Age of Apocalypse #7

Issue Date: 
November 2012
Story Title: 
Playing with Doom

David Lapham (writer), Renato Arlem (artist), 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: 

As Dr. Moreau and Prophet look over the growing brain of Quentin Quire, they discuss the fact that Reed Richards kept a number of journals on the Celestials. The journals were believed to be with Sue Storm in England but they haven’t been seen in years. Jean Grey talks to a drunken Horror Show and tries to get him ready for duty but he falls asleep. The rest of the X-terminated head to England in a submarine and they meet with Pete Wisdom. He takes them to Emma Frost, who explains Sue Storm died and the journals were handed to Doom. They travel to Latveria, which is now a giant processing plant, and find thousands of humans working the plant. They split up to investigate the situation and Prophet manages to locate Doom. The rest of the team discover low-level mutants are being killed and humans are being left alone there. They are suddenly ambushed by Emma Frost, who reveals she still has her telepathy, despite having a lobotomy to remove it. Back at base, Horror Show reluctantly visits his father in jail but starts attacking him when he is called son.

Full Summary: 

Weapon Omega, aka the Overlord, is the absolute ruler of over half the world and, in truth, the other half too. They just don’t know it yet. Thanks to Jean Grey, everyone knows he is now more than a mutant as he was empowered by cosmic beings known as Celestials. They have charged him with the task of heralding mutant evolution and, to that end, he is absolutely committed to the annihilation of the human race. Until he is gone, the X-terminators are nowhere.

(Humanity’s Last Stand)
Dr. Moreau tells Prophet that Reed Richards was the world’s foremost authority on Celestials, as his mind was like no other. He was targeted early by Apocalypse’s forces but it is well known that his handwritten journals were never recovered. Apocalypse feared them so much he had a special taskforce created to locate them but they were never found. The rumor was Susan Storm and Ben Grimm took the journals to England when they joined the Human High Council. The council no longer exists but he has never heard of the journals being recovered.

As Dr. Moreau talks, he takes out a syringe and injects a human-shaped experiment in a stasis tube. The experiment resembles the basic skeleton and nervous system of a person and it floats in a vat of liquid. Prophet watches him and asks if he believes the journals will hold the key to separating Omega from the Celestial powers. Dr. Moreau replies that the only way for him to know that would be for him to examine them. The two men peer into the vat and stare at the rudimentary brain forming on the body. Dr. Moreau says the Quentin Quire experiment is going well and Prophet asks if he can isolate the brain. He says he can but it won’t have any memories. If Prophet had brought Quire’s head, he could have extracted quite a bit of information from it, but Prophet tells him the brain alone will be fine.

(training room)
Jean Grey stands in the doorway looking at Graydon Creed, who is laying on the floor with a bottle in his hand and two training robots standing over him. She goes over and crouches down next to him and tells him he looks like hell. He slurs at her that she should see the other guys but she looks around and tells him they look fine to her. She informs him that Prophet wants them all in the ready room in twenty minutes and, if he finds Graydon looking like this, he will be in the brig with his father. He sneers at the suggestion, drunkenly tells her how pretty she is and then promptly falls asleep.

Jean was going to make a cover story for Graydon but Zora thought it best if she just keep quiet. Thirty minutes later, they were en-route to the Gulf coast, and twenty-six minutes, eighteen hundred miles and two barf bags later they were on a submarine headed for England.

In the submarine, Fiend asks what they ever did to the Celestials and asks Jean is Omega ever told her. Jean replies that the moment the energies entered him he stopped being the man she called husband. Fiend suggests separating Omega from the energies but Jean looks weary and says she doesn’t want to think about that. Goodnight seconds that feeling and says this whole endeavor seems like a fool’s errand. Jean says that Magneto killed the first Apocalypse, to which Goodnight sarcastically suggests phoning Magneto up before pointing out Omega gutted him.

Prophet tells everyone to settle down as he needs them to be in the game for when they hit shore in a few hours. He tells them their contact is a man named Pete Wisdom and Goodnight asks if he is human or mutant. Prophet says that he is a mutant who works for a group called the Knights of Pendragon and he has had dealings with them before and he has no reason not to trust them. Deadeye snorts and says except for him being a mutant.

(Falmouth, England)
The submarine anchors just off the coast and a small group get to the shore using a boat. They meet Pete Wisdom on the docks and Harper Simmons gets a good feeling from him right off the bat. He has been wrong a few times about bad feelings he’s gotten off people. Pete says that he has been having some nasty business with a group of neo-Apocalypse blokes up in Liverpool. He escorts the group to a car and says that, when Bolivar contacted him about the notebooks, he had no idea what he was on about. But he eventually managed to find someone who did. Deadeye asks who it is and Pete drives them to a house where they find Emma Frost waiting for them. Harper’s good feelings are never wrong, but this lady he had a bad feeling about.

Emma cuts to the chase and tells them all that Sue Storm is dead, confirming she was with her when she died. Pete tells them that Omega has pretty much left them to govern themselves here but he is still adamant about killing all humans. When he got wind that they were harboring a human, Omega sent his personal death squad of Azazel and a bunch of sniffers to purge the humans. Pete did what he could by getting as many humans out to the continent. Emma says that she and Sue were on a tanker but the chip’s captain betrayed them. For Sue, being captured was not an option as there was too much in her mind.

Fiend asks about Emma and Pete informs her that, whilst she is a mutant, she is a neuter. Emma explains that she was a telepath but she had an operation to remove the telepathic part of her brain. It is how she was allowed to join the Human High Council and fight against Apocalypse’s oppression. She fought with only death in mind, same as her friend Sue, but ultimately Emma was still mutant enough for the sniffers. The notebooks would be useless to them as Dr. Pym obsessed over them for years and they were beyond him.

Prophet asks about Doom and Emma confirms they knew he would be able to make sense of them but no one trusted him enough. When the death squads came, she had nothing left to lose and so she gave him the journals. Deadeye asks where they can find Doom and Emma replies “Latveria, of course.”

Back at Humanity’s Last Stand, Graydon is laying in his room but he is woken up by Henry Gyrich. Graydon says he is going to be sick and Gyrich, sitting in his wheelchair in the doorway, calls him pathetic. Graydon tells him he can do his job and to give him five minutes. He then asks if everyone else is in the ready room but Gyrich replies they left four days ago for Europe. He tells Graydon to get in the training room in twenty minutes or he will write a report and Prophet will kick him off the team. As Graydon sits up, a note falls off him. He picks it up and sees that it is off Jean, telling him to see his father or he won’t get straight otherwise.

(Latveria, Central Europe)
Nestled between the Carpathian Mountains of Hungry, Serbia and Romania the Latveria of Harper Simmons’ world is ruled absolutely by Victor Von Doom. A megalomaniac villain as bad as they come. However, in this world, he is a freedom fighter who was long deposed of his ancestral home. The country itself is long longer a country; instead it is a giant processing plant. The apparatus of the gene pool for all mutants deemed unworthy, criminal or threatening to the powers-that-be are sent there. Here they are formed into a primordial soup and base genetic material for the experiments of the Sugar Man, Sinister and Dark Beast. However, it soon became apparent that wasn’t the whole truth

The X-Terminated hide a little way off one of the processing plants and stare at the many workers through a pair of binoculars. Fiend says that they are humans and Harper wonders why they haven’t been slaughtered. Prophet suggests that there must be a reason like experimentation or something. Fiend says they need to be freed but Goodnight tells her that they would all be captured and the best way to help them would be to do what they came there to do.

Prophet says that they can turn it to their advantage and suggests they split up with. He and Deadeye will locate Doom, whilst Goodnight goes with Jean, Harper and Fiend to find everything they can about the humans.

Goodnight’s group enters the slums of the plant and, as the walk through the alleyways, Fiend looks around and says this is why they fight to save humanity. Goodnight says it is a very different thing to saving humans. Harper nervously asks if they just start talking to people and Goodnight comments that he should know as he is a reporter. Harper says he isn’t a mutant but Goodnight says he will be fine and hands him a small device and calls it his mutant power.

Harper enters a pub and muses that saying he was nervous about pumping a bunch of mutants about imprisoned humans would be an understatement. He walks in the room and everyone stares at him suspiciously. Harper holds up his hand to say his name but the device causes it to erupt in flames and he lets out a cry of shock. In a bid to disguise his surprise, he says he is Ahmed and quickly hides his hand.

Elsewhere, Deadeye and Prophet make their way across the rubble and ruins and they manage to take out a couple of guards. Putting on their coats, Prophet says if Doom has returned here he has clearly gone underground. He then realizes Doom would be gathering followers in the human camps and Deadeye asks why he split the group up if their goal is the same. Prophet replies he doesn’t believe it is safe for them to all be together, at which point the two run into a group of mutants.

A giant T-Rex-like mutant tells they are wanted for questioning and Prophet yells to Deadeye that they can’t take them. The dinosaur mutant radios for back-up as his partner, a flyer, swoops down at Deadeye. Prophet throws some grenades, causing a huge explosion as Deadeye shoots the flyer down. She then unleashes an electric shock from her gun, stunning the man and allowing them to get away. They race up some stairs but see a fleet of Sentinels flying towards them. Before they can react, they see another figure flying in the sky and, as it destroys the Sentinels, they realize it is a man. As they shelter from the explosion, a woman comes out of the shadows and ushers them away down a dark passage.

She hurries them along and ignores Deadeye’s questions about who she is. As they enter a room, two huge metal doors slam behind them and a voice calls out to them, personally identifying them. They turn to see a Doombot standing before them and he explains there is a delicate plan in place and he couldn’t have them upsetting the status quo.

However the Doombot takes off its mask to reveal the face of a good-looking man beneath, a face Prophet recognizes as the real Von Doom. He tells them that the guards will be called out and they will go door to door. Prophet apologizes and explains it was vital that they come. Before he can finish Doom guesses they are there for the notebooks. Deadeye tells him he seems to know a lot and he replies that he is Doom and he knows more than they could possibly imagine.

(on the streets of Latveria)
Harper meets up with his group again and tells them the information he found out from his pub pals. There are three camps with about twenty thousand of more people in them, which Goodnight seems surprised at. Jean asks why they haven’t been exterminated and wonders what they are doing with them. Harper informs them that what has them nervous is the fact the lesser mutants are being experimented on and exterminated whilst the humans are left alone. The word is the ruler is some kind of sadistic twist they call the Queen and they say she eats a human every day to stay young. Jean suggests that maybe they could free some humans and gain some allies and all they have to do is take out the Queen.

Suddenly the implant in Jean’s head triggers and alerts them to a telepath, but none of them can move anymore. A voice comes from behind them and tells them they are sorry they didn’t let her finish but they saw where this was all going. They turn to see Emma Frost walking towards them dressed all in white and she says she was right not to reveal herself to Prophet when they first met. She knew there would be more and, for the record, she doesn’t eat humans, she rips their minds apart piece by delicious piece.

(Humanity’s Last Stand)
Sabretooth is woken up in his cell by a voice calling out to him. He sees his son Graydon standing in front of him, holding a bottle of alcohol in his hand. He says Jean has been hounding him to come see him and he wonders why she would do that. Sabretooth says he doesn’t know and Graydon replies that maybe it was so he could see his powerless mutant ass rotting in jail. Sabretooth asks if there is something he wants to get off his chest but Graydon gets angry and his father calls him “son.”

Graydon lashes out at his father, kicking him down and says Jean was right... it is cathartic. Imagine how great he will feel when he snaps his cowardly neck. 

Characters Involved: 

Deadeye, Fiend, Goodnight, Horror Show, Jean Grey, Prophet (all X-Terminated)

Harper Simmons
Dr. Moreau

Weapon Omega
Azazel, Cyclops, Dark Beast, Emplate, Havok (all Weapon Omega’s group)

Peter Wisdom
Emma Frost
Victor Von Doom

Human and mutant workers of Latveria

Story Notes: 

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

Written By: