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X-Men’s Age of Apocalypse Is Still Marvel’s Best What If? Story

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The X-Males‘s “Age of Apocalypse” remains to be one of the best What If? story in Marvel Comics historical past. Marvel has at all times acknowledged the infinite potential provided by “What If?” tales. These act as a window into the world because it might need been, permitting writers to supply recent and progressive takes on basic characters. Many of those tales have established a template for plots that made their approach into the mainstream comics, and even the films, most notably with Jane Foster changing into the Mighty Thor.

In 1995, Marvel launched what proved to be their most formidable What If? story of all time. It spun out of a narrative referred to as “Legion Quest,” during which Charles Xavier’s son Legion went to insane lengths to show his like to his father. He appropriately realized the mutant race had divided over the competing visions of Magneto and Xavier, and tried to make use of the ability of time journey to rewrite historical past by killing Magneto lengthy earlier than the schism ever started. Sadly it went flawed, and he by accident killed his personal father; the demonstration of Legion’s energy prompted the monstrous Apocalypse to disclose himself to the world many years earlier than any superhero groups had been shaped to oppose him.

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Age of Apocalypse” was one of many boldest tales within the historical past of Marvel Comics. It was revealed at a time when the X-Males had been Marvel’s best-sellers, however despite that Marvel basically shut down all the line for 4 months and changed it with an alt-universe story. On this timeline, Magneto had based the X-Males in honor of his late buddy Charles Xavier, and he had been preventing a dropping battle in opposition to Apocalypse for years. Happily, one survivor from the earlier actuality – an already time-displaced – Bishop – retained his information of true historical past. When Bishop encountered the X-Males ultimately, Magneto realized his whole world ought to by no means have existed, and resolved to alter historical past as soon as once more.

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The story was relentlessly bleak, demonstrating the complete horror of Apocalypse’s reign. The “Alpha” situation that kicked issues off set the tone, with Bishop clambering up a mountain of our bodies. From there, artistic groups got an outstanding license to rewrite the varied X-Males books, with every exhibiting the trail varied heroes’ lives – and, certainly, the world itself – would have taken if not for Charles Xavier. The “new” titles had been:

  • Astonishing X-Males was changed Uncanny X-Males, with Rogue main a crew in opposition to Apocalypse’s son, Holocaust.
  • Wonderful X-Males instead of X-Males, with the Horsemen looking Apocalypse.
  • X-Calibre instead of Excalibur, which noticed Nightcrawler journey to the Savage Land.
  • Gambit and the X-Ternals changed X-Pressure, with Gambit heading to the Shi’ar Galaxy
  • Technology Subsequent instead of Technology X, during which Colossus and Kitty Pryde led the subsequent era of X-Males on a suicide mission.
  • Weapon X substituted for Wolverine, with Logan and his lover Jean Gray working for the Human Excessive Council primarily based in Europe.
  • Issue X changed X-Issue, starring Cyclops and Havok as they competed for Apocalypse’s favor.
  • X-Man instead of Cable, introducing a genetically-engineered “son” of Cyclops and Jean Gray.

It helps that the X-Males comics had been at their top, and because of this Marvel had a few of their finest artistic groups – together with some outstanding artists – engaged on the character designs. The trick was to place every hero by the wringer, but in addition guarantee they had been nonetheless recognizable. Relationships had been switched up, primarily based partly on standard arcs; the Cyclops/Jean Gray/Wolverine love triangle was twisted round, the sibling rivalry between Cyclops and Havok took a brutally aggressive twist, and Magneto and Rogue had been married with a baby.

“Age of Apocalypse” grew to become one of many greatest successes within the historical past of Marvel Comics. It was a “What If?” story on an unprecedented scale, and the construction – an Alpha and Omega situation, with miniseries charting the totally different narratives – was tremendously efficient. In reality, it is a story Marvel has by no means equaled – not within the varied What If? miniseries, and infrequently in all the X-Males vary.

Extra: X-Males’s Nightcrawler Meets His Mutant Match In Blink

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About The Creator

Tom Bacon is certainly one of Display screen Rant’s workers writers, and he is frankly amused that his childhood is again – and this time it is cool. Tom’s focus tends to be on the varied superhero franchises, in addition to Star Wars, Physician Who, and Star Trek; he is additionally an avid comedian guide reader. Over time, Tom has constructed a robust relationship with facets of the varied fan communities, and is a Moderator on a few of Fb’s largest MCU and X-Males teams. Beforehand, he is written leisure information and articles for Film Pilot.A graduate of Edge Hill College in the UK, Tom remains to be strongly linked along with his alma mater; in truth, in his spare time he is a voluntary chaplain there. He is closely concerned along with his native church, and anybody who checks him out on Twitter will shortly study that he is keen on British politics as effectively.

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