We each have our own ‘What if?’ in our lives.
What if I didn’t forget to wear pants today?
What if I had gotten off my ass and done something with my life?
What if I danced.. all the time?
That’s what Age of Apocalypse is in essence. What if Charles Xavier hadn’t started the X-Men? Well, thankfully Magneto would take up the fight – but without Charlie, the dark lord Apocalypse has been given the chance to run willy-nilly all over the Marvel Universe.
Well, Age of Apocalypse took each of the X-Books and changed it for four months, stopping the numbering system and restarting all of them at number one. Thank the heavens that once the four month stint was up, they went back to the original numbering and didn’t pull a ‘Heroes Reborn’ on us and restart the numbering all over again.
Anyway, here is a key to the books that changed:
X-MEN – Amazing X-Men
UNCANNY X-MEN – Astonishing X-Men
X-FORCE – Gambit & The Externals
X-FACTOR – Factor-X
GENERATION X – Generation Next
EXCALIBUR – X-Calibre
CABLE – X-man
WOLVERINE – Weapon X
All of this was spearheaded with a book called X-Men: Prime which laid out the entire scenerio for people not following the lead-up to this crossover. It was then followed by X-Men: Alpha which was similar to Prime, in that it laid the stage for the world that we had been entered into.
I remember fondly being shocked to see all of these characters being shifted, played with, and what seemed was a well established continuity. This simply wasn’t the beginning of a new world – this was a world that had a history we weren’t given, but in these small snippits. How was it that Scarlet Witch died in the X-Men’s first mission? How did Sinister get his hands on the Summer’s Bros. that changed them so much?
Not only that, but you could take this story on whatever level you wanted. If you just wanted to read a good story about a time displaced Bishop in a new world.. you were set. If you wanted to take every mutant and find out what they became – you could do that to. Not to mention that from the perspective of a good crossover, it didn’t leave you hanging. You walked in with a want of a complete story and didn’t leave disappointed.
Well that brings us to now. Ten years ago this crossover occured… and this month, Marvel is giving us an anniversary story that shall span across March. This month long event shall revisit this different world that we viewed so long ago. Over the course of the next few weeks, me and Mike Mallaro shall be taking you a journey through what happened then with retro-reviews for the next few weeks.
So join us for a different age.
The Age of Apocalypse.