By Fabian Nicieza, Gerardo Sandoval and David Curiel
Any time the X-Men tangle with Apocalypse; it’s always a big deal. In the alternate reality Age of Apocalypse, it’s the biggest deal ever. He pretty much represents everything that is wrong and evil in this world. With many members of the X-Men killed in the first issue, we’re left with only a handfull left to defeat the evil baron.
There is no doubt that Fabian Nicieza is a premier X-Men writer. He’s written the comic at the height of its popularity and he clearly has a grasp on many of the characters. He does many great things this issue, but one of the biggest is that he writes these characters exactly right. We all have problems when someone makes our favorite comic character do something they wouldn’t normally do, but Nicieza doesn’t fall into that trap. Cyclops is stoic, Logan is a hot-head, Sabertooth is vicious. Nicieza also allows the story to progress nicely. This may not have been an action packed issue, but it was a needed one. We get some flashbacks from Magento’s point of view that allow him to be a more sympathetic character. There is a cool scene in this issue that shows Cyclops being interrogated by Blink and Burner. As he deals with the punishment they lay down, he jabs Burner with a sarcastic remark. Nicieza makes this issue fun due to his love of the characters and his ability to tell a good story.
The pencils in this issue are handled by Gerardo Sandoval with colors by David Curiel. Many of the problems with this issue come from the art side. Sandoval continues to exaggerate character’s bodies so they look unrealistic. There is a problem when someone’s arm is as big as their head. The whole issue has a very rugged feel to it; things are rough around the edges. A panel where Wolverine and Magneto are face-to-face seems very off. Their teeth look odd in their mouth; it’s just a weird panel. The colors by David Curiel are decent, but they are also very dark. For the most part Curiel is good, his flashback scenes are well done and his colors don’t take you out of the book, but ultimately the pencils hurt the overall art.
Age of Apocalypse is still a fun ride because of Fabian Nicieza’s writing. It would help if the characters weren’t exaggerated, but we’re 3 issues in now and that won’t change. If you can get past that, it’s worth a read because many of your favorite characters are well represented.