Credits: Written by Fabian Niceza, pencils by Tony Daniel, inks by Kevin Conrad and edited by Bob Harras.
Cast: Jubiliation ‘Jubilee’ Lee, Guido Carosella, Roberto ‘Sunspot’ DaCosta, Lila Cheney, Erik ‘Magneto’ Lenscherr, Julio Esteban Rictor, Remy ‘Gambit’ LeBeau and Super Doctor Astronaut Peter Corbeau.
Plot: On the streets of Apocalypse’s America, a squad of Infinites are chasing Jubilee, who is carrying stolen medical supplies. Cornered, she is backed up by team-mates Guido and Sunspot who make short work of the Infinites. They than travel to a human settlement, where the much needed medical supplies are divvied out by their human liason Lila Cheney. This foursome then heads to the tunnels beneath the city and find Magneto, who’s been brought there by the X-Ternals’ leader Gambit.
Gambit lays out the job, that they are to grab a jem. To find it they travel to Apocalypse’s science facility. Elsewhere an eager recruit of Apocalypse, Rictor, is complaining about being passed up for promotion, due to his not being able to capture Gambit and the X-Ternals.
At Apocalypse’s science chamber, Magneto, Gambit and the X-Ternals break in and see Apocalypse’s celestial technology, which he is using to chart and watch the stars. As they marvel in the wonder of it all, a squad of Madri, the disciples of Apocalypse who are the dupes of Jamie ‘Mulitple Man’ Madrox. Jubilee and Guido help Lila fight the Madri off as Sunspot finds the person running the facility Peter Corbeau (who thanks to the Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men podcast I can only think of as Super Doctor Astronaut Peter Corbeau) who informs them that the gem is in another galaxy and Lila will be the one to get them there.
Corbeau puts the macguffin on Lila’s head, connecting her to the navigational systems of the building, awakening her cosmic scaled teleportation powers, also for some reason tearing her clothes off her. No serioulsy it seems to tear her clothes to strips for no reason I could see. As this happens Rictor and his Infinites squad arrive to arrest the X-Ternals in a bit of pantomine bad guying like a second rate Sheriff of Nottingham. Magneto holds them off as the X-Ternals vanish through the portal, but Rictor is pulled into it as well. Realising he is doomed, Corbeau goes all scorched earth and destroys the building’s systems as he points out how much he hates Magneto, who is left wondering if he did the right thing, or sent people to their deaths in another galaxy.
Notes: Well that was a comic that I read. I was reading X-Force at the time before the Age of Apocalypse and it had runs by many excellent and entertaining creators, none of them were Tony Daniel. With the other saturation of colours and the heavy inks, it’s not improved as it made the transition to Gambit & the X-Ternals. No one looks good in this, no one is on model, or is drawn consistently. Look, I don’t want to spend all this post complaining about the art, so we can look at the writing…… to be honest, the writing is almost as bad. Niceza has the voices down, playing the differences between the original characters and their Age of Apocalypse versions well enough that whatever differences there are, make a degree of sense. So the dialogue is snappy, but the plot has holes you can drive a bus through and has little to explain them away that isn’t coincidence or technobabble. It does lead this to be the weakest so far of the Age of Apocalypse series, to be honest, by quite a margin.
Art: 1 out of 5 This is considered professional quality comic book art? It’s far less than the creative team can manage and smells of a rush job to fill the docket.
Writing: 2 out of 5 Better than the art, but that’s an incredibly low bar to get over and Fabian Niceza is capable of so much better than this. It feels more disappointing than bad.
Total: 3 out of 5 This was not a good start to the series, I am hoping that it gets better, a lot better.
Next time: Hopefully a better comic?