In the Age of X-Man, love, and really any kind of relationship, is illegal. Citizens are asked to look within themselves and find comfort in knowing being alone is best. Oh, and everyone is a mutant. It’s a crazy idea that has worked well due to the underpinning mystery as well as a good mix of tie-in stories to flesh out the world. One of the biggest drops in comic shops today and it centers on the opposition to the rules of this world and the leader of said group is none other than Apocolypse. Proceed to enact a double take.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
Part of the fun in reading these tie-in issues is finding out what is going on with familiar mutant faces. This issue reveals what Dazzler, Kitty Pryde, and Eye-Boy are up to.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The ’70s free spirit is strong with this issue, establishing a world where the people who speak truth perform in late night bars and keep their real opinions secret until the time is right. Tim Seeley writes a good first issue to this series, establishing the opposition to the X-Men and their free spirit sort of ways. The beauty of this issue is how it establishes the usually super-villainous Apocolypse is a kind of shaman to people who need to hear his words. Given his history in the Marvel universe, I’m sure he’s up to something, but this issue does a good job convincing you his real goal is to break away from the patriarchy. By the end of the issue, his mission is clear enough to want more with the promise of real conflict on its way.
One of the best elements of this issue is the opening scene with Dazzler. The lyrics are great as she sings truths to the audience. Sure, the cliched poets in the audience are a bit much, but subtlety is not what this comic is about. The fact that Apocolypse sends mutants off with technicolor tye-dye powers only makes it more fun.
The art by Salva Espin with colors by Israel Silva and letters by Travis Lanham does well to establish the character’s free-flowing vibe. The book opens and closes with tightly drawn teasers as to a bigger picture afoot and flashbacks flow in and out with ease.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
Aside from establishing what the characters think they know there isn’t much character work here. The man of the hour, Apocolypse, isn’t much more than a vague shaman and more development of the character could do well to clarify what is going on. This issue is more about establishing his group and mission rather than anything else, though.
The art can be a bit too cartoony for my tastes especially given the somewhat serious story. Sure there’s a ’70s vibe to get groovy with, but the weight of the story is a bit lost on the less serious art style.
Is it good?
A good tie-in that establishes the “opposition” side of the Age of X-Man. There’s more to it than we might think and it’ll be fun to see how the answers to the mysteries outlined here will be revealed.