As the Age of X-Man crumbles around everyone inside, its architect Nate Grey is confronted and forced to provide answers. This event has taken the X-Men universe into its own corner for the past six months, and the answers about the universe and its inception have been a long time coming. Each character in this Omega issue has had an incredibly emotional journey to lead into this final, fateful confrontation. There is a lot riding on this story for each of the characters involved, and as it turns out, a lot more characters as well.
The issue does its best to provide a sense of closure to every miniseries within the Age of X-Man. The Marvelous X-Men, Apocalypse’s X-Tracts, and the inmates of Prisoner X ended their series going to confront Nate Grey. The kids in NextGen went to prison, Nightcrawler chose to forget his love, and the X-Tremists gave the entire world their memories back. All of these threads tie together in this issue, although X-Tremists and NextGen don’t get proper closure in the same way the other series do. The characters only appear at the beginning and end of the issue, and don’t get to drive the narrative in the same way as the rest, but they still get good moments.
The story begins with Nate Grey’s explanation of what the Age of X-Man actually is: rather than an alternate universe, it’s a separate plane of existence that exists within Nate Grey himself. Nadler and Thompson have been outspoken about this difference for the past few days, stressing that it means the book has proper consequences for the characters involved, and the explanation within the issue elaborates further. These aren’t alternate versions of the characters that readers are familiar with, like they were in Age of Apocalypse; they’re the originals pulled into Nate Grey’s mindscape. Everything that happens within the Age of X-Man will be remembered by the people it happened to, which provides a much greater sense of stakes to the entire event as a whole.
The core of the issue is the conflict between what Nate Grey sees as the solution to the X-Men’s problems and what the X-Men themselves are willing to do to reach their ideal world. X-Man sees his actions as saving the X-Men, while the X-Men themselves see it as both abandoning those left on Earth and living a half-life without companionship or love. Ultimately, the thesis is that relationships are what define the X-Men, and subtracting them takes away far more than what could ever be gained. Even Nate Grey is affected by his relationships, his subconscious creating a second Danielle Moonstar that exists solely within the Age of X-Man. Relationships are what make these characters who they are, and are the core of the X-Men franchise. This central message makes the X-Men’s decision to leave the Age of X-Man and reenter their original world a satisfying conclusion to the event on top of being an exciting shakeup for Uncanny X-Men.
Simone Buonfantino’s art and Triona Farrell’s colors in this issue are good, especially for depicting the larger scope of the issue. The scene of Nate creating the world is beautiful, and shots of the cities and larger groups of people work incredibly well. The paneling is also great, with a cinematic flair that works incredibly well for pacing. The characters aren’t drawn as well as their surroundings, but the art is a positive contribution to the book.
Age of X-Man: Omega #1 is a satisfying, complete conclusion to a great event, and does a great job tying up most of the threads of the event while still leaving a lot of potential for stories about its fallout. Nadler and Thompson put a cap on this world of mutants, with the final line of dialogue epitomizing the entire event: What would you sacrifice for your dreams?