drama to develop the characters drive for the remaining story.
Suddenly we cut to:
Mystique and Nightcrawler are in a Ferry boat on an underground river to Avalon. They travel for a distance to a shore line where they meet the gatekeeper to Avalon, Cain Marko. The gigantic man questions the two mutants, and then agrees to lead them to Avalon and Mystiques old friend, Destiny.
On the road to Avalon Cain tells the Darkholmes about his step brother, Charles Xavier. He also reveals more about his character. A man of violence, who is now a man of peace. They rest for the evening and in the morning they head off to Avalon. When their travel is over and they have arrived at Avalon, Destiny just happens to be right there to greet them, with her son.
The group has a quick chat, and Mystique informs Destiny why they are in Avalon. Destiny doesn’t say anything, just turns and walks back to the village. Everyone follows her.
At the Village:
Destiny takes Mystique to a small building and introduces her to the young woman known as Switchback. Destiny explains that she read Switchback’s future and it showed the destruction of Avalon.
Just outside the Village of Avalon slightly above the Valley, Damask and Deadman are viewing the area. Deadman see’s all the beauty of the Floral of the Valley and wants to destroy it all. From his viewpoint it is all an affront to the world of Apocalypse. Damask on the other hand is impressed by it all and feels differently.
Back at the village:
Mystique asks Destiny to come back with her to America and confirm if the Mutant Bishop is truly who he says he is. Destiny just straight up refuses, stating she has seen the future and she must stay. Just then the conversation is interrupted with an explosion that rocks the entire house and makes everyone fall over. The group quickly recovers and rushes outside to find the cause of the explosion. They meet up with Cain who looks like he took a direct hit from the blast.
Nightcrawler argues with Cain to do something about the attackers. Cain’s personality, and his desire to be a pacifist causes something to snap in his psyche and he passes out.
On top of the Ridge where Deadman and Damask are at; Deadman is ready to go down to the Village and destroy everything. Damask on the other hand has a change of heart and attacks Deadman in defense of Avalon. Just then NIghtcrawler comes up the ridge and see’s the two interlopers. He jumps on top of Deadman’s back and “Bamf’s” a few feet away severing the man's head from his body.
Damask quickly tells Nightcrawler that she is defecting and wants to help them defend Avalon from Apocalypse. The four heroes make a nineties pose and we are left with a to be concluded.
THOUGHTS ON THE STORY:
This particular chapter of the story feels a bit rushed towards the end. Warren Ellis gives us a story with lots of action towards the end. However the buildup to it isn’t there. The main problem for our Protagonist is answered halfway through the book and suddenly his drive is changed at the end. The other plot problem is with Damask, and how quickly she changes sides. Seems a bit unusual for a character's motivation to flip so quickly.
Ken Lashley’s art is really good, his figures have sharp lines that create a well drawn form but not overly exaggerate like a lot of Nineties comic artist where renowned for doing. His panel layout makes the story flow rather well and his backgrounds work well to describe the various moods and scenes.
All in all I give this book a:
Score 6 out of 10