I finished reading of X-Men’s Age of Apocalypse saga with X-Men: the Complete Age of Apocalypse Epic Book 4 (Graphic Novel 352 pages) well over a week ago but my time slipped away from me and I am only just now getting to the review.
This is the official back of book 4: “Learn who lives and who dies in either reality as the apocalyptic arc ends in treachery and tragedy! While certain heroic humans prove their mettle without armor or magic hammers, it’s a race to see who the X-Men will destroy first: Apocalypse or themselves! But even with the crisis concluded, new allies and enemies emerge, guaranteeing that reality will still never be the same! Featuring the dawn of Gene Nation and a turning point for the Legacy Virus!”
This book represents the final chapter for each of the Age of Apocalypse X-Men teams and many of them do not go well or as expected. I think this series also did an interesting job of showing the rest of the Marvel Comics Universe, with cameos by characters such as Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Gwen Stacey, Matt Murdock, Donald Blake, Victor Von Doom, Clint Barton, Ben Grimm, Suzie Storm, and others. Some characters are heroes even without powers, special suits, government backing, and teams and I found this entire series to have a lot of hope in small actions of heroism than I often see in larger super hero franchises these days. For instance, all the “minor” players in this series, those who have no true power and very poor odds against Apocalypse and his followers, sacrifice everything to give the surviving people just a chance.
They live in a hopeless world and yet they continue to fight and give everything they have to those weaker or less privileged than them, which made me start to think that maybe if we all focused more on the small heroisms in our own lives and world, how much of a difference would that have in making things in our world better? Why do the stakes always have to be so high and so clear in order for us to recognize heroes? I’m not talking about the fanatic worship of people in certain occupations in our modern society, but rather, the small acts of everyday kindness and heroism that are often overlooked by the modern media in favor of spending more media on the acts of violence and discontent. How much would our own world be transformed if people believed in hope again? If we all started doing small things to combat the growing strife amongst us?
All of those who chose heroic acts in the Age of Apocalypse did so knowing that what they did may or may not even make a dent in Apocalypse’s world of death, but they had to try anyway. The humans fighting Mikhail knew that they were all likely to die or be turned into genetic fodder but they still implemented a massive Trojan Horse plan to save those they could. They gave up everything just for a chance to make things better, for the humans to survive just a little longer.
Overall, I’d rate this graphic novel as a low three on my rating scale. It’s not my favorite of this series and a lot of characters take actions that I believe are out of character for them. At the same time, though, you see characters acknowledge their own privilege and work to rescue those without. The series ends with the mission completed, but the cost was very high. I’m glad I own this graphic novel and will likely read it again when I next reread this series.
This collection compiled in chronological order from Generation Next 4, X-Calibre 4, X-Man 4 and 53-54, Factor X 4, Gambit and the X-Ternals 4, Amazing X-Men 4, Weapon X 4, X-Universe 2, X-Men: Omega, Blink 4, and X-Men Prime.
The original comic books were published in 1995, 1999, 2001, 2006, and 2010, from Generation Next 4, X-Calibre 4, X-Man 4 and 53-54, Factor X 4, Gambit and the X-Ternals 4, Amazing X-Men 4, Weapon X 4, X-Universe 2, X-Men: Omega, Blink 4, and X-Men Prime. Writers: Fabian Nicieza, Mark Waid, John Francis Moore, Scott Lobdell, Judd Winick, Jeph Loeb, Terry Kavanagh, Larry Hama, Chris Bachalo, Warren Ellis. Pencilers: Chris Bachalo, Bryan Hitch, Jeff Matsuda,Gary Frank, Mike McKone, Ben Herrera, Paul Pelletier, Salvador Larroca, Steve Epting, Terry Dodson, Roger Cruz, Trevor McCarthy, Andy Kubert, Adam Kubert, Luke Ross, Ken Lashley, Steve Skroce. Inkers: Mark Buckingham, Al Milgrom, Cam Smith, Robin Riggs, Tim Townsend, Matt Ryan, Karl Kesel, Rod Ramos, Rick Ketchum, Tyson McAdo, Dan Green, P. Craig Russel, Mark Farmer, Scott Hanna, Mark McKenna, Tom Palmer, Hector Collazo, Tom Wegrzyn, Phillip Moy, Bud Larsoa, Harry Candelarioe. Colors: Marie Javins, Glynis Oliver, Kevin Tinsley, Mark Bernardo, Joe Rosas, Steve Buccellato, Kevin Somers, Mike Thomas, & Liquid! Color. Separations: Steve Buccellato & Electric Crayon, Digital Chameleon. Letters: Chris Eliopolous, Pat Brosseau, Richard Starkings & Comicraft. Cover Art: John Romita Jr. Cover Colors: Tom Smith. Editors: Bob Harras, Kelly Corvese, Pete Franco, Mark Powers, Suzanne Gaffney, Jason Liebig, Lisa Patrick.