Current Reviews


Age of Apocalypse #4

Posted: Friday, March 25, 2005
By: Michael Deeley

Writer: Akira Yoshida
Penciller: Chris Bachalo
Inkers: Seven different people, none of whom are Tim Townsend

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Let’s review what’s happened so far:

Issue #1: We’re re-introduced to the “Age of Apocalypse” universe and life after Apocalypse’s death. There are hints Magneto is not responsible for saving the world.

Issue #2: Weapon X is convinced to rejoined the X-Men by his (possible) daughter and a fight. More hints that Magneto is keeping secrets.

Issue #3: A football game is interrupted by an attack on Washington by evil mutants, the Guthrie siblings. New X-Man Xorn reveals herself to be Paige Guthrie, member of Generation Next left for dead on the team’s last mission. Magneto isn’t in this one.

In this issue, Paige explains how she wasn’t killed by a prison full of rioting, blood-thirsty mutants, but was left chained to a wall for the last year. (Frankly, she’s lucky she wasn’t gang raped. But I guess that’s a little over the top.) Her brothers and sister rescued her and organized this attack on the X-Men. They’re quickly beaten and killed. While dying, Paige reveals they were under orders from Sinister who wants Magneto to “honor his end of the agreement.” Magneto finally explains that the world was saved by Jean Grey, back from the dead, and in Sinister’s clutches.

Yeah, this is officially sucking. We’re going to get another Phoenix, or maybe another Madeline Pryor (who I always felt got a raw deal) next issue. We didn’t even get an actual story until this issue, half-way through the series! And Bachalo’s cluttered art doesn’t make the fight any easier to follow. And the ease with which Magneto, Sunfire, and X-23 kill the Guthries shows how heartless and cruel they are. These X-Men aren’t just badass; they’re just mean.

*sigh* But I’ve already bought four issues of this, so I guess I’m in for two more. You know, this whole “anniversary celebration” of “Age of Apocalypse” has turned out to be a real dud. The Official Handbook is woefully inadequate, this mini-series is disappointing, and the trade books of the core “AoA” titles won’t be released for another six months. The only highlight of this month was the ‘Exiles’ story that took place in the “AoA” timeline. Check it out; it’s in issues 60-61. More stuff happens in those two issues than in the four issues of this mini. The art’s clearer, the writings better, the story’s more new-reader friendly, and the characterization is better.

So screw this. Buy the Exiles.

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