How much difference can one man make? Well, a lot, especially if we’re talking about Charles Xavier. Even if you’ve never read any X-Men comics or seen the movies, you still know that Charles Xavier is the leader of a group of mutants known as the X-Men. The Age of Apocalypse storyline explores what the world would be like without one of the key characters in the Marvel Universe. A time-traveling assassin goes back in time to when Magneto and Xavier are still friends, and tries to assassinate Magneto, but Xavier sacrifices himself to save his friend. Xavier dies and Magneto vows to keep Xavier’s dream of mutant and human harmony alive. With the death of Xavier, the immortal and evil mutant Apocalypse decides this is the perfect time to conquer the world.
Things are definitely different without Xavier. The world has gone to shit. Most of your favorite characters have changed, some of them drastically. Like Wolverine isn’t Wolverine, he’s known as Weapon X and he’s missing a hand. And Cyclops is working for the bad guys. Age of Apocalypse isn’t just a comic; it’s a comic crossover, spanning multiple titles. You could track down and collect all of the individual issues, or you could just buy the 4-volume Complete Age of Apocalypse Epic trade paperback. With so many different titles and issues, there is obviously a lot of shit going on and it’s pretty overwhelming at first. The story goes all over the place and there are quite a few unnecessary subplots. It takes a lot of time to introduce characters and set up the plot, and it gradually gets more coherent. You’ll still be scratching your head over some plot holes and developments, but the overall story is satisfying.
Critically Rated at 14/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young