GENERAL OVERVIEW: The Age Of Apocalypse is one of the most relevant X-Men storylines in all of its ever expanding mythos. It's an indisputable must-read/must-have for any serious X-Fan. The premise is very simple and appealing: Xavier was murdered, so the X-Men were never created, and without their strugle for peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants everything went TERRIBLY wrong. So wrong that there was no one to stop Apocalypse from seizing control of America and create an eugenics-based empire. And now it's up to Magneto and a ragtag assembly of mutants to fight back against their own species in order to stop this madness once and for all. What makes AOA such a treat for the X-Men aficionado is both its huge epic scope and its even greater cast of alternate versions of longstanding iconic characters. This Post-Apocalyptic (in such a literal sense) reality allows for extreme character revamps. Just to give an example, we get to see charming and sensitive Hank McCoy turned into as a sadistic geneticist working for the Apocalypse regime.
ABOUT THE ART: This book features BIG names, some of them real current STARS of the comic-book field, and we get to see them in a time when they were either starting to break through or starting to consolidate their names. So, if you want to study the evolution of their art, this book is a perfect chance. We have a front seat for a very young and promising JOE MADUREIRA, a very "Imagesque" TONY DANIEL and novice SALVADOR LARROCA as well. We have the KUBERT brothers, ADAM and ANDY, who where both big names already in the AOA days. We can see an incredibly young and talented STEVE SKROCE, a dark and beautiful CHRIS BACHALO and a very classy STEVE EPTING, sporting an art style far away from the '90s trend.Read more ›
Story/Content: Age of Apocalypse (AoA) was the highlight X-Men event of the 90's. If you hate 90's comics, then you probably won't like this. If you love 90's comics, like me, then it's a must own. This book contains all of the AoA stories except X-Men Chronicles 1-2, Tales from the Age of Apocalypse 1-2, and X-Universe 1-2. I need to make a comment about the lack of these issues because other reviewers have complained about their absence from this book. With exception of Tales from Age of Apoc #2 (by Brian K. Vaughan, which further explores Cyclops/Havoc), the rest of these missing issues are downright awful. I don't know if editor's gave these books' creators free reign or what, but they are severely lacking in quality. They all felt rushed and full of plot holes, and the scripting is horrid. I for one am glad that they were left out of this collection. If you don't believe me, go pick them up and see for yourself.
The rest of the book is comprised of the 4x issue AoA intro story (main universe), 8X AoA four issue story arcs, each with different creative teams, and the Alpha and Omega One-Shots. The stories are told in sequential order that the issues were released, which means that the 4 issue story arcs are NOT grouped together (similar to Morrison's Seven Soldiers HC's). Some of the stories are fantastic, and some are mediocre, but they all have their moments. I did not find ANY of them to be bad. Obviously, the main focus of 90's X-Men was art, and that is pretty evident here. I found this book best read when you let the art guide the story. If you are a reader who likes to analyze and criticize every aspect of the writing, this may not be the book for you.
I was very happy with the AoA omnibus that marvel put out. The book looks amazing and looks good on my bookshelf. The story is definitely from the 90's but it still holds up and is very enjoyable. The artwork is amazing and I am still stunned by it even with not having read these comics in over 15 years. My only down point is I was looking forward to a forward from the writers and artists that lined out the inspiration or influences to the story, and fond memories of the time. But, it's a minor gripe and not enough to lower its rating. I strongly recommend any X-men or Marvel fans to not pass this one up.
Collecting: Uncanny X-Men (1963) #320-321 X-MEN (1991) #40-41 CABLE (1993) #20 X-MEN ALPHA AMAZING X-MEN #1-4 ASTONISHING X-MEN (1995) #1-4 FACTOR X #1-4 GAMBIT & THE X-TERNALS #1-4 GENERATION NEXT #1-4 WEAPON X (1995) #1-4 X-CALIBRE #1-4 X-MAN #1-4 X-MEN OMEGA AGE OF APOCALYPSE: THE CHOSEN X-MEN ASHCAN #2
Bonus: Art sketch gallery
Age of Apocalypse is another home-run in the Marvel Omnibus collection. Age of Apocalypse collects a massive (over 1,000 pages) amount material in a beautiful hardcover volume. Like the other Omnibus editions, the presentation is absolutely gorgeous: glossy, slick pages; solid sewn binding, a thick dust jacket with great art. The paper quality allows these reprints to look better than they ever did in the original magazine format.
Age of Apocalypse was originally printed in the mid-1990s. It encompassed a story of a dystopian alternate future ruled by Apocalypse. Interestingly, some of these alternate-earth X-Men have played high-profile roles in recent X-books (particularly Dark Beast and Nightcrawler) making the Age of Apocalypse very relevant reading material for X-fans looking for some deeper backstory on current events in the X-Men universe.
There are a few aspects of Age of Apocalypse that may turn off some current X-fans. The artwork in these volumes is very typical of mid-1990s marvel. The proportions tend to be less realistic than in current comics. The faces tend to be a bit elongated. And there is less use of shadow and texture, giving the characters a more "flat" appearance. The narrative of Age of Apocalypse can be a bit convoluted as well.Read more ›
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