Age of Apocalypse Part 36
Written by Scott Lobdell & Fabian Nicieza
Dialogue by Mark Waid
Art by Roger Cruz
Inks by LaRosa, Townsend, Kesel, Candelario, Hanna, Milgrom
Lettered by Richard Starking
A battered Magneto stands on top of a pile of skulls. Someone off page tells him to just fall down; of course the mutant leader says, No! He is then zapped by some blueish electricity. Magento falls and we see his tormentor is none other than Holocaust. The evil mutant then tells us that this is the Age of Apocalypse.
Holocaust lifts Magneto to face Apocalypse, and taunts the master of magnetism. Then without skipping a beat, Apocalypse starts in on the exposition about the motive for this entire issue. Apocalypse is aware of the X-men’s plans with the M’kraan crystal and that the X-men will finally fall; and with a surprise to Magneto he reveals that he has the Crystal Shard.
Angel is outside of Apocalypse’s citadel amongst the fallen wreckage of Manhattan. He comes down from the sky at two mutants, that tell him to Halt! They in turn ask him what he wants with Apocalypse, as the Despot is not allowing visitors today.
Angel asks about his friend Karma and the one guard tells him to buzz off. Angel immediately attacks the two and pretty much kills them. Just behind him an Infinite shows up and asks is there is a problem. Angel strikes out at the soldier in fury and anger, shooting the infinite with a big gun. Angel goes over to the body to check out the remains and learns that it was his friend Karma. Angel watches her die in his arms.
In the now destroyed human pens, the X-men “Blink” into the story. The Team is surprised to see that the pens are empty except for some dead humans and mutant soldiers. The group looks around to try and determine what happened to this part of the citadel.
Gambit is able to find the fiendish Beast hiding from the escaped prisoners. The Beast explains a little of what happened.
Cyclops and Jean Grey are leading a group of people over one of the bridges out of New York. The plan is to get the humans to New Jersey so that they can have a fair shot at freedom. What the two mutants don’t know is they have a wolf in sheep's clothing in the group. Cyclops's brother, Alex is hiding amongst the humans and is biding his time until he can strike at Cyclops and Jean.
High above Apocalypse’s lair; Angel is seeking his final redemption against the infinites and takes out the shield generator that is protecting the citadel. While Outside the citadel Nate Grey is climbing up the side of the building in hopes of attacking Apocalypse in his throne room.
Apocalypse monologues to Magento, when a servant barges in to report to the Supreme ruler that the southwest kingdom is completely gone. Apocalypse’s lackey, Rex, confirms this and mentions that the human council set of their bombs in the middle of North America.
Magento screams at his captor’s that it is Apocalypse’s fault for all this pointless death. Apocalypse’s replay is to expand the defenses, and then in an afterthought; blasts Magento with an energy beam. In response to that, Apocalypse is struck from behind by Nate Grey. Some witty banter from the young mutant and we see Nate free Magento from his bindings and give him back his helmet.
In the Crystal chamber below, the X-men teleport into the chamber; knocking out the mutant guards. As the X-men approach the crystal it glows brighter and begins to grow larger. The facets of the crystal begin to reveal alternate timelines to Destiny, the older mutant is in shock and pretty much confirms Bishops story.
Just then Nate Grey and the Horseman Holocaust come crashing through the ceiling in the chamber. Rogue see’s this and springs into action; but Magneto shows up and stops his wife. He explains to her and the rest of the X-men the importance about their mission. Magento also takes a few moments to chat with Illyana; and asks her to help fix the timeline.
Then all hell breaks loose. Apocalypse’s evil mutants break into the chamber and attack our heroes. Bishop, Destiny and Illyana manage to slip away to the M’kraan Crystal and the rest of the X-men fight of the Mutant Minions.
The Bridge leading outside New York City; where Jean feels the bombs that were dropped in the midwest and knows that the rest are on their way. To help protect the humans, Jean puts up a telekinetic barrier around the city. In doing so, she is oblivious to a skydiver coming in over the bridge, one Weapon X.
Back at the Citadel:
Nate grey and Holocaust are battling away, Nate manages to get the upper hand on Holocaust and knocks him down. Nate then gets excited to take on Apocalypse next.
The X-men continue their battle with the Mutant soldiers; and sneaking out of Colossus’ boot is the Sugar Man. Unbeknownst to the rest of the mutants, both good and bag, Sugar man slips off to the M’Kraan Crystal on the scent of Illyana.
At this point Colossus decides that he can’t stand to loose his sister and runs after her. Gambit then takes it upon himself to stop the Rampaging Russian before he messes up their attempt at correcting the timeline. Gambit hurls a couple of Kinetically charged cards at the rushing mutant.
Back at the Crystal:
Destiny explains to Illyana how to manifest her abilities and open a doorway to the past and fix the timeline. In doing so, Bishop steps forward through the doorway as Illyana wishes him goodbye.
Meanwhile Above New York City:
The human high council sees that Apocalypse’s defense grid is no longer just defensive and attacks the coming airship. Apocalypse looks on the chaos and gloats from his citadel; his machinations have created the end of both man and mutant.
Just then there is an explosion and in floats Magneto and Rogue. The mutant of Magnetism attacks Apocalypse with his makeshift armor and Rogue looks on seeking any signs of her missing child. Magneto has Apocalypse on the ropes when suddenly Rogue stops him as she sees Strong guy walk into the room with her son Charles.
Colossus is on a rampage to get Gambit after he stopped Colossus from getting to his sister Illyana. Shadowcat moves into the Russian’s way trusting that the action will stop the angered mutant. However, it doesn’t and the Mad Russian stomps his wife, thus brutally killing her.
Seeing his crushed wife on the ground Colossus falls to his knees next to her. Gambit, seeing what the man has done; blasts the metallic mutant with a kinetic energy blast from behind. Colossus can not endure that amount of energy and falls down. As Colossus lies there dying, his sister returns from the crystal and gives Colossus his final goodbye. Behind Illyana a mutant guard of Apocalypse’s is about to strike, but in comes Quicksilver to save her.
Back inside the throne room of Apocalypse, Rogue is absorbing Guido’s powers and memories as she has managed to overpower the man and rescue her son. Rogue then punches the mighty man through a wall and walks away from the debris with her son, Charles. Just then the two happen to turn and see Magneto and Apocalypse continue to battle.
Apocalypse manages to get an upper hand and for a few seconds has a chance to grab a shard of the M’kraan crystal and try to make his escape. However, his escape plan is thwarted by Nate Grey. The young mutant attacks the despot and seizes the shard from Apocalypse.
In the past, Old Bishop sucker punches young Bishop in the hopes of getting to David Haller before he accidentally kills Charles Xavier. Old Bishop shouts David’s name and distracts the young man before he can deliver the killing blow. Old Bishop then dives at David, knocking him down. Bishop makes contact with the young mutant in the hopes of showing him what his actions will do to the timeline.
When the dust settles David is lying on the ground from what he saw through the psychic link. He apologizes to everyone there and we see the old version of Bishop disappear as time is set right and the Age of Apocalypse timeline is slowly rewritten.
The group of X-men that were sent into the past to stop David in the original timeline are sent home. (see Legion quest storyline)
Back in the Age of Apocalypse timeline:
Nate Grey and Magento have Apocalypse on the ropes, but they are interrupted when a blast from behind send Nate flying through the sky. Holocaust has returned and has entered the fight. Apocalypse uses that distraction to try and get the upper hand on Magneto.
Nate Grey returns and attacks Holocaust with the crystal shard and there is a mysterious light and the two are gone. This thread is picked up later in the soon to come X-man title that follows Nate Grey in the Prime timeline.
Apocalypse is choking out Magento, and gloats that he isn’t even putting up a fight. At which point Magento answers. “I am concentrating” and using his mastery of magnetism , rips Apocalypse into two. Thereby killing the Megalomaniac.
Magento finds his wife and childs , and he watches with them as Mushroom clouds go off in the distance. Magneto gives a final speech about Hope, then the world ends with a White Frame.
THOUGHTS ON THE STORY: This Story is the culmination of all the X-titles that have spanned four months of comics. I felt that this is a good wrap up of all the threads that are left dangling from the different titles. We have a solid resolution to the main plot where this timeline needs to be destroyed to bring the characters back to the X-men’s main universe. The one negative I have is that there are a few too many expostional speeches and quick cuts to the story.
ART: The pencils for this book was done by Roger Cruz, in a great tour-de-force of a book. There are multiple characters interacting with each other, all of them are on-model with the design. Roger gives us plenty of detail to the background to help establish where we are. Personally the style is what I like in the nineties era comic books. His work is very similar to Humberto Ramos with a more balanced figure.
All in all I give this book a:
Score 8.0 out of 10