Sep 23, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 211: X-Men: Omega, 1995

I gave us an extra-large cover shot today, in celebration of the ending of the Age of Apocalypse.

If you've been following along over the last few weeks, you'll know that, for the most part, I've been pretty happy with the AoA, from the standpoint of how it functions as a crossover, how it reimagines some seminal characters, and the overall structure of the narrative. It's not without its flaws, but it's been a pretty enjoyable read. One of the biggest problems that faces a crossover of this magnitude, however (and I'm looking squarely at you, Secret Wars), is that it eventually has to end, and hopefully in a manner befitting the epic scope of the story. Does "Age of Apocalypse" manage this fantastic feat?

I think the honest answer is "sort of." For example, where on Earth did the whole Warren Worthington with a bomb strapped to him and apparently in love with Karma storyline come from? This is literally 3 pages in this final issue, and, as far as I can tell, there was little to no set up that would make this suicidal course of action believable for Angel or demonstrate the depths of his feelings for Karma. Contrasted to that, the final knock-down between Magneto and Apocalypse was just great. Magneto's power armour that he builds from surrounding tech is totally badass, and he takes down Apocalypse in a fashion that, I have to admit, I've been waiting to see since X-Factor #4. There were also a lot of deaths in this issue that I'm not entirely certain were necessary, considering the nuclear apocalypse that was on its way to the former New York. And, as I mentioned in my Generation Next reviews, the characterizations of Colossus and Kitty Pryde irked me more than I can say. Though, to be fair, it's not outside the realm of possibility that a situation like the Age of Apocalypse would have been enough to drive a gentle soul like Colossus over the brink into madness. Maybe I need to rethink my assessment of that one.

In the end, though, and I mean the literal end, things close out quite dramatically, emotionally, and satisfactorily. The final image as the bombs detonate, even after Bishop has reset the timeline, reinforces what the X-Men, like the Fantastic Four, at their best stand for: family. One fights and fights for a better world, and regardless of the breadth of one's ambition for that better world, in the end it is about making the world safer and more comfortable for the people we love. Magneto, Rogue, and Charles' poignant ending is contrasted with the tragic ending of the Summers brothers, and I am saddened that these characters have had their brief moment, never to return.

I'll admit, staunchly ambivalent about the X-Men as I am, that I'll miss my daily encounter with these characters. I have a huge run of Uncanny X-Men in the collection, but I think it's time to move on to something else, something different. I don't know what that is, yet, but I've got a few hours to figure it out. Thanks for taking this ride into a dystopic Marvel U with me. Wherever tomorrow might take us, I'll see you there.

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