Story Scott Lobdell
Dialogue Mark Waid
Pencils Roger Cruz
Inks LaRosa, Townsend, Kesel, Candelario, Hanna, Milgrom
Letters Richard Starkings with te ComiCraftsmen
COlors Steve Buccellato with the Electric Crayons
Cover Dated 1995
One day, I’ll own X-Men Alpha. I should review X-Men Prime, which takes place two weeks after this issue but that issue essentially just ensures all of the pieces are back in their proper place, after this e-mail so I’ll just review that at some other time. This issue, is the end of the official crossover, which is why I wanted to end with this issue, and did the Chosen handbook prior to it. I have a few more issues I’m planning on doing, so we’re not quite done with Age of Apocalypse here at S&FwM.
This issue, also, had me pretty confused as I only read one miniseries, a handbook and one additional comic of the proper event. This issue ties everything together but hopefully, taking it one page at a time, it all starts to make place.
Issue opens with Magneto, who looks like he should have fallen to his knees – hours ago. He’s still standing as he’s the greatest of pimps. Magneto has been fighting Holocaust – the son of Apocalypse. The two are . . . I’m going to be generous to Magneto and say they are fighting – though it seems pretty one sided. They are fighting in front of Apocalypse who is straight up sitting in a throne. He reveals that there is a trap set below, as he has lured the X-Men to them, so that Magneto and the X-Men can die together.
Apocalypse reveals that he knows all of Bishop’s secrets. He knows that the timeline was changed and he wants this one to remain. Magneto knows that the only way to prevent time being rewritten is with the M’Kraan Crystal, and that’s exactly what Apocalypse has. So how disappointing is Gambit and the X-Ternals, if that series just ends with Gambit failing in spectacular fashion? I know I’ll never read it nor seek out a review of it – except if someone tipped me to a review of it. The X-Men need the M’Kraan Crystal to rewrite time.
Cut to outside of Apocalypse’s stronghold. Angel is about to land in front of some goons. He isn’t happy that his partner, Karma, was taken from him. That happened in Amazing X-Men 2 – which wasn’t hinted at all in the fourth issue. It looks like he lands on a goon, gomba style. He finds Karma in the very next panel. She dies in his arms, she was helping Apocalypse. I’m not sure what were her motivations but from Angel’s reaction, he seems like he understood and forgives her. I imagine she was simply trying to survive. Angel is going to make Apocalypse pay for this.
Thanks to Blink, the X-Men are within Apocalypse’s stronghold – I guess that’s the name of it as that’s the description everyone keeps using. I like how everyone gets name checked – Iceman Rogue, Colossus, Illyana, Destiny, Nightcrawler, Jubilee, Gambit, Blink, Quicksilver, Bishop and Shadowcat. I’m not usually a fan of teams with more than seven or eight characters but 12 seems like a decent number. This team seems pretty ripe, the only downer is Destiny’s inclusion but I’m not that familiar without her after issue 142 of Uncanny X-Men.
Rogue doesn’t like how easy this is being. Colossus wants the mission to keep being easy as he doesn’t want to risk his sister’s life on a fool’s errand. Shadowcat is still mean eyeing him.
Gambit finds a hairy dude, with two hands – so it isn’t Wolverine but they never name check him. He’s blind and has teeth like Sabretooth but seems on the small side.
Meanwhile, Cyclops and Jean Grey are leading a horde of former prisoners to freedom. They are heading to New Jersey, away from the fight – which is smart. One of the prisoners isn’t really what they appear to be.
Angel, now strapped with bombs, nose dives into Apocalypse’s force field generator. He’s dead but now the heroes can get inside the stronghold. The first to make a move, is X-Man.
Some two headed dude comes screaming about how Apocalypse’s southwest kingdom is wrong. The two headed fellow is the Shadow King. Rex, one of Apocalypse’s advisors, confirms that nuclear bombs have gone off and the Midwest is no longer a thing. Apocalypse wants to retaliate, and take his anger out on Magneto but before he can make a move, he is knocked down.
X-Man is standing there, like a champion. Magneto recognizes him as, The One, the one that Forge promised to deliver. Magneto wants a team up to try to make the most of these last precious seconds.
Meanwhile, in the crystal chamber below. The X-Men are now within the stronghold. Quicksilver calls the hairy fellow “that beast” so could it have been Dark Beast? But he’s blind, but I guess he could have restored his sight later, he does have twenty years to develop that skill. Shadowcat wants to keep an eye on him.
The M’Kraan Crystal responds to the new bodies in the room. Visions of the Proper Marvel Universe come to light, too many visions that it throws Destiny off. Destiny now knows that they have to succeed, her and Illyana. Quicksilver wants to give them an escort but Destiny turns him down. Destiny, Illyana and Bishop doesn’t have counterparts, so they must go. Colossus is sadden to hear this news.
X-Man is fighting Holocaust. Rogue tries to get X-Man to stand down. Magneto tells Rogue to get out of X-Man’s head, and she’s just so happy to see her husband is still alive and goes to him. While there is a very distracting battle, Magneto wants to go back tot he original plan of saving the original timeline. Magneto takes a knee and asks Illyana to aid them – which I like him taking the time to do and respectfully asks Illyana for help.
Illyana asks if there is a Sugar Man in this other timeline, Magneto doesn’t believe so, and she’s all in. Bishop further explains her importance. I wonder if there was a plan to have AoA Illyana and Destiny in the Proper Marvel Universe? Why stop at Dark Beast, Sugar Man (sadly) and X-Man for showing up?
The stronghold starts falling apart. Destiny wants the trio to head towards the M’Kraan Crystal.
Colossus threatens to kill Magneto, if this doesn’t work.
Shadowcat is part of the team trying to keep the crystal safe.
Back with Jean and Scott. Jean feels the deaths of the Midwest and knows that bombs are coming their way. From the skies, One-Hand-Wolverine is parachuting down. He’s the reason why bombs are coming down on Apocalypse.
X-Man is getting the upper hand against Holocaust.
Armageddon Minus Thirty Minutes. The X-Men are fighting goons. Sugar Man knows it is a losing fight and jumps into the M’Kraan Crystal. Colossus isn’t going to allow his sister to die, not without him standing by her side. Iceman attempts to stand his way but Colossus runs right through him. If only Shadowcat saw this, things might be a tad different. Looks like Gambit blasts Colossus to his back and puts him down – for a time.
The trio are standing in front of the M’Kraan Crystal. They are treated to visions of the Proper Marvel Universe. They finally answer the question I’ve been having – if Illyana is barely ten years old, her powers shouldn’t be activated just yet. Destiny tells her to envision the powers she is going to have and the crystal is going to gift her with those powers. Seems pretty convenient to me but they have to wrap up the story somehow. Illyana opens a portal so that Bishop can step through.
Armageddon, Minus Twenty-Five Minutes. a couple of flatscans are sad as they see Apocalypse’s nuclear missiles being fired at Europe. Apocalypse is pretty proud of himself,, that his actions lead to both mutants and humans having equal strength. So now, the strongest will survive.
Armageddon, Minus Twenty Minutes. Apocalypse doesn’t get long to gloat as Magneto puts him down. Magneto goes from a simple black outfit to a supped up red armor suit. From there, he starts punching Apocalypse’s dumb face. While he is doing that, Magneto mentions how when he was a boy, a Berlin house painter tried this same thing. The weak won that war too.
Apocalypse turns Magneto’s attention to Strong Guy, who is holding little Charles.
Armageddon, Minus Fifteen Minutes. Weapon X is trying to get to Jean, he will die by her side. Jean is shot in the back by . . . Havok! Havok is also attracted to Jean, because why not? I’ll never get the whole everyone-is-attracted-to-Jean story. Unless she was forcing dudes to like her.
Cyclops yells at his younger brother, now that Jean is knocked out, the missiles are falling faster. Havok starts a monologue but Weapon X snikts him and Havok dies. Weapon X goes to Jean, who dies in his arms. Logan recalls a legend he heard once, long ago about a fiery bird that could be reborn. Unfortunately, Jean is no Phoenix – as of course, they got to work that into this as well.
Armageddon, Minus Ten Minutes. Bishop is back in time, as Legion is about to kill Magneto. Xavier shouts to his son to not hurt his friend. Bishop is about to do something about it but 90s Bishop stops him.
Armageddon, Minus Eight Minutes. Dark Beast slashes Morph, and tries to teleport away. Quicksilver messes with the controls, fouling up Beast’s schemes. Quicksilver wasn’t trying to do anything in particular, he was just trying to screw Beast over. Beast’s plan was to teleport into the heart of the M’Kraan Crystal.
Armageddon, Minus Five Minutes. Colossus has gotten up and is still madly running towards Illyana. Gambit wants Shadowcat to get out of the way, but she knows Colossus won’t hurt her. So she doesn’t phase and we get the beginnings of my hating Colossus. Age of Apocalypse Colossus just killed his wife, via running right through her. Is it s a dumb way to kill off a far greater character with an extremely lesser character? Yes, she should have just phased, it is what she does. It doesn’t even take much of a thought for her to do it. Especially as she’s spent five other issues knowing that he is insane.
Proving he isn’t a waste of a character, Gambit blasts Colossus to the back, again.
This was a death blow, as it turns out. Colossus reverts to human form, which may be the first time we’ve seen him in the flesh. Illyana has come to her brother, to tell him of their success. Instead,, she finds her brother dead and her sister-in-law murdered. Illyana is about to grab her brother’s hand but Quicksilver snatches her as goons were about to attack her.
Armageddon, Minus Four Minutes. I do like how the death clock wasn’t sped up with Jean’s death, the clock had taken that into consideration. We catch up to Rogue who is about to straight murder Strong Man. Which she does, and her son just wants to hang out with her afterwards.
Off panel, Magneto took a dive and Apocalypse is escaping. At first, I thought he was talking to X-Man about how his plan is to join the Proper Marvel Universe but he was only talking to himself, aloud. X-Man arrives and stabs Apocalypse. X-Man is angry, the main reason is that Forge is dead.
Armageddon, Minus Three Minutes. AoA Bishop sucker punches 90s Bishop. Yes, I recognize AoA Bishop is pretty 90s himself. Ponytail Bishop, I guess would work and Bald Bishop. I guess this is how our Bishop doesn’t know about this other timeline. Hence why he isn’t talking about it all of the time.
Legion is about to murder Magneto and Xavier is about to foolishly take the hit but Baldy Bishop shouts “David” and this surprises Legion. As no one should know his real name, at this point. I’m not sure why Xavier didn’t read David’s mind when he first arrived.
The two are fighting and Bishop forces David to see the future his actions are about to cause. Though, he could still kill Xavier (accidentally) but tell Magneto to find Apocalypse (early) and kill that fool. Is there a What If? that handles that possibility?
David is exhausted after seeing the possible timeline. David starts to fade away, as does Bald Bishop. Not sure how Ponytail Bishop gets back to the present. Our Storm and Iceman are standing around, as well, so this must be where Legion Quest ended. With David being gone, a super plot hole appears and takes Iceman, Storm and Bishop back to the present.
Left behind, is Gabrielle Haller, Xavier and Magneto. Haller could have sworn a dude said he was her son but now there isn’t anyone around and the bros just shrug their shoulders and move on.
Armageddon,, Minus Two Minutes. X-Man and Magneto have team-up again and are taking the fight to Apocalypse. Holocaust arrives to pick up his fight with X-Man. X-Man stabs Holocaust with the shard of the M’Kraan Crystal and a strange backlash occurs.
During this distraction, Apocalypse grabs Magneto by his throat. Except that Magneto wasn’t the one that was distracted.
Magneto just kills Apocalypse!
Armageddon, Minus One Minute. Magneto gathers his wife an child to him. Apocalypse is dead and soon, his world will be dead too. Magneto looks forward to not even being a memory. I do like seeing Magneto and Rogue together, they do make a nice couple. As long as you don’t think too much about the age difference.
In his last moments, he remembers his old friend, his son’s name sake. Charles Xavier had a dream. With his final words, Magneto thanks Xavier for changing his life. As the world of Age of Apocalypse comes to an end.
Or does it? We’ll be coming back to it, in four days. Before that, we take a fun detour.