Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Age Of Apocalypse #1
Lapham & De la Torre
The makeover of the Age of Apocalypse parallel Earth takes flight in its own title with this issue. The book doesn’t really rely on the reader having any previous knowledge of the Age of Apocalypse, but it sure would be helpful if you did. The book is a very heavy read as it tries to move a lot of the pieces into place for the long term plot, all while trying to provide some sort of background to the huge cast of familiar, but different, characters. Overall, I enjoyed the book but was not sold long term on the prospects of a different take on the mutant struggle with the human race.
Basically, in this universe, the mutants, led by Apocalypse, have defeated the humans and rule the Earth. Apocalypse is gone, but in his place is Logan. Logan is hunting down and killing off mutants that side with the humans. The pockets of human resistance have a powerful cast in their own right. However, the story is even more complicated than that.
A human from an alternate Earth, Harper Simmons, finds himself in the Age of Apocalypse and he is also set out to help bring about harmony and equality. Of course, all of this means more war, so that the mutant rebels and the humans can hopefully kill the leader, Logan, and end the conflict. And if that weren’t enough you have humans trying to arrest the, now, depowered mutants that are up against Logan. Just to make things even more confusing there are familiar super-heroes that are not mutants that take various sides as well. It’s a very complicated and layered first issue to say the least.
The book is very dreary. It’s really difficult to pick out the good guys here. And, since, the world is an alternate one, it’s hard to feel anything for the characters at all. In some respects I wouldn’t mind watching characters die from both sides each and every issue. While this issue doesn’t contain a lot of death (that occurred in the Uncanny X-Force Point issue), there is a lot scorched Earth. It’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to fight for anything other than survival at this point. It’s a very bleak situation and a very dark comic book.
Obviously the artwork plays right into the dark aspect of the story. However, I found it very difficult to discern character from character and that is a problem. This is a similar issue with some of the artists in Uncanny X-Force that served as a launching point for this series. When you have unfamiliar characters being drawn with less than explicit detail you have a situation where following the characters panel to panel and page to page is a chore.
This book is very close to being something I would normally read. This issue is very much a world building issue but it also puts on a ton of layers to an already complicated situation. It’s hard to tell from this issue if the book is going to be an all-out war series or something that is much more cloak and dagger. I’m willing to give this book a couple of issues, but I found the first one to be a very mixed bag. I’m not even sure if fans of the initial Age of Apocalypse would like this because so much has changed. If you like mutants and universes where anything can happen then I suggest trying this out.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles