Age of Apocalypse #4

Issue Date: 
July 2012
Story Title: 
The Resurrection Agenda

David Lapham (writer), Roberto De La Torre with Renato Arlem (artists), Lee Loughridge (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Humberto Ramos and Edgar Delgado (cover artists), Jordan D. White (editor), Nick Lowe (senior editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

In New Apocalypse, Goodnight meets with Dr. Bruce Banner and quizzes him on his past. He tries to trigger the Thing into emerging but is met with resistance. After using violence, he uses emotional manipulation by telling Bruce that Betty Ross is alive. After forcing the Thing to emerge, Goodnight tells him he has a mission and that afterwards he will tell him where Betty is. At Dark Beast’s lab, Fiend has been captured as deadeye watches from some air vents. Dark Beast orders him to be killed but he is disturbed by Prophet and Horror Show, who have also infiltrated the base. Prophet says he has Jean Grey, so Dark Beast lets him speak, but Prophet instead threatens the scientist instead. Before anything else can be said, the Thing charges into the base. As Dark Beast and his team scatter, Deadeye shoots Prophet, apparently killing him. She then starts picking off various guards as a fight breaks out. Dark Beast manages to escape but the Sugar Man is captured by Horror Show. Weapon Omega shows up and takes on the Thing, eventually killing him. As the X-Terminated escape with the Sugar Man, Prophet quietly gets up once everyone has gone and radios his base. From there, Dr. Moreau purges the Celestial Life Seeds of their energy, stopping Dark Beast’s plans to resurrect dead mutants. Unbeknownst to them, though, Prophet has resurrected Monet St. Croix and he leaves with her after blowing up the base.   

Full Summary: 

In a room covered from floor to ceiling in books, a man clutches his head and says that calling him Dr. Bruce Banner is madness. Sat on the other side of a desk, Goodnight tells him that not remembering that he is a genius is madness and what happens when he gets angry.

Stuttering, Bruce says he doesn’t have any anger, to which Goodnight replies that he recognizes the jittering as being from the pens and having telepaths putting blocks in his mind. He continues to say that he spent four years in the pens as part of the Reaver program and asks Bruce if he knows what that was. Bruce replies that it was a cybernetics project and Goodnight clarifies that they infused normal humans with cybernetics. He helped develop the technology and felt he had no choice in it. Thousands died because of what he did, including the person he was trying to protect. He has spent every day since trying to atone and his comrades in arms look at him with suspicion as if he is about to turn. Of course he acts like an arrogant ass and gives them no reason to think otherwise, but that’s just him. As he finishes speaking, he suddenly leaps across the table and kicks Bruce off his chair.

The X-terminated did what had to be done, no matter how ugly and no matter what the cost. Today looked like the cost was going to be high.

Elsewhere, at a secret lab, a newly resurrected Emplate drags the unconscious body of Fiend to Dark Beast and the Sugar Man. He tells them she severed the plasma line and he left her breathing on the off-chance she would be of some use to them. Dark Beast replies that she has too much value as Abyss is a lost cause, to which Sugar Man chips in and calls him a fly in the soup of life. Dark Beast quips that humans are like cockroaches; you think there couldn’t be any more and then you turn the light on and there’s one in the refrigerator.

The X-terminated’s mission took them to the gene lab of Dark Beast, where they discovered he had found a way to bring back some of the worst and most powerful mutants back to life. They had encountered one of these formerly dead men, a man named Cyclops. That was bad enough, but now there were over sixty incubators, with sixty monsters inside, waiting to return to the world.

In the vents above Dark Beast and his team, Deadeye watches the scene below but remains quiet. As Fiend regains consciousness Dark Beast tells her she caused him to lose a very valuable asset. She sluggishly congratulates herself but he tells her there is nothing good left for her kind; they are being exterminated. As Deadeye sits up in a pool of blood, Dark Beast says if he had more time he would see that she wished for Abyss’s void. As it is though, they have bigger fish to fry and then orders her to be dumped in the gene vats.

Fiend knew the risks of getting caught and, no matter what he friend’s personal feelings were, there would be no cavalry.

As Dark Beast walks away, he orders for his minions to triple the guard and to do a complete telepathic and physical scan of the complex. He has business to get on with. As the guards go to grab Deadeye, she suddenly produces some blades and slashes their throats. As they fall, she flings a knife at Dark Beast, but he manages to dodge out of the way as it hits the machinery behind him. He comments that he has to do everything himself and then lunges at her, landing on her chest and slamming her head into the floor.

Another guard approaches and says he caught a pair of humans attempting to enter the complex through the steam pipes and one of them is Blood Prophet. Dark Beast muses that this operation seems to warrant the head cockroach, so there may be more to this than first thought. He orders the guard to take Deadeye and have her mind drained for information and then dispose of the body. The guard replies that Prophet claims to be in possession of the overlord’s wife, Jean Grey.

New Apocalypse:
As Bruce collides with a pile of books, he yells in pain. Goodnight calmly assumes the telepaths didn’t neuter him completely and he can see all the books about radiobiological isotopes around him. Something drew him to risk discovery, some spark inside.

Goodnight takes a wallet out of his jacket and shows Bruce the picture of a woman and asks if he recognizes her. Grabbing Bruce by the scruff of the neck, he thrusts the picture in his face and tells him they were engaged when he was an army researcher in Aberdeen. In the early days of the war, Bruce clashed with her father when his gamma radiation experiments failed to produce credible super soldiers. Goodnight says the names General Ross and Betty Ross, to which Bruce reacts to the woman’s name.

Goodnight goes on and says that General Ross took her to Europe with the Human High Council, but that’s not what Apocalypse told him. He said that he had her and Goodnight asks if Apocalypse told him he would hurt her. Or did he work on his gamma experiments just to prove they worked? Bruce, kneeling on the floor begs him to stop, but Goodnight ignores him and kicks him into a stack of boxes. Bruce finally gets angry, growls for him to stop and then transforms into the Thing. He grabs Goodnight’s arm, picks him up and then says he wanted him and now he has him. He has ten seconds to talk because soon he will be without arms and legs.

Goodnight winces through the pain and tells the Thing that he has reliable information that Betty Ross is still alive. If Bruce wants her location, he needs to provide a little service for him. The Thing snarls at him and suggests he let Goodnight keep his arms and legs. As much as he likes those body parts, under the circumstances that just won’t cut it.

Gene Lab:
Prophet and Horror Show are escorted into the lab, tied up with energy ropes from one of the guards. Prophet demands to be released, as his life depends on it, but the guard advises against it as they are wily. Horror Show asks Fiend if she is alright but Dark Beast tells them none of them are and tells Prophet to talk fast. He replies that he does have her but that’s not what he would like to discuss.

Dark Beast becomes angry and says that the only reason they are alive is because he has something the overlord wants. Dark Beast tells him he will have his telepaths rip the information from his mind but Prophet replies there is no time as they are on his schedule. He says it is a short one for all of them and then tells Dark Beast to scan the lining of his chest plate as the device inside is radiological and large enough the Celestial pods powering the machines in the lab. He tells Dark Beast that he will never escape the blast radius and backs it up by asking what he has to lose. Dark Beast reluctantly asks what he wants but, before he gets an answer, a huge crash rips through the complex and everyone collapses to the floor.

One of the guards says the complex is under attack and sensors indicate it is a single entity. The Thing then bursts through the wall with a flurry of guards attacking. Dark Beast spins around and asks a guard tells him where the Thing came from and then asks Prophet if it is his doing. Before he can answer, Prophet is suddenly struck in the head by a bullet fired by Deadeye. As he falls to the ground, Dark Beast demands to know who shot him but instead another gunshot rings out and the guard holding Horror Show falls. Dark Beast is confused but, when a bullet nearly hits him, he makes a run for it. Sugar Man, who is still holding Fiend, also tries to escape but he is shot in the head by Horror Show.

One of the guards finally shoots Deadeye in the vent and alerts the Skinless Man, whose finger-like tendrils seeks her out and wrap around her. She reaches into a pouch, takes out a syringe and then injects one of the tendrils. The Skinless Man screams in pain and then collapses down dead on the floor. As Horror Show ties up the Sugar Man, he tells Fiend it’s time to hightail it but she asks about Prophet. He replies that Prophet is dead and they will be too if they don’t get out of there soon.

Dark Beast runs down a corridor and his computer system tells him procedure shows he runs an autonomous operation. He replies he doesn’t care about procedure. Unless the overlord wants to see what happens if the Celestial energy pods explode, he needs help now. Blame can come afterwards when he is far away from there. With that, he jumps in an escape pod and flies away from the base.

Prophet used to say little man find their own destruction, we only need to open up the many paths of chaos and let them find it.

As the Thing continues to rage on in the lab, Azazel and Weapon Omega teleport in to view the carnage. Azazel asks if his master wants to take care of it himself and Weapon Omega marvels at the Thing’s handiwork but notes it’s a shame it’s at his expense. It means he can’t just let it go, and with that he unsheathes his claws.

Elsewhere in the lab, Prophet staggers up from the floor and groggily mutters he told Deadeye to make it look real, not be real. He says he is alone in the lab and then asks if the doctor is receiving him.

Back at their base, Dr. Moreau confirms he is and as the other scientists gather around tells them they are hooked in. Behind him, Bolivar Trask asks if he can shut down life support but Dr. Moreau replies there is none as the bodies are technically dead still. He can ensure they stay dead though and they watch as he disengage the vessels from his computer.

It was a simple matter of draining the energy from the Celestial Life Seed, as the energy restored life. No more energy, no more resurrection.

Dr. Moreau asks Prophet if it is working and he confirms that he can see three pods completely drained and there are three more to go. Dr. Moreau tells him to set the bomb and get out of there, to which Prophet says he will as what else would he be doing. Unbeknownst to Dr. Moreau, Prophet has brought up Monet St. Croix’s vessel and has begun the resurrection process on her.

The Thing has gone completely insane and he screams at Weapon Omega and demands to know where Betty is. He says he destroyed his mind, his life and turned him into a monster. Fighting him, Weapon Omega calmly scorns him and says he was given everything he asked for and he had more power than most mutants dream of. Yet for all of it he is just another whiney human. With that, he stabs the Thing through the chest with his claws.

In the category of great unanswered questions, they always wondered if Prophet knew Banner wouldn’t make it. Because as far as anyone else knew, there was no Betty Ross alive out there. Or maybe there was.

In the lab, Prophet finally arms the bomb with a two-minute countdown as Horror Show and rest escape with the Sugar Man. Somewhere else, Monet St. Croix’s eyes open as Dark Beast’s lab explodes in a ball of flame. 

Characters Involved: 

Deadeye, Fiend, Goodnight, Horror Show, Prophet (all X-terminated)

Dr. Bruce Banner/the Thing (The Hulk)

Dr. Moreau
Bolivar Trask

Sugar Man
Dark Beast
Skinless Man


Monet St. Croix

Story Notes: 

This issue, like the rest of the series, is narrated by Harper Simmons, a reporter from Earth 616.

In the original Age of Apocalypse crossover, Donald Pierce was a cyborg and led the Reavers. He was killed by Weapon X but resurrected prior at Age of Apocalypse #1.

Fiend infiltrated Dark Beast’s lab and interrupted the resurrection of Abyss last issue.

On Dr. Moreau’s computer screen, the names of soon-to-be-resurrected mutants were Magma, Arclight, Madison Jeffries, Copycat, Yeti and at least three dupes of Jamie Madrox.

Monet St. Croix’s resurrection is interesting, as her status during the initial AoA crossover and subsequent additions to the timeline is never clarified. In 616 continuity, at the time of the Age of Apocalypse, Monet St. Croix (M) was a part of Generation X whereas her sisters Nicole and Claudette had yet to appear. In actual fact, the being known as Penance was Monet St. Croix and M was her amalgamated twin sisters. When the AoA was created though, this wasn’t known and so the Generation Next member Know-It-All was assumed to be Monet (even though at one point she is referred to as Claudia). At the end of 1996, a few one-shots were released detailing untold stories from the Age of Apocalypse and the twin sisters, the Monets, debuted. This was a hint to the eventual reveal of the complicated 616 relationship of Monet and her sisters. Know-it-all could have been the real Monet but it is entirely plausible she could have been an unknown sister and that this issue is her debut in the Age of Apocalypse.

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