Astonishing X-MEN #1 age of apocalypse.
Written by Scott Lobdell. Art by Joe Madureira. Inks Dan Green and Tim Townsend. Colors by Steve Buccellato.
During the Age of Apocalypse alternate timeline Uncanny X-men title became the Astonishing X-men. This book continued the story established in X-men Alpha.
We open with Magneto facing his X-men in a mission briefing at his base of operations in the “dead zone” that used to be Westchester county New York. His Astonishing x-men are introduced as Quicksilver, Ice-man, Sabretooth, Morph, Storm, Banshee, and Nightcrawler. Some of these characters were introduced in the Amazing X-men at the same time so some overlap is seen with these two teams. Magneto contemplates the information he received in X-men Alpha. As Magneto is about to discuss with the X-men about a mission to reset the universe, a transportal opens, and the X-man “Blink” literally falls out of the sky.
She explains that Sunfire and her were in a firefight with a group of Apocalypse’s enforcers called infinites and had to portal directly in. As and injured Sunfire is being taken care of; a Prelate which is an enforcer for apocalypse, attempts to crossover using Blinks portal. After a brief schrimidge, the portal is slammed shut on the evil mutant and the X-mens secret base is secret once again.
Sunfire reports to Magneto that the cullings that took place in Seattle that was the opening for X-men alpha was only the being and that more Cullings are taking place across america by Apocalypse’s son Holocaust.
We then cut away to the ruins of Manhattan and we see Apocalypse and how truly nasty he is. As he sits above the pyre of hundreds of thousand human bones. Where a follower by the name of Rex reports that they are close to pinpointing the X-mens base of operations, thanks to the actions of Blink and her transportal. Apocalypse just smiles as whatever plans he has begin to unfold.
Meanwhile, back at the former mansion of one now dead Charles Xavier. We see Rouge address Sunfire about the information that he found. Which pretty much establishes the main plot for the book, “stopping apocalypse from killing all the humans”. Gambit makes an appearance again and we see that he still has feelings for Rogue, even though she is married to Magneto. The Suave cajun attempts to make a move on her but is interrupted by the character Blink carrying Charles, Rogue’s son. In the conversation with Rogue, we learn of another mission that Gambit will be going on and we will later see in his book.
The story then transitions to Magneto walking through the halls of the mansion contemplating his old friend Charles Xavier, when he is interrupted by Nightcrawler. They again have a conversation. So for the count we have had only one action seen in the beginning of the book and like five conversations to establish the storyline and the character building. This issue is definitely exposition heavy. Here in this conversation we learn that Nightcrawler has his own mission, which will be in his own book and that he is under the belief that it is Apocalypse’s doing to separate the X-men so that he can accomplish some grand scheme to eliminate the X-men entirely. Is it true? Only time will tell.
Then we move to another part of the mansion where we see this books team of X-men getting ready to leave for their mission to stop Apocalypse’s culling of the humans across America. Where we see more interaction with the characters and how their personalities work together. The X-men then fly off into the next issue.
This issue is definitely the second part in the overall storyline. We get more character establishment, we get to see where the individual books branch off by the different writers. This is the book I should have read second in my assignment, instead of Amazing X-men. I like this issue as a starting point, but it is clearly missing some action as we get more establishing story and exposition on how the world is built. I am looking forward to the next issue as being more pow, biff, bang in the action.
The art style is Joe Madureira and to me he is one of the few 90’s artist’s that I think of when I think X-men. His style is angular, and lots of character detail, his use of shadow’s and facial expressions really help move the story forward.
My overall score is a 7 out of 10, sort of middling as there is more exposition than action to drive the story. Perhaps if there was more flashback scenes drawn showing the destruction of north america than the characters mentioning it then I would give it a higher score.
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