As someone who prides himself on being wide-read I try to broaden my horizons and read all over the joint. Of course it helps if you enjoy the various stories you discover. And I have in particular a penchant for the graphic novels by marvel and DC featuring superheroes. So naturally I was drawn to this work featuring the X-Men and of course one of the greatest villains they have ever faced: Apocalypse.
Of course this is only the fourth book in the sequence but I know my 'lore' well enough to understand this story as it stands on its own. This is not your usual X-Men story. Instead it is part of an alternate timeline arc in which Apocalypse as pictured above rules supreme over the world. All the other heroes of the marvel timeline become simply normal humans in a world where only mutants and augmented humans reign. However even despite this the usual characters such as Storm, Wolverine, jean Grey (or should I say Phoenix), Cyclops, Gambit, Rogue, Magneto, Shadowcat and Colossus. Plus on top of that some pretty cool characters are introduced. Let me introduce them to you as incentive to read this series. Of course I suggest you begin at the start if you do intend to read them with: X-Men: The Complete Age of Apocalypse Epic, Book 1.
First of the more unique characters is:
Yes that's right Apocalypse
one of the coolest villains created. Essentially the oldest mutant because he claims to be the first mutant Apocalypse rules over others by force of will, manipulation and also physical strength. Not to mention he has that unique costume which is actually his skin which he can manipulate into any shape...yeah he's a shape-shifter and that costume is his skin.
Moving on to:Sinister
. He's an associate of Apocalypse. It turns out Apocalypse can kind of genetically modify mutants and average people. So he made Sinister into someone who reforms his body from most injuries. Basically he gets holes in his body and they fill in again. And he's obsessed with mixing the perfect genetic material to create the perfect mutant. Which provides us with the most powerful mutant ever basically:Nate Grey
also called X-Man is the result of the genetic mix of Phoenix and Cyclops having its full potential unlocked. In short he's a insanely powerful psychic charged with psyonic energy who'll apparently die eventually because of all that energy and maybe even alter all reality along with his passing. He has that much power.
I didn't, however enjoy this as much as I would have liked. Firstly:
it was certainly a nice story and had some quality art work that I loved. But then there was also some art work I didn't love as much due to the cluttered nature of it. In particular the opening panels which meant that I began the story with a worse impression. Secondly:
I didn't enjoy this novel as much because it felt disconnected from the events of the proper marvel universe. I couldn't link it into the rest of the time continuum and found myself going: so how does this fit into the regular time-stream?Thirdly (and finally):
I didn't enjoy the fact that there were characters who possessed so much power. For me the X-Men have always been about finding that mixture of power and otherworldliness. They're outsiders shunned by society but they still possess incredible powers and abilities regardless of being despised. And for all their power they want to belong. Its that conflict between being superior in power and morality and yet attempting to fit into a world that doesn't want them. For some characters to posses power on the level of Nate Grey may be cool at first but there was no conflict between how powerful he was and trying to fit into society. It didn't seem right. However I hope that future works play on the fact that he may eventually destroy himself through his power. That would provide the interesting conflict.
Still I recommend this to read if you enjoy graphic novels. But if you're not so familiar with the marvel timeline I recommend you go back to the first one and read that. Then move on to the others if you enjoy them.