Sunday, March 25, 2012

Age of X HC

I’m going to miss Mike Carey on X-Men Legacy. His run has been consistently enjoyable, and now he can add another feather to his cap with a fantastic sequel to the strong Age of Apocalypse. Even better, since this came out pretty close to Flashpoint, it is yet another example of a better, more well-thought out alternate world than DC’s weird exercise.

In the Age of X, the surviving mutants are all trapped in Fortress X, a smash-up of buildings that Magneto tore from NYC when he made his final escape from the corrupt US Government. Now he leads a mutant army that must continually defend its borders from attacks that come every dawn. Cannonball is the savvy field general leading the masses. Rogue is known as either Legacy or Reaper because of her duties with the dead. Cyclops is the bad boy, and Wolverine is a powerless bartender. And the telekinetics spend every morning reinforcing the force walls that keep larger incursions from wiping out the last mutants on Earth.

There are some problems, though. Why do so many of the dead soldiers have the same dog tags and look so similar? Why are all the telepathic characters locked away? And what did Kitty Pryde see outside the force field?

Carey doesn’t have time to play around, so he sets up questions and answers very quickly. There are some great twists and turns in the story, and Carey gives a lot of screen time to some folks you wouldn’t expect. Madison Jeffries plays as big a role as Wolverine. Seeing odd couples like Iceman and Psylocke or Cyclops and Frenzy together makes sense even as it surprises you.

In the end, this is a logical story that has many ties and links in X-Men history. This is a book filled with new ideas and new executions built on a foundation from one character’s past.

Clay Mann’s artwork didn’t impress me on the recent Collision storyline, but he must have been saving up his mojo for this. The book looks great, with good backgrounds, great character re-designs, and dramatic “acting.” I love his take on Dani Moonstar, and Basilisk’s design is fantastic too.


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