Thursday, August 1, 2013

One Man's Worth (Reboot) - An Introduction

Are you overcome with a strange feeling of deja vu? Don't worry, it's not a glitch in the Matrix. While this series was once posted on the Second Time Around blog, I decided to include it here on this site with my other X-men reviews.  To make it more appropriate to this blog, it will be in marathon form!  There will be some repetition of content in the beginning, but I will also be taking an editor's pen to my old reviews, as well as adding or eliminating some of the images to make everything more consistent. My original introduction is below, and the first issue will be out this afternoon.


Like many of my generation, watching the X-men cartoon that premiered in 1992 led me to picking up the comics and becoming a full fledged, dedicated reader, visiting my local comic book shop every month to get the latest issues. Being judged by my peers as an outsider and a weirdo, the X-men and their "hated because they are different" themes appealed to me in many ways. Having very few friends of my own, I thought of them as my friends; characters I went on adventures with by reading their comics and watching the cartoon. As such, I'll never forget the day I walked into my comic shop in early 1995. The store was run by an elderly couple - he was the sports card expert, and she knew the comics. She also knew who of her customers read what, even without them having a pull list. So when I walked in that day to buy my comics, she pulled me over to the counter to show me a press release. She did not look particularly happy about it. I've scoured the internet to try to find a copy of that press release, but apparently no one has uploaded it to the internet, so I'll do my best to paraphrase:

"The end of Legionquest will have disastrous effects throughout the world of the X-men, and as such, changes to the current titles are being made. As of March 1995, Uncanny X-men is cancelled. In its place will be Astonishing X-men..."

What followed was a brief description of the title, and then it continued on to every single X-book at the time (and given that this was the 90s, that was a lot.) Over and over again I saw the words "cancelled" and "replaced." There was no mention that this was just going to be a four issue limited story arc before everything returned to normal. They presented it as the end of the X-men I had come to know and love. Mock me if you will, but I got misty eyed reading it, thinking that my characters were going to be taken away from me. I did eventually find out that it was going to be temporary, but at the time I still wasn't entirely pleased with the idea. I bought the issues anyway and in time I came to enjoy it. It was a lot of fun scouring the issues for easter egg references to the heroes I knew, now drastically changed in this post apocalyptic world. And then, poof!, it was gone, and everything was largely back to normal.

Of course, comics business being what it is, this isn't the last we ever actually saw of the Age of Apocalypse. One shots, mini-series, and more have continued the story. However, I personally like the idea of this not being an alternate universe but rather a twisted version of the X-men's main continuity. Their own version of "The Wish" or that version of 1985 where Biff Tannen controls Hill Valley. For this marathon I will be sticking to the original event only. Since this series was held over multiple titles, I'm using the guide on the fantastic UncannyXmen.net to review them in the proper chronological order. Check out their page if you'd like to do your own reading including the later released issues. As for what you'll see here, this is how it will go:

  1. X-Men Chronicles #1
  2. X-Men Chronicles #2
  3. X-Men Alpha
  4. Generation Next #1
  5. Astonishing X-Men #1
  6. X-Calibre #1
  7. Gambit and the X-Ternals #1
  8. Weapon X #1
  9. Amazing X-Men #1
  10. Factor X #1
  11. X-Man #1
  12. Amazing X-Men #2
  13. Factor X #2
  14. Weapon X #2
  15. Gambit and the X-Ternals #2
  16. X-Calibre #2
  17. Astonishing X-Men #2
  18. Generation Next #2
  19. X-Man #2
  20. Age of Apocalypse : The Chosen
  21. Astonishing X-Men #3
  22. Factor X #3
  23. Amazing X-Men #3
  24. X-Calibre #3
  25. Weapon X #3
  26. Gambit and the X-Ternals #3
  27. X-Universe #1
  28. Generation Next #3
  29. X-Man #3
  30. Astonishing X-Men #4
  31. Generation Next #4
  32. X-Calibre #4
  33. X-Man #4
  34. Factor X #4
  35. Gambit and the X-Ternals #4
  36. Amazing X-Men #4
  37. Weapon X #4
  38. X-Universe #2
  39. X-Men Omega
I hope you enjoy it!

7 comments:

  1. Okay, X-men geek that I am, I can't wait! Just wish I could cheaply get my hands on these to read along with you!

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    1. If you don't mind reading digitally, Marvel Unlimited is a fairly inexpensive option. I'd recommend looking over their terms, but I'm pretty sure you're not locked into anything more than a month at a time, as long as you cancel before it auto-renews. They do not have every single Marvel comic book ever, but they do have a lot.

      My friend Noel uses it all the time, and I want to say he told me that the AoA books are there and he would be using that to do his own read-along with this.

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    2. Thanks! Will look into that. I did get a free Wolverine comicbook (the Frank Miller one that was the inspiration for the film) from Fandango, so I think that's the same site?

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    3. To clarify, it sent me to a Marvel site with a redmeption code.

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    4. It gets a little confusing because there are two ways to get digital through Marvel right now - buying each comic individually, and then the unlimited service. It's sort of like a choice between Netflix Instant and purchasing individual digital films through the PSN store.

      So the code you got is for the single issue to read whenever, the 9.99 you would pay for the service would give you unlimited access to the issues while your account is active.

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    5. Gotcha. So I think I know what one of my deployment coping devices is gonna be. Hee hee!

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  2. +JMJ+

    Although I did not read more than the first few issues, I remember Age of Apocalypse well because it tapped into my deep and abiding love for parallel universes. The first one I ever saw was in the two-part G.I. Joe episode "Worlds without End"--and it also fits the description of "a twisted version of the . . . main continuity." I think that parallel universes are most haunting when they aren't just randomly wacky takes on something or different for the sake of being different, but are truly plausible. The best "What If?" scenarios hit you in the gut with the facts of reality.

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