Age of X-Man: Apocalypse and the X-Tracts #4 // Review
The son of a revolutionary finds himself drawn against a powerful adversary as revelations of a false reality begin to settle-in around his allies. The Age of X-Man event continues to draw to a close with the fourth issue of Apocalypse and the X-Tracts. Writer Tim Seeley conducts the flow of traffic in a rather large ensemble with respectable fluidity aided by artist Salva Espin. Color comes to the page courtesy of Israel Silva. The overall composition of the issue is enjoyable, but it would have been far better if the overall rhythm of the series to this point had been handled just a bit better.
Eye-Boy is sleeping. He’s having horrible visions of everything that he can see through superhuman clairvoyance. Someone cursed with super-sight in a world of illusion, Eye-Boy knows that things aren’t going well. Elsewhere the son of Apocalypse violently confronts the powerful mutant known as Omega Red as young revolutionary Kitty Pryde is confronted in an altogether different way by renounced X-Men member Colossus. The story begins to draw to a close as Eye-Boy becomes all-too-aware of the dangers that await as the worldwide illusion continues to crumble.
Seeley opens and closes the issue on the plight of Eye-Boy, who comes across as being so profoundly compelling here that it’s kind of surprising that he didn’t just get his own title for the multi-mini-series event. A man of many visions in a world of illusion has enormous potential that’s only beginning to become apparent as the event draws to a close. Likewise, the passion between Kitty Pryde and Colossus finally begins to look truly compelling as the series is almost at an end. In light of these Eye-Boy’s issues and the challenge of love between Colossus and Kitty, the critical resolution to the conflict between the son of Apocalypse and Omega Red falls a bit flat when it REALLY shouldn’t. As well-balanced as the issue is, the overall imbalance in the series as a whole keeps it from having the impact it probably SHOULD have.
Espin carves out some really intense action in the few isolated moments that violent confrontation makes it to the page. Delicately weaving together subtly-nuanced interpersonal moments with the brutality of combat, Espin isn’t quite able to deliver the correct potential intensity of either. Missed potential aside, Silva’s colors once again lend a vivid depth to the world of the series in a way that keeps the flow of action enjoyable nonetheless.
Any one of the threads in this issue would have been much more satisfying if it had been allowed to develop in its own chapter. Eye-Boy, Kitty Pryde and the Son of Apocalypse are each interesting enough to carry their own title. The Age of X-Man begins to draw to a close, and it becomes all too apparent that the scope of the event was made WAY too big to be totally enjoyable. Had the multi-title event been allowed to occupy a slightly smaller space, it could have been brilliant. All that Seeley can manage with an issue like this is a fun and breezy, little dance with elements that have been echoing through Marvel’s Mutant titles for decades. Given the right scope, The Age of X-Man could have been so much more.