Sunday, February 23, 2014

Uncanny X-Periment # 173: Age of X

Age of X: Alpha, X-Men: Legacy # 245, New Mutants # 22, X-Men: Legacy # 246, New Mutants # 23, X-Men: Legacy # 246, New Mutants # 24

All of sudden, everything is different.   The last remaining Mutants have taken refuge in a huge tower built on Alcatraz.  They are led by Magneto and every day, they are assaulted by human forces.  Cannonball seems to be the field leader.  Legion, Hellion, Unuscione, Psylocke and a Phoenix-lite character named Reveanant are in charge of keeping a force field up around the tower.  Rogue (now called Legacy) has the quite grim job of absorbing the powers of everyone who is dying.  Logan runs a bar, since popping his claws and entering into a high-stress situation will kill him.  Scott is married to Frenzy.

In the aftermath of one of the daily battles with the humans, Legacy finds Kitty Pryde.  Kitty leaves behind a camera, but she is swiftly taken away by Magneto.  Magneto keeps her – and other Mutants that could endanger the tower – locked up in the basement.  Legacy takes a look at the camera, but finds nothing.  She uses Box’s powers to get down into the basement and she finds Kitty – and Danger.  She makes a run for it and finds herself in a cell with Professor X, who is in a coma.  She touches him, absorbs his powers, alerting Danger.  She manages to escape, but Magneto sends a New Mutants hit squad after her.  Legacy hangs out in Logan’s bar.  Magneto joins the hunt.  Gambit soon joins her, but they are soon discovered and squished by Magneto.

In the aftermath, Scott realizes something is wrong.  He and Logan conspire to work together to find out what’s going on.  Meanwhile, Gambit and Legacy are actually alive and well.  Magneto tucked them away.  He reveals that he sent Kitty out to take pictures of a room deep in the fortress that Magneto has no knowledge about.  The room  shouldn’t exist and it serves no purpose.  He sends Legacy and Gambit to break into it while he and Kitty go find the Professor, who may hold the answers they’re looking for.  In the room, Legacy and Gambit discover a frozen-in-time still image of Doctor Nemesis running to a computer, as well as brain scans, and a small box.  Legacy opens the box – and it has a universe inside. 

Outside, Cannonball preps his forces to fight the humans again.  Inside, Magneto and Kitty have managed to convince the New Mutant hit squad to not kill them, but Legion and his gang show up, branding them as traitors.  Professor X, now awake, tries to talk some sense into everyone. 

Meanwhile, Moira shows up (Legion’s god-mother) and demands that Legacy and Gambit hand over the box.   We soon realize that Doctor Nemesis was working on a way of deleting the multiple personalities in David’s mind, but in doing so, released one who Utopia into the Age of X.  As Xavier tries to battle Moira, the humans launch another assault.  The Mutants rise to the defense, united at last.  David, who remembers now what happened, absorbed Moira and ends the Age of X.

Let me tell you.  I loved this story.  I was really not expecting to.  Y’know, just another alternate reality.  Yada yada yada.  But man, the backstory is cool, the world is unique, the characters are so radically different, and yet in some ways, the same.  There’s a great sense of mystery to it. There was no reality hopping, no time travel, none of that.  How did this world come about?  Why are things the way they are?  Once the real world starts to leak through and the cracks are visible, you can see just how it got to this.  This is really phenomenal. 

What I also liked about this world were all the new, unique designs.   There’s a great level of effort to show just how different these characters have  become in the context of this new reality.

This really feels like the culmination of everything that Mike Carey has been doing with Professor X and Rogue.  Rogue gets a great spotlight and continues to shine. Professor X finally taking responsibility as David’s father seems just so perfect for him.  And David himself is very well-written.  I haven’t read the new X-Men Legacy, but this felt a lot like David’s best story.

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