Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Another Age of Apocalypse

I might be in a minority, but I have a vague nostalgia for the first Age of Apocalypse comics. They were released just as I started to read X-Men, and the excitement of the story leading up to the massive change, and the thrill of finally getting hold of the first issue (it was over Christmas) has stayed with me, even if the actual stories are, in retrospect, pretty typical grim-dark re-imaginings of a franchise that was already struggling.

The trepidation that I felt as I opened the first page of the 2012 series, which revisited the alternative universe was immediately rewarded. The pleasure of the first visit to a world without the moral influence of Xavier had been often in the reworkings of familiar characters: Cyclops' idealism perverted to blind obedience, Sabretooth's brutality inverted into rebellion. In 2012, this has become a joyless trawl through a death camp reality. 

Although it runs to at least twelve issues, I can't be bothered. I finished the first issue, barely. Wolverine is a tyrannical megalomaniac. Jean Grey alludes to a sexual desire for Cyclops (her husband in mainstream Marvel continuity, until he went off with another scantily clad heroine). There's a scene in a lap-dancing club, and a submerged subtext of sexual perversion. It's badly written (plenty of smack talk, establishing conversations, too much back-story) and apparently drawn in mud. 

I'm off to read The Champions.

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