Age of X-Man Marvelous X-Men #2 // Review
In another life in another world Apocalypse was a sinister face of evil. In a world where super-powered mutants are openly accepted and love isn’t, Apocalypse becomes something else altogether as X-Man and his colleagues quickly discover in Marvelous X-Men #2. Zach Thompson and Lonnie Nadler write a story drawn by Marco Failla. A contrast between different perspectives in a mutant dystopia is interesting enough to carry a full issue even if it scarcely feels like much actual action is taking place as the “Age of X-Man,” event begins to reach the end of its first quarter.
As the issue opens, Apocalypse is addressing a peaceful assembly of mutants in central park. He speaks of the importance of human emotion. The government has outlawed love. Even apocalypse recognizes this is wrong and addresses matters as the X-Men arrive to ensure that the assembly remains peaceful. As usually happens with this sort of thing, tensions explode, and the X-Men find themselves facing the construction of mutants who are angry, confused and feeling very oppressed. The issue ends as passionate philosophical discussions ensue back at the home of the X-Men.
Thompson and Nadler move the multi-series plot along in a crossover with Apocalypse and the X-Tracts--the first issue of which is also out this week. The modularity of The Age of X-Man event begins to feel a bit more immersive. There doesn’t seem to be all that much actually happening here, though. It’s a story in three acts with Apocalypse addressing the crowd, followed by the inevitable riot and extended aftermath in which more character begins to have phantom memories of a life outside of the world they’ve always known. Thompson and Nadler compose the story pretty well, but there isn’t a whole lot going on here that hasn’t already been seen elsewhere in other series in The Age of X-Man thus far.
Perhaps the biggest issue that’s beginning to become pronounced here is the writers’ failure to believably deliver a world in which love is thought of as being disgusting. Even Apocalypse’s entirely paternal expression of love for his son during the demonstration is shunned by the X-Men. A world where love is openly rejected COULD be believably delivered to the page. Yet Thompson, Nadler and the rest of the writers on the event have so much else going on that there doesn’t seem to be the time, which is a pity as this is one of the more interesting aspects of the world that’s being delivered to the page.
Failla brings the action to the page this issue far better than he does with emotional, interpersonal drama. This wouldn’t be as much of a problem if it weren’t for the fact that this particular chapter in the series is more about emotion than it is about action. The violent outbreak in Central Park comes across explosively. There’s an interestingly eclectic look to the rabble that has assembled to see Apocalypse speak. Look closely, and sure enough, there’s even a dog shooting green optic blasts beneath a floating disembodied head that’s firing pink ones. Delightfully weird stuff here, but the argument in a command center after the action lies flat on the page even when a massive, beaded one-armed Colossus expresses great frustration before storming off. Failla can deliver the drama as he’s shown in the past, but here it doesn’t quite come across as powerfully as it should.
There’s a hell of a lot going on in the multi-mini-series Age of X-Man event. It’s a sizable finite story playing out in a micro-verse with so many moving parts. Chapters like this are going to inevitably crop-up here and there as the overall story shifts from one major event to the next. Necessarily there is going to be the occasional issue that is doing more work going over what has already been expressed in other chapters. Hopefully, there aren’t too many issues like this, though.