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X-Men: The Complete Age of Apocalypse Epic - Book 2 Paperback – August 9, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Age of Apocalypse Series

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel; Direct Ed edition (August 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785118748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785118749
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.6 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #672,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Hall on November 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
First a plea to any new readers who might have been hoodwinked into purchasing the first volume of the AOA-Epic: PLEASE forget that cruel marketing trick and give this one a shot, this is the true (beginning of the) Age of Apocalypse, the crown jewel of the 1990s X-Men run that was so astounding that it took nearly a decade before another worth-while X-Men story would be written again.

In the Early '90s the X-Men reached their zenith of popularity, and although there were certainly low points in the early '90s run of the X-Universe (followed by an abysmally unreadable period of just under 10 years) it is unquestionably one of the time periods that justified the X-Men's place as the consistent top-seller, then and now. The Age of Apocalypse was the culmination, and the bristling climax, of one of the greatest eras in the X-Men's existence.

Synopsis: Forget volume one, everyone else but the marketing flunkies at Marvel did (or the poor saps who paid money for a collection of B-level story lines that leeched off of the glory of a truly well done comic book masterpiece). Here we are taken into a world that throws the importance of Xavier's dream right into our faces, a world where that dream was aborted and replaced with a blood-drenched nightmare. The Dark Lord Apocalypse threatens the globe, from his base from what was once America, with the aid of his Four Horsemen (Sinister, Holocaust, Abyss, and Mikhail Rasputin) and his mutant elite (including Cyclops, Havoc, and Beast). In Europe, humanity is meekly defended by a Human High Council (Brian Braddock, Emma Frost, Moria MacTaggart and Trask) that ratters a saber in the form of an army of Sentinels and nuclear missiles.
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Format: Paperback
With the tenth (that's right, tenth!) anniversary of Marvel's epic X-Men storyline, the Age of Apocalypse, Marvel has released three massive volumes of the various issues released in that time. Volume 1 featured various one-shots, mini-series, and the X-Men Chronicles issues, and wasn't worth your time unless you're an AoA completist. Volume two however finally gets some things right by featuring the first couple issues of the various series' as well as the jump off point X-Men: Alpha (Vol. 3 will contain the concluding issues and the ending X-Men: Omega) that introduces the readers to this dark, alternate world where Charles Xavier never lived long enough to form the X-Men, and the evil Apocalypse rose to power and conquered most of the world. X-Men: Alpha introduces us to Magneto's team of X-Men: his wife Rogue, son Quicksilver, as well as Sabretooth, Wild Child, Storm, Nightcrawler, Sunfire, Banshee, Morph, Iceman, and Blink. The team is split up in the issues of Astonishing X-Men and Amazing X-Men as they take on various forces of Apocalypse. Weapon X introduces us to the one handed Logan and his lover Jean Grey as they unite with the Human High Council to save the world. Factor X gives us a glance at Apocalypse's main mutants; Sinister, Cyclops, Beast, and Havok. Gambit & the X-Ternals introduces us to the heroic thief and his team of mutants (including Jubilee, Lila Chaney, and Strong Guy) as they begin their quest into space to retrieve a piece of the M'Krann Crystal. Generation Next finds Colossus and Shadowcat training a group of young mutants and leading them on a mission to save Colossus' lost sister.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
The Age of Apocalypse satisfies the inherent "What-If?" cravings that most readers are prey to: what is professor Xavier had died and his dream along with him? The Age of Apocalypse answers this questions in the most dramatic way possible.

First off, the technical issues: as mentioned, although this is labeled Book 2 by Marvel, it is in fact "Book 1", with the actual Book 1 containing one-off or self-contained stories that are not continuous in the main storyline. You may pick up this book without the previous one and not feel like you just jumped in midway.

... assuming you are already familiar with the X-Universe. There are at least 50 Characters in this Graphic Novel, almost all of whom are modified versions of existing characters in the mainstream Marvel Universe. As a casual comics reader (I'm 30, so my comics peak was in the late 80s) I could follow the connections between most of the characters, but Wikipedia came in handy on more than one occasion. True X-book readers will get more out of this one than I did, as I'm sure there are a ton of Easter Eggs lovingly planted for the long-time fans.

You're certainly getting good bang for your buck with this comic: it's almost 400 pages, about twice the length of ordinary graphic novels that retail for about the same price, and the art is beautiful. The story is also engrossing and not for the faint of heart: a genocide being perpetrated on non-mutant humanity is not a tale for small children, and the relationships between the characters are complex, even more so because they often subtly refer to the relationships between their mainstream counterparts.

Readers uninterested in the Marvel Universe should stay away: there are much more accessible superhero comics out there that are more unified, such as Alan Moore's Watchmen. But for anyone who enjoys Mutants and world-shattering storylines, it's hard to beat the Age of Apocalypse. On to Book 3!
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