A Guided Tour Through the ‘Age of Apocalypse’
When time travel went amok, the X-Men’s alternate reality was born! Read the entire saga on Marvel Unlimited.
READ THE ENTIRE AGE OF APOCALYPSE EVENT HERE!
Twenty-five years ago everything changed for the X-Men. What started as the story of a child wanting to make an impression on his estranged father, ended in a crystalline wave that tore time and reality apart!
Years earlier, the X-Men came to learn that Professor X had a child named David Haller who suffered from multiple personalities, and that each one of his egos had its own mutant power.
By the time the “Legion Quest” story came along in 1995, though, Haller seemed to have a better handle on his abilities, if not his full faculties. In this story—which you can read in X-FACTOR (1986) #108-109, UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #319-321, X-MEN (1991) #38-41, and CABLE (1993) #20—the team tried stopping Legion’s rampage in the present, but a few of them—including Bishop—found themselves thrust back in time to the early days of Charles Xavier’s friendship with Magneto.
After dispatching the other teams to take on their specific missions, Magneto returned to Storm, Iceman, Banshee, Quicksilver, Dazzler and Exodus in the pages of AMAZING X-MEN (1995) (which had been adjectiveless X-MEN up to that point). In the first two issues, the team helped keep a large group of humans safe from Apocalypse’s forces in an effort to get them to the safer region of Eurasia.
FACTOR X (1995) shined a light on the darker side of the AoA world by focusing on Cyclops and his moral struggle as one of Apocalypse’s main agents. We also learned that Sinister decided to give the humans information through Weapon X in order to stop Apocalypse’s plans for death and destruction which clashed with his own desire to guide mutantkind to the next stage of evolution.
As seen in X-MAN (1995) (previously, 1993’s CABLE), the mysterious telekinetic known as Nate Grey escaped from Mister Sinister’s lab with assistance from Cyclops. From there, he buddied around with a traveling theater troupe led by Forge who recognized the boy’s incredible power and potential. He wasn’t the only one, though. When Apocalypse got word of Nate’s existence, he sent Domino and her team to track him down to offer him a place in the organization… or wipe him off the board.
The AGE OF APOCALYPSE may have focused on how the mutants reacted to the villain’s rule, but a number of more human heroes also appeared, mostly in the pages of the two-issue X-UNIVERSE (1995) limited series. Picking up threads from the other books, Apocalypse’s Fourth Prelate Mikhail Rasputin traveled to Eurasia to meet with human representatives. He opened his ship to the likes of Dr. Donald Blake, Tony Stark, Victor Von Doom, Dr. Bruce Banner, Susan Storm, Ben Grimm and Gwen Stacy, under the auspices of achieving peace. That, of course, turned out to be a lie, as Rasputin whipped the assembled crowds into a frothy madness by way of the mutant Empath. Luckily, the humans weren’t fooled and came up with their own counter-plan.
All of those individual stories lead to the earthshattering conclusion in the pages of X-MEN: OMEGA (1995) #1. Knowing that the assembled X-Men would attack his stronghold in search of both the M’Kraan Crystal and their fearless leader, Apocalypse laid a series of traps to thwart their efforts. However he did not count on the one-two punch of Nate’s presence along with the surprise bombings facilitated by Logan and Gateway.
For years, it seemed as though the Age of Apocalypse had officially ended not long after it began. Things got back to normal as the ongoing series returned to their original titles. X-MEN: PRIME (1995) #1 acted as a re-entry point for the mutants, but also revealed that Nate, Sugar Man and Hank McCoy (now dubbed Dark Beast) had made their way to the X-Men’s main universe. Nate even carried on his own X-MAN series that would run from 1995 until 2000.
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