Aug 11, 2015
The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 168: Tales of the Age of Apocalypse, December 1996
Another piece of the history of the AoA, courtesy of Scott Lobdell, Ralph Macchio, and Joe Bennett. This special was published well after the crossover itself had finished, and it smacks, as does tomorrow's comic, of B-list stories that were deemed not necessary for the crossover proper. That, by no means, means that it's a bad story, just that it was one that was not intrinsic to the fabric of the AoA adventure. Again, though, approaching it from the historical perspective that I've endeavoured to use for the last few comics, it is quite good. This one deals with what becomes of The Inhumans in the AoA, with Maximus standing in, albeit temporarily, as Death, the fourth horseman, though his plans to overthrow Apocalypse are stymied by the X-Men and Cyclops.
(On a reading order note, this comic appears to take place before yesterday's X-Men Chronicles #2, as Gambit is still a part of the team. I'll reshuffle it to take that into account for the next read through!)
The relationships between Sabretooth and Blink, Sabretooth and Morph, and Morph and Blink are explored in some depth in this comic, making it a nice look at some relationships that are simply not present in the regular continuity. Sabretooth's character in particular is given some much-needed fleshing out throughout this crossover, though I'll be interested to see what becomes of him when things return to "normal." That we're not seeing him as a regular protagonist in any current X-titles is a sign of how things go for him, I suppose.
Historical novelty aside, however, not much happens in this story that can possibly impact the main storyline. This is of course because the story is over, so what else can happen. The only really interesting inflection this story adds to the AoA crossover is the uncertainty of Prelate Summers about his role in Apocalypse's empire. Having read this comic first, I'll be looking at Factor X in a different light, I think. More history tomorrow! See you then.