Age of Apocalypse #14

Issue Date: 
June 2013
Story Title: 
A War of Two Universes

David Lapham, Marjorie Liu and Greg Pak (Story), David Lapham (Writer), Andre Araujo and Renato Arlem (Artists), Cris Peter and Lee Loughridge (Colour Artists), VC’s Cory Petit (Letterer), Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith and Rain Beredo (Cover Artists), Greg Land (Varient Cover), Jeannie Schaefer (Editor), Jennifer M. Smith (Assistant Editor), Nick Lowe (Group Editor), Axel Alonso (Editor in Chief), Joe Qeusada (Chief Creative Officer), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Alan Fine (Executive Producer)

Brief Description: 

Northstar, Hercules, Howlett and Wolverine fly through the portal and emerge in San Francisco of the 616 universe, where they find the monster draining the energy from the Dreaming Celestial’s chest. In the Age of Apocalypse reality, Jean and her group travel to the Apocalypse power. Fiend radios through from New Apocalypse, where one of the monsters is attacking. After a short conversation, the radio goes silent and Jean realizes her friend is dead. They make their way through some caverns to the room the Apocalypse power is being kept in. Dark Beast slips away as the others look at the canister the power resides in. Jean has Kurt teleport them both away as she doesn’t trust anyone else. In the 616 universe, Howlett and Wolverine try attacking the monster but it just continues attacking the Celestial. Northstar throws Hercules at it and the monster is finally ripped away from it. Wolverine and Howlett are severely injured, so Kid Nightcrawler starts to teleport them away as Hercules continues to fight the monster. The monster kills him before Kurt can get to him in time. The monster then advances on the Celestial again, which decides to leave. However, the monster uses a grappling hook to prevent it from doing so and, even though the rest of the team manages to separate the two, the monster begins to absorb the energy from the Celestial. The team can only watch as the monster kills the Dreaming Celestial and absorbs all of its energy, continuing to grow in size and power. In the AoA reality, Jean tells Kurt the plan is for her to use the Apocalypse power herself, as she managed to use the Phoenix Force and resist it. Before she can, though, Dark Beast snatches the canister off her just as one of the monsters finds them and attacks.

Full Summary: 

(Chapter Five)

As he travels through the dimensional portal with his allies, Wolverine yells at them that they have ten seconds to make a plan. Northstar notes that he hit them faster than they could react, so it seems they find physical attacks harder to absorb. Howlett points out that two of them are back on that other world and the third is probably sucking the life out of Northstar’s. Plus they still have no idea how to defeat them. Hercules tells him that they have shown to be warriors worthy of Elysium before and they will do it again. As the four of them travel through the portal, they see tears in it. Through the tears, huge shadows of more monsters can be seen advancing on them. Eventually, they are thrown out of the portal and into the 616 reality. Wolverine tells Northstar to forget the other monsters and focus on the task in hand.

(San Francisco)

They look out over San Francisco and towards the Dreaming Celestial. Northstar points out that it look like it’s woken up. Indeed, the Dreaming Celestial seems agitated by the fact energy is erupting from its chest. Wolverine tells Northstar he would wake up too if he had an inter-dimensional portal explode out of him. Howlett says as far as he knows the Celestials are the most powerful things in the universe and, if they can’t deal with the monsters, then nothing can.

As high winds swirl around the area, Northstar says maybe they should concentrate on getting the civilian population to safety. Wolverine says he sounds like Prophet and if he wants an observation then he has one. Those monsters sucked the Xavier head up like an egg cream and it got bigger and more powerful. So while he’s hoping that the “most powerful thing in the universe” kicks its ass, imagine what happens if it goes the other way.

(New Apocalypse )

As one of the monsters attacks the city, the civilians flee while the local mutants and sentinels attack it. Fiend radios through to Jean Grey and says she told her dad to pull the sentinels and to send them to intercept the monster coming their way. Even slowing it down for a few seconds could make all the difference. Jean tells her not to do it, as she’ll need them to evacuate the city. Fiend looks up at the carnage and says she’s got it. If one of those things gets to the Apocalypse power before they do, then it’s all over. Fiend tells Jean it’s all up to her now and then says sorry. Before she can say anything else, she is cut off. Jean, driving her group’s escape transport, tells her to hang on and they’ll all get through it. When she doesn’t get any response, she screams Fiend’s name but there is no reply. Dazzler says she’s lost the line but Jean tells her she’s dead. Dazzler says they don’t know what happened and it could have been interference.

Dark Beast looks around the cramped transport ship they are riding in exclaims that he’s amazed anyone could travel in the death trap. Cyclops says that if they’re gone, then it was for a cause they chose. Iceman tells him it probably isn’t much comfort. Cyclops tells him the way to succeed is for everybody to do their part and not to get distracted by each other. He tells them that one of the monster is headed straight for the Apocalypse power they have hidden. If Jean can get them to it, then they can take it from there. Jean turns to him and angrily says he would like that wouldn’t he. Nightcrawler reminds her that this Cyclops isn’t the same as theirs. Jean starts to apologize and Iceman quietly says he’s keeping his mouth shut.

(The caverns beneath Humanity’s Last Stand base)

The team lands their craft and enters the caverns. Jean leads the way as Iceman jokes that he thought it would be sunnier in Nevada. As Nightcrawler and Dark Beast start arguing, Dazzler tells them to pull it together. She says she knows they have too many chiefs but since Jean knows where they are going and what to do, she’s in charge. Jean apologizes to Cyclops and says the Cyclops she knew was as cold blooded a man as ever lived. Cyclops says he understands but asks her to remember that they are not the same and, if they are to get through this, they need to trust each other. Dark Beast sarcastically says he’s not Cyclops.

Jean whispers to Nightcrawler and says he’s the only one she can truly trust. She starts to tell him a plan and he tries to tell her something but stops. He wonders how he can tell her it’s all his fault. His over zealousness to get home ripped open the barriers between the worlds and released these nightmares. Creatures that absorb everything in sight and grow even more powerful. Now one of them is marching across the country to claim the power of Apocalypse. A power, which was recently used to keep the entire world in subjugation. He can’t imagine anything more terrifying.

In San Francisco, the monster is attacking the Dreaming Celestial. Northstar flies Howlett and Wolverine up in the air. Howlett says that it’s hurting the Celestial, but Wolverine replies that there is only one way to deal with it. Northstar drops the two men down and they land on the monster. As the monster drains energy from the Celestial’s chest, the two men hack and slash at it. They try to cut it open to see if anything is inside but they are being hurt themselves by the energy being released.

Northstar picks up Hercules, who seems to be excited at the opportunity to fight. Northstar tells him not to talk, as he’s heavy enough as it is. He throws Hercules at the monster, which is knocked away from the Celestial. They all crashed land in derelict part of San Francisco. Howlett and Wolverine are gravely hurt but Hercules and the monster are still standing. Kid Nightcrawler teleports in and Hercules tells him to get the other two to safety. As Kurt does so, Hercules grabs the monster from behind and wraps his arms around it. He lifts it up off the ground and starts to squeeze it, breaking its ribs. Kurt teleports back in to rescue Howlett and he yells to Hercules he’ll be back for him in a few seconds. Hercules, looking weary, says he has completed his labors and starts to say something else but his words trail as the monster starts absorbing him. As Kurt escapes with Howlett, the monster kills Hercules.

Kurt takes the injured Howlett to the rest of the group, who are watching the events. He yells he can save Hercules but Sage tells him Hercules is already dead and the monster is advancing on the Celestial again. Prophet tells Deadeye to find some high ground and she complies. Karma is checking over an unconscious Wolverine and confirms he has brain activity. Gambit tells Prophet he better have a plan. They didn’t delay coming through the portal just so they could watch their friends die. Prophet tells him to destroy the path to the Celestial without confronting the monster directly, as it seems to be bound to some physical laws at least. Gambit starts throwing charged cards around the monster, damaging the ground around it.

The Dreaming Celestial, energy still erupting from its chest, begins to launch itself into the air. When Kurt says it’s leaving, Sage corrects him and tells him it’s running. Northstar asks what that means, if one of the most powerful beings in the universe starts running. Prophet answers him and says it means there’s still hope. Sage asks if he wants it to leave, to which Prophet replies that they must be in possession of the stronger hand. He tells her that he sent Jean to retrieve the Apocalypse power but, if that thing drains a Celestial, then nothing they do will matter.

Back in the caverns, Jean opens a door that leas down a dark tunnel. She tells the group Prophet said the lock would only respond to either of their touches. As Dazzler lights the way, she tells him that must be trust but Jean adds it could be a curse too. They enter a dark room and go to a big metal canister in the center. Iceman asks if the Apocalypse power is in the jar but Cyclops interrupts, pointing out that Dark Beast has disappeared. Dazzler says to forget him, as the only thing that matters is getting to the Apocalypse-pod before the monster outside does. She notices that the canister is humming and Jean tells her it’s the power wanting to get out. She says that’s why she can’t risk doing it in front of anyone else, and with that she asks Kurt to get her out of there. Kurt grabs her and they teleport away, much to the surprise of the others.

When they rematerialize, Kurt says they won’t be happy and asks why they just did it anyway. Jean explains that Prophet theorizes that the Apocalypse seed is the antithesis of the energy the monsters are absorbing. It may be effective against them. Kurt says it’s a reasonable theory and suggests getting it back and having the brains look at it. Jean cuts him off and explains that Prophet wants her to take in the Apocalypse power like she once did with the Phoenix Force. Kurt says it will corrupt her but she says she resisted once and believes she can do it again. Or at least long enough to do what must be done. Neither of them notices Dark Beast watching them from the shadows.

Nightcrawler is shocked and asks how she could consider this, based on one human’s theory. She may be doing it for nothing; the monsters could just absorb her like everything else. And she would have sold her soul in the process. She points out Prophet’s theories freed their world and he wouldn’t ask unless there was no other way. Kurt says there’s always another way. Dark Beast suddenly leaps from the shadows and kicks Kurt away. He says there is another way and grabs the canister. He kicks Jean and says he heard her whispering with Kurt. He tells her she can die with her innocent soul intact, as he’s happy to be corrupted by the magnificent force. Jean pulls a gun on him and fires, but he dodges the bullets. He says after he has dealt with the monsters out there he will restore order to the world.

As Dark Beast makes his escape, the cavern starts rumbling. Suddenly, the ceiling rips open and the monster jumps down into it.

In the 616 universe, the monster uses a grappling hook to hitch a ride with the fleeing Celestial. When Kurt asks why the Celestial isn’t moving faster or teleporting, Sage guesses it must be because it’s injured. Seeing the monster hanging off a wire from the Celestial, Prophet radios to Deadeye. She tells him she’s got it and fires her rifle, snapping the wire. The monster crashes to the ground but it starts to absorb the powers erupting out of the Celestial anyway. Black energy starts to pour out of the Celestial and into the monster. Sage looks on in horror and says that the monster must have made a link to the Celestial but she has no suggestion of how to break it. She asks Kurt but he says he can’t teleport something like that. They watch as the monster continues to absorb the energy and grow more powerful as it does so. As the Celestial dies, the monster continues to grow in size and power. Sage tells Prophet that by his parameters they have lost now. He tells her they will formulate new parameters and hope that he is not as smart as he thinks.

Characters Involved: 

Gambit, Iceman, Karma, Northstar, Wolverine (all Astonishing X-Men)

Cyclops, Dazzler, Hercules, Howlett, Kid Nightcrawler, Sage (all X-treme X-Men)

Deadeye, Fiend, Goodnight, Jean Grey, Prophet (all X-terminated)

Nightcrawler (AoA)

Dark Beast


Dreaming Celestial

Lady Penance

Colossus (AoA)

Civilians of New Apocalypse

Story Notes: 

This is the third issue of the X-termination event. MO<

The read order goes…

X-Termination #1

Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #60

Age of Apocalypse #14

X-treme X-Men (2nd series) #13

Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #61

X-Termination #2

This is the last issue of the Age of Apocalypse series.

Xavier from X-treme X-Men died in X-termination #1 and Sabretooth and Horror Show died in Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #60.

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