Written by David Lapham
Pencils by David Lopez
Inks by Alvaro Lopez & Allen Martinez
Colors by Andres Mossa
On the run and being hunted by the Astonishing X-Men, AoA Nightcrawler turns to another being stuck in Earth 616 from his own dimension, Dark Beast, in the hopes that they can both return the dimension they are from, the Age of Apocalypse, or New Apocalypse as its being called now. Things go horribly wrong though and it will take the Astonishing X-Men, AoA’s X-Terminated and the dimension hopping X-Treme X-men to save the multiverse.
Now this is a book right up my alley, my love for the multiverse is no secret, as is my love of the Age of Apocalypse. When the new Age of Apocalypse wrapped up I was afraid we would never see these characters again, but X-termination has given them a new home for now.
There’s some pretty good writing going on here with a complex story that ties these multiverse dimensions together to make for an exciting book. I couldn’t help but feel bad for AoA Nightcrawler, sure he’s done some bad things on Earth 616, but I can’t blame his need for revenge to return home, but the home he thinks is there is all but gone as all his friends are dead, and the war he thinks he’s returning is over as X-terminated have already defeated Weapon Omega. I also felt bad for him since it becomes obvious that Dark Beast used him to get home, knowing that everything AoA Nightcrawler knew back home was gone.
The main conflict itself seems like an exciting premise, though its one we have seen before from both of the major comic companies, I always welcome a story where the multiverse is threatened. The book flows pretty smoothly and is easy to pick up even if you haven’t been keeping up on the stories of the three books that have come together here. The beats move perfectly so the story keeps moving forward and never feels like it’s stalling as to not reveal too much for a first issue. If you’ve ever read any of my reviews of any first issues then you know they aren’t always my favorites, as they tend to move slowly to help plant the seeds for the story to come. Not so with this book, the main conflict is brought front and center by the end of the issue, and that’s something that I can more than appreciate. Though its not the strongest story ever, it is more than enough to keep me anticipating the next book.
The art here is also good, featuring lots of bright colors and nice character definition. I know every artist and colorist has their own styles, but I prefer when major publisher books follow that brightly colored and exciting theme. In fact my only complaint about the art in the new AoA book was it’s rather drab look. I know it’s the Age of Apocalypse so it’s expected to feel dim, but that doesn’t mean it has to look that way. One reason I dropped X-Treme X-Men was what I felt was weak art, if the book had looked like this then I might have given it a few more issues before I chose to drop it or not. That’s not to say it was perfect, Jean Grey and Sabretooth left a lot to be desired, but I can forgive that since the rest of the book looks great.
Overall this was a pretty good issue with some exciting set ups for what looks like a great story to come. Some of the art and facial expressions could use some more fine-tuning and detail, but I think this crossover event is headed in the right direction. Its going to take another issue or two to make a real call on it, but I see loads of great potential for some fun story telling and great action. My only other complaint, which isn’t really much of one, is the saturation of Wolverine. The guy is in damn near every book MarvelNOW! is pushing, including three of his own. I love Wolverine so I’m not mad about it, but give a mutant a break already.
3.5 out of 5 nerds
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