Saturday, September 7, 2013
Magneto stands alone against Apocalypse, doing his best to give his X-men time to put their plan into effect. Elsewhere, Angel is also making his own last stand. He finds Karma shortly before she dies and goes on his own suicide mission to bring down the defenses blocking the X-men from entering the complex. With those down, both they and Nate are able to get inside. Cyclops and Jean, meanwhile, are trying to make their way out, but Havok is still on their tail.
The Shadow King informs Apocalypse that the humans have launched nuclear missiles in the southwest, killing everyone there, and more are on their way to hit New York as they speak. Nate appears and takes on Holocaust while Magneto joins the X-men approaching the M'kraan crystal.
When Destiny nears it she can see the alternate timeline clearly and knows what they must do. She, Bishop and Illyana must go inside, sending Bishop back to stop Legion from killing Charles Xavier. Colossus is not happy with losing his sister again so soon, but Illyana is willing to go in order to help create a world with hope. Colossus shatters Iceman when he tries to block his way, and is at least temporarily held back by Gambit as his sister enters the crystal with the other two. She opens a portal for Bishop to enter, while Magneto pulls together stray pieces of metal (that are all conveniently red) to build some armor for himself while he takes on Apocalypse.
Havok has caught up to Cyclops and Jean, and he blasts his energy through Jean, nearly killing her. Cyclops calls his brother an idiot, telling him that Jean's telekinetic powers were the only chance they had of holding off the nuclear missiles headed toward them. Havok would instead rather blah blah on about getting revenge on his brother, and somehow does manage to kill him (I say somehow because they show him blasting Cyclops with his powers, even though they established he's immune to that) before Weapon X appears (falling ahead of the missiles) and stabs him in the back. He's able to say goodbye to Jean before she dies. And the narrator tells us that Logan thinks of a legendary bird who could rise from the ashes, but sadly his Jean is no Phoenix.
Bishop has made it back to the past, but he is temporarily waylaid by himself. Meanwhile Colossus is still trying to get to his sister. Kitty stands in front of him, trying to block his way, and trusting in their love, she doesn't phase as he approaches. He keeps coming and crushes her. Gambit does what we all wish we could and throws a charged dagger at Peter. Peter transforms back into human form in despair, as his sister emerges from out of the crystal. He begs her forgiveness for what he has done, and tells her that he only thought he was brave until he met her. As angry as Colossus' actions have made me through out this whole story line, I have to admit I got a bit misty eyed at this moment.
Guido still has young Charles, but Rogue touches him and absorbs all his strength away from him, and sends it right back to him in a devastating punch before rescuing her son. In the past, Bishop pushes himself aside and makes his way to Legion. The two of them make contact and it starts a psychic wave going between them that allows Legion to see just what his actions here will create. It also somehow kills him. With his death, the X-men who traveled to the past with him are sent hurling back to their present.
In the AoA, Nate manages to kill Holocaust by plunging a shard of the crystal into his chest. Magneto summons up all the power he can muster and literally tears Apocalypse in half. I guess he does so using the iron in his blood? In the last few moments before their world disappears, Magneto holds Rogue and Charles close and once again thanks Charles Xavier for changing his life and teaching him that a dream was worth fighting for.
Overall, a thoroughly action packed issue that serves as a good end to the event. There are little bits I left out that are there to explain how the Sugar Man and this version of Beast end up back in the main timeline, and Nate stabbing Holocaust is supposed to explain how he was able to crossover as well. Those were all their attempts to keep what happens here still relevant for a while, but beyond X-man's series lasting for a few years I don't think much else came of that.
There were far more repercussions related to things that happened in the main reality shortly before the crystal blinked it out of existence, like Wolverine plunging a claw into Sabretooth's brain and Rogue and Gambit kissing, but considering how long it's been since I read those issues I can't say I remember much more than that.
Looking at it as a whole, this was a decent event. There were low points (Generation Next, Factor X, X-Universe) but there were also high points (Morph, Abyss, Dead Man Wade, Rogue and Carol Danvers being awesome). I also think it's just a fun jaunt in an alternate apocalyptic reality, a place where you can see characters killed off in the blink of an eye. But I'm also very glad that they kept this to only a four month experience. Anything longer than that would have been a little too much. I would like to visit the events they've had since then that continue the story. I'm pretty sure there is a moment where Jean does become the Phoenix, and that is probably how they manage to explain how everyone isn't dead like they originally end it here. Whenever I get a chance to read those issues, perhaps I will write about it here. For now, I'll be glad to take a break!