Aug 12, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 169: Tales of the Age of Apocalypse: Sinister Bloodlines, December 1997

The fascination with the history of the AoA continues a year further down the road from yesterday's comic. This time we are given some of the background of the Prelates Summers, information on their relationship and on their parentage. It's nice to see some parallels with the regular Marvel continuity in these short historical pieces. This particular issue (and perhaps the Factor X series, we'll see) plays on an interesting facet of the superhero: it's intrinsic nature. Cyclops, in this continuity, has been raised by Mr. Sinister, one of the more notorious X-villains of the last few decades. But even having been brought up in an environment of privilege and brutality, something within Scott Summers continues to be heroic. It's been a while since I've read Factor X, but I get the suspicion that this is the thrust of the title. We get to see one of the most noble characters of the Marvel U through a completely antithetical lens, and his heroism, his fundamentality, shines through.

As for situating this issue historically, it happens well before the beginning of the various mini-series as Sinister just discovers Jean Grey and her compatibility with Scott part way through this story, thus setting the stage for the vat-grown X-Man. Having made my way this far into the crossover, I'm curious now about the Age of Apocalypse series currently being produced as part of Marvel's "Secret Wars" event. I may check it out, but only after I've finished the crossover. I wonder at what point will they have changed things so the story can continue. If X-Men Alpha is anything to go by, this reality is already doomed, as the M'Kraan crystal, the very thing that ended the Marvel U when Xavier died, appears to be making its way to Earth again.

Tomorrow we begin the Age of Apocalypse proper with Generation Next #1. I can't for the life of me remember why I've placed the issues in the reading order I have. Probably I found something online that told me that this is the proper reading order. I'll suss it out properly over the next few weeks. See you tomorrow.

(Note: I've just had a look at the order of the issues according to the collected editions, and have adjusted things accordingly. I'm still happy having read Alpha where I did, having it as a teaser of what's to come before hitting up the histories, but instead of Gen Next tomorrow, we'll be looking at The Chosen, a sort of reference work that will fill in a bit more history for us.)

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