Saturday, November 7, 2015
Comic Book review: Age of Apocalypse (2015)
Set in a similar dystopian future realm as the original 1990s comic run of the same name, the Battleworld warzone of Age of Apocalypse sees the titular mutant overlord attempting to quash any rebels that might rise up against his new world order. Apocalypse’s ideology is that of ‘survival of the fittest’ and believes mutants superior to homo-sapiens in every possible way. Apocalypse relies on his loyal horsemen, as well as twisted and villainous versions of otherwise-iconic heroes like Beast to carry out his will.
The 1990s run of Age of Apocalypse spanned practically every conceivable X-Men series of the era, and to this day remains an epic undertaking of the Marvel brand. Therefore, it was inevitable that this 2015 Secret Wars tie-in was destined to fall short of the original’s magnificence. With only five issues to deliver its own spin on the Age of Apocalypse narrative, this 2015 story does more ‘telling’ than it does ‘showing’, expecting that readers are already familiar with the themes of survival, alliances of necessity, the path of anti-heroes, and fighting for what little hope remains in a bleak future despite overwhelming odds, that were at play in the 1990s run.
Age of Apocalypse significantly shakes up a familiar cast. Iceman, Rogue, Sinister, and Weapon X (aka Wolverine) are all present, but play significantly smaller roles than before. Instead of having a child with Rogue, Magneto is married to Emma Frost, while Captain Marvel, Namor, and other non-mutants are worked into the narrative, but not necessarily in ways that benefit the story. While this new Age of Apocalypse limited series does throw a couple of major curve balls into the mix, the final chapter feels like an afterthought, tacked on as an idea that sounds better in theory than in actual application.
The art style is solid throughout, while the environments are appropriately dark and dreary. However, given that the X-Men and the readers alike are fully aware that Apocalypse’s domain is but one of many that make up Battlworld, the dire atmosphere that permeated throughout the 1990s original is almost entirely lost. Age of Apocalypse is a quick read that serves to deliver its own self-contained narrative well enough, but similarly is a tad generic, and lacks the spark of imagination and intrigue sported by some of the other Secret Wars tie-ins.
My rating: 6.5 (out of 10)