Aug 15, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 172: The Astonishing X-Men #1, March 1995


I'll admit that I was unprepared for the Age of Apocalypse to present such interesting philosophical questions. I've read it before, but somehow it didn't stick in my mind that the gist of the entire series is Magneto making the decision that his reality is the wrong one. How do we wrestle with such a question? In many ways it's in keeping with the character. He's always, be it as a good or an evil character, been possessed of a certain arrogance, but this enters realms quite something else. On the other hand, even though he has decided that Bishop's version of the future is better than his own, he still sends his X-Men off to stop Apocalypse's slaughter. So he's made a decision to attempt to rewrite reality, but is also hedging his bets just in case it doesn't work. It's a tough call. If we somehow found out that our reality was only one of many possible (which it may or may not actually be), and then further found out that one change could have made things so much better, or at least different from the occasionally deplorable state in which we find ourselves, and then even further figure out a way to make that change, whose decision is it to make the change? In fact, does it matter, because once the change was made, we wouldn't know the difference?

So that's what this issue has me thinking about. I'm sure this'll continue throughout the crossover, especially as people start to question whether or not one person has the right to decide this question not only for all the people on the planet, but for the entire universe. In one of the Tales books, we get an idea of how galactic history has changed, as the Brood conquer the Shi'ar, something I can only imagine was halted in the prime time line by the X-Men's intervention.

With that, with these questions of responsibility and reality, we'll move on to another corner of the AoA tomorrow. See you then.

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