From 1995-96, the world of the X-Men was completely altered in a senses shattering rethinking of the whole franchise. Attempting to save the future by killing Magneto, Legion instead accidentally killed his father, Charles Xavier. The re-visioning was a 'world without Xavier'. The end product was AGE OF APOCALYPSE. The story follows Bishop as the only man who remembers how things were in our alternate reality. Most of the story was Magneto's attempt to verify the change and how to fix things. This was the first time a whole group of comics was stopped completely in its tracks and restarted in a whole new re-imagining of each title. Each covered it's own corner of a world devastated by the rule of Apocalypse and each character was given a new past and vastly different redesign. It was a storyline that lasted less than a year, but left us breathlessly wanting more.
Well, now we are getting more Age of Apocaplyse! One of the teasers for the Marvel 2015 summer event, Secret Wars, is a title simply called AGE OF APOCALYPSE and its cover is adorned with a few characters from that much loved series. This will all be emanating from a place of the Battleworld map called the Domain of Apocalypse. This has many fans excited with the possibility of getting to see their favorite characters from that story. It opens up many stories yet to be told also. But, first, let's look back at the unique titles that had us glued to our seats and eagerly anticipating the next issue.
This series followed the freebooter, Nightcrawler, and his crew as they sought after the mutant Destiny who could see the future and confirm what Bishop was telling them about the alternative futures. They traveled to a place called AVALON. Sound familiar? There's a place on Battleworld called HIGHER AVALON. Could it be an extension of this fabled land? Well, Avalon was a hidden place where Mutants and Humans lived in peace.
Gambit and the X-ternals
Replacing X-force was a space-faring adventure led by Gambit to retrieve the legendary M'Kraan Crystal . This was Their way of affirming Bishop's alternative future scenario. Gambit's team consisted of himself, Jubilee, Strong Guy, Sunspot and Lila Chaney (a interstellar teleporter). They were successful in retrieving the Crystal, but betrayal reversed their fortunes.
Wasn't a big fan of this one, but there are some cool renditions of X-Characters that it would be cool to keep!
Generation Next consists of a student team of young mutants led and taught by husband and wife team, Colossus and Shadowcat. This comic took the place of Generation X which was about the same thing only in our world and with different teachers.
Their mission was to retrieve Colossus's younger sister, Illyana, who is a transdimensional jumper. In the process, Colossus is successful, but at the sacrifice of the whole team. This comic introduced the SUGAR MAN; who was both a disgusting and intriguing character.
The Generation Next team consisted of Chamber, Skin, Husk, Mondo and Vincente Cimetta any of whom would be a good return character!
Astonishing X-Men #1 was the first of the series to really get my attention. Magneto married to Rogue with a child named after the fallen friend Charles Xavier. That was enough for me.
The team is actually led by Rogue to stop the 'cullings' perpetrated by Holocaust (one of Apocalypse's horsemen) and consisted of Quicksilver, Sabertooth, Sunfire, Iceman, Storm, Morph, Dazzler and Banshee. This was obviously the flagship comic replacing the lead X-Men comic. This one had it all. The team not only fought Holocaust, but Abyss, the Brotherhood of Chaos and Apocalypse and his priests. This one is loaded with characters to bring back. I would personally like to see a teenage Charles Lehnsherr survive all of this.
Replacing the comic Wolverine, this title followed the exploits of the Logan of the Age of Apocalypse carrying out missions for the Human High Council along side his lover Jean Grey. This was as much of a dream as seeing Magneto and Rogue hooked up. One the most unrequited love stories in comic history, Jean and Logan were side by side till a disagreement with the Human Council drove them apart. But don't fret. They were back in each others arms for the finale!
This is one of the most anticipated of the returns as Wolverine died a few months ago.
Factor X took the place of X-Factor and centered around the breeding pins of Apocalypse and the Elite Mutant Force. The force contained five sets of siblings:
Emplate and the twins:
Marius, Nicole, and Claudette St. Croix
Cannonball and Amazon:
Sam and Elizabeth Guthrie
The Bedlam Brothers:
Jesse and Terrence Aaronson
Aurora and Northstar:
Jean-Marie and Jean-Paul Beaubier
The Summers Brothers:
Cyclops and Havok
One of the coolest additions to this story was a dark, sinister version of the Beast that actually found a way to escape into our reality.
Nate Grey was another character created specifically for Age of Apocalypse that lived on in his own series afterwards. Nate was a mutant born of Cyclops and Jean Grey's DNA and is, of course, the most powerful telekenetic in the world at that time. This title replaced CABLE. He and his team attacked Apocalypse's trains and plants while masquerading as a drama troop. Forge acted as Nate's mentor and his team consisted of Toad, Mastermind, Brute and Sauron. He later became emotionally attached to a young Sonique which is that realities Siryn. They mainly came up against Mr. Sinister who acted as an ally, but was soon outed as a traitor. They also came up against Apocalypse's bounty hunters consisting of Grizzly, Caliban and Domino.
Which Age of Apocalypse characters are you most looking forward to seeing, and is this related to the release of [X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267)?
Also see a gallery of your favorite AoA characters at: