Wednesday, June 5, 2019
X-amining Amazing X-Men #1
In a Nutshell
The X-Men arrive in Maine to assist in the Sentinel-led evacuation of human refugees.
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Pencils: Andy Kubert
Inks: Matt Ryan
Colorist: Kevin Somers
Separation: Digital Chameleon
En Sabah Editor: Bob Harras
In Maine, a mutant named Vanessa mingles with a group of humans heading north, then reports back to the Madri, confirming their suspicions that an evacuation is imminent. Meanwhile, on the grounds of the X-Mansion, Bishop watches the remaining X-Men training to assist in the evacuation. Magneto then gives the team a disc encoded with their mutagenic signatures; inserting it into one of the Sentinels will thereby mask from the robots' sensors. He then guides Exodus, the newest X-Man, in how to use his powers to teleport the team to Maine. Later, as the X-Men ingratiate themselves into the humans gathered at the coast, Storm takes out one of the stations in Apocalypse's seawall, paving the way for the arrival of the Sentinels. The X-Men succeed in reprogramming the Sentinels, but once the program takes effect, they continue to target the X-Men. Just then, Apocalypse's Brotherhood emerges from the woods, explaining they've scrambled the programming to mark themselves as non-threats instead of the X-Men, and Quicksilver realizes Apocalypse's forces have been on to them the whole time.
Firsts and Other Notables
Amazing X-Men is the Age of Apocalypse counterpart to Adjectiveless X-Men, and like Astonishing, the title will later be used again for another series (set in the prime reality). It follows the adventures of a group of X-Men, comprised of Quicksilver, Banshee, Storm, Iceman, Dazzler & Exodus, as they fight Apocalypse's forces while trying to aid in the evacuation of human refugees from North America to Europe via Sentinel (as established in Weapon X #1). As with the group starring in Astonishing X-Men, the idea is that this assortment of characters is more of an ad hoc team, and doesn't represent a standing division of the larger X-Men into two squads (a la the Blue/Gold distinction).
Exodus' name is given as Paris Bennet in this issue; this will later be referenced in the prime reality as well, making this the issue where Exodus' real name is revealed (for what that's worth).
Through the Looking Glass
This issue introduces the AoA versions of Dazzler, Banshee & Exodus.
Exodus is said to be the newest member of the X-Men (Magneto rescued him from an asylum of some sort).
Quicksilver is referred to as the X-Men's team leader in this issue, with Banshee as his second-in-command.
This issue also marks the first appearance of the Madri (mentioned in X-Men: Alpha), a group of priest-like figures which later stories will reveal to be clones of Madrox).
An alternate version of the Brotherhood (of Evil Mutants) also debuts here, comprised of AoA versions of Vanessa/Copycat (Deadpool's girlfriend who posed as Domino), Spyne (one of the newer Dark Riders, introduced in Cable), Yeti (from Weapon: Prime), Madison Jeffries (Box from Alpha Flight) and new character named Arclight (who doesn't have a prime counterpart, as far as I know, and is of no relation to the Marauder with the same name).
A Work in Progress
Humans - at least the refugees trying to escape to Europe - subsist on some kind of soy-based paste.
Quicksilver reminds Bishop of Cyclops (though Bishop doesn’t quite remember it in those terms).
Banshee mentions having come out of retirement to rejoin the team, one of those little details that help make the world feel more lived in, with a history of its own.
We get another scene of Magneto laying out the various plot threads being covered in other series.
Iceman apparently has the ability to perform some kind of rudimentary teleportation via “moisture inversion”.
It's an uncomfortable way to travel, apparently, so Magneto helps Exodus taps into his latent teleportation abilities to get the team to main.
The Grim 'n' Gritty 90s
Hey kids, smoking makes your breath bad!
One of the more interesting, albeit subtle, ideas in "Age of Apocalypse" comes to light in this issue: the notion that Magneto might just be a better teacher than Xavier, at least when it comes to developing his students' powers (and, specifically, developing them for offensive combat). In this issue, we have Dazzler creating sophisticated hard light holograms, while both Iceman & Exodus reference teleportation abilities neither possess in the prime reality. Obviously, the "only the strong survive" ethos of this reality likely motivated the characters to push themselves harder than in the prime reality, but it is nevertheless interesting to consider Magneto may be better suited for coaxing out this kind of development, and it's something that will run as an undercurrent throughout the event.
Tomorrow, the X-Ternals head into space in Gambit and the X-Ternals #1. Friday, Nightcrawler goes south in X-Calibre #1. Next week, school is in session in Generation Next #1!
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