In a Nutshell
Creators: Lobdell & Bachalo
Letters: Starkings & Comicraft
Colors: Buccellato & Electric Crayon
Edits: Bob Harras
Inside the Core, Chamber & Skin almost blow their cover when a guard carelessly murders a young girl & Chamber tries to intervene. Elsewhere, Husk & Vincente, posing as Quietus, pore through his office, hoping to find information on Illyana's location. They are visited by Sugar Man, but seemingly manage to maintain their ruse. Outside, Shadowcat & Colossus arrive at the gate to the Core. Shadowcat is doubting their mission, but Colossus remain determined to find his sister. Inside, Mondo locates Illyana and attempts to escape with her, but having used his power for so long, there's a risk he may accidentally digest her. Meanwhile, Husk & Vincente meet with Chamber & Skin, attracting the suspicions of Sugar Man, who demands that "Quietus" kill Chamber & Skin in order to prove he is who he says he is.
Firsts and Other Notables
Sugar Man appears in full for the first time in this issue.
Skin narrates this issue (which is, frankly, more page time than the prime version of the character has yet to receive), and he worries that push come to shove, Colossus will choose his sister over everyone else, eerily foreshadowing events in the final issue.
Through the Looking Glass
Illyana works alongside an older woman named May, who may be meant to be Peter Parker's Aunt May (though May's headstone was shown in X-Universe #1).
A Work in Progress
Quietus is described as the Chief Administrator of Mutant Resources for the Core; I just realized that in that description, “mutant” has replaced “human”, meaning Quietus is essentially the head of HR.
Know It All accessing Apocalypse’s files in issue #1 is revealed to have been detected by Shadow King.
Scared and separated from Chamber, Paige throws herself (still as Quietus) at Vincente.
This issue carries on from the previous one, offering much of the same, for good and bad: rich, lavish art from Chris Bachalo and a story is stretched a bit too thin, not quite satisfactorily filling its page with content (in the end, it feels very much like last issue and this one could have been combined into one; as is, it takes Kitty & Colossus two full issues just to reach the front door of the Core). The one unique thing about this issue is that, in Mondo's locating and attempting to escape with Illyana, it offers a rare bit of hope for the heroes, suggesting an avenue by which they can succeed in their mission and rescue Illyana. Of course, that Mondo's actions are considered a sign of hope even as the rest of the team is cornered by Sugar Man, with Husk on the verge of shooting Chamber in order to protect her cover, and Mondo himself runs the risk of accidentally killing the girl, is a testament to just how bleak this series is, even amongst the generally bleak "Age of Apocalypse".
Tomorrow, deaths galore in X-Man #3. Next week, Astonishing X-Men #4 and Factor X #4.
Like what you read? Then support us on Patreon!