Thursday, February 22, 2018

X-man Issue #4 (Age of Apocalypse Part 29)

Age of Apocalypse  Part 29
X-man  Issue #4

Written by Jeph Loeb
Art by Steve Skroce
Inks by Bud LaRosa
Lettered by Richard Starkings & Comicraft

Open With:

Apocalypse berating Shadow King about his top assassin, Domino’s failure to kill or capture the unknown emerging telepath.  Shadow King informs Apocalypse that the telepath is sending out increased amounts of energy that has been interrupting the shadow kings host bodies, thus making it difficult for him to stop the telepath.  

Editor's note on X-calibre and Factor-X tie-ins.

This causes Apocalypse to go into a fit of rage and blasts the room with one of his mutant powers.  Apocalypse then walks away from the Goldfish bowl Shadow king to check on his newest prisoner, Magneto. (See Astonishing X-men #4)

Meanwhile back in middle America:
Nate Grey is blasting Mr. Sinister with a telekinetic force that sends the conniving corrupter to the ground.   Sinister  and Nate have a quick expositional exchange that gives the reader a quick recap of everything that has happened up to issue 4.  In this exchange, Sinister manages to be physically evasive to Nate’s attacks while also explaining his motive for finding Nate.  Sinister manages to get Nate to read his mind and they share Sinisters memories and a few flashbacks to Nate's origin.  As well as , learning Nate’s biological parents.; Jean Grey and Prelate Scott Summers.

After the brief walk down memory lane, Nate and Sinister return to the real world. Sinister tells Nate that his true destiny is to kill Apocalypse.  At which point Sinister is then suckerpunched by an energy blast and a sonic blast.  

Sauron and Theresa enter the fray as they both stand defiant in front of Nate and Sinister.  Nate turns to tell his friends that they shouldn’t have come, and wraps them up in a telekinetic shield and sends them away.  
Nate then turns around to face Sinister once more, and delivers a beat down to the evil scientist with his fists and mutant powers. After which Nate flies off, leaving the pummeled villain in his own pool of blood.  A moment later Sinister comes to and stands up. He starts to walk away, but discovers that he has lost too much blood and falls to his knees, after living so long he welcomes his true death.

Nate returns to the Caravan that he calls home.  There he finds his two surviving friends Sauron and Theresa breaking downs camp and worrying about the young mutant.  Nate tells them that he needs to leave then and find Magneto, in hopes to better understand his destiny.  After sharing a kiss with Theresa and saying goodbye to Sauron, he flies off.  

High in the sky Nate sees a vision of Magneto and Apocalypse fighting.  This vision gives Nate a direction for where Magneto is at, and Nate speeds off to what was once New York.  

Nate is floating above the Depot’s Citadel, thinking about how to enter the facility. When he feels a pull to go inside near the ground level. Nate flies into the building at the lower levels and runs into guards killing mutants.

Nate makes short work of the guards and blasts one through a wall; coincidentally on the other side is Cyclops and Jean.  Another editor’s note to read Factor-X issue 4 to get their story.
At the sudden meeting of Jean and Nate; the two telepathically link and a psionic backlash causes Jean some intense pain.  Seeing this, Scott assumes it’s an attack and comes to Jeans defense and assaults Nate, thus severing the connection.

Jean tells Scott to stop and that Nate is a friend; and the three have a brief chat.  Nate informs them that he is off to do battle with Apocalypse and leaps up to the tallest spine to climb his way to the Tyrant's throne room.

To Be continued …………….. in X-men Omega.

Jeph Loeb’s script is solid; the writer recaps the setup, answers questions from prior issues, and establishes the main characters final conflict for the series.  We get a nice storytelling of action, exposition, and lead into final resolution to the main character.

Steve Skroce’s art is really good for the faces and figures. His linework is consistent and I really like how he gives everything a sharp line. The only negative is the action sequences, which tend to take place in a void of colors. The missing  background don’t detract from the action, but it would be nice to see some interaction with the character with the backgrounds.

All in all I give this book a:
Score 7.5 out of 10