X-Men: Age of Apocalypse One-Shot

Issue Date: 
March 2005
Story Title: 
<BR>Talking About My Generation (1st story)<br>Man Bites Dog (2nd story)<br>Shinjuku Incident (3rd story)<br>Beginning at the End (4th story)

First story:
Scott Lobdell (writer), Alvin Lee (penciler), Scott Hepburn (inker), Gary Yeung (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Erik Ko (UDON chief), John Barber (assistant editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Second story:
Tony Bedard (writer), Paco Medina (penciler), Juan Vlasco (inker), Chris Sotomayor (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), John Barber (assistant editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Third story:
Larry Hama (writer), Talent Caldwell (penciler), Matt “Batt” Banning (inker), Chris Sotomayor (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), John Barber (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Fourth story:
Akira Yoshida (writer), Mark Brooks (penciler), Jamie Mendoza (inker), Danimation (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), James Taveras (producer) John Barber (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

This Age of Apocalypse One-Shot features four different short stories. The first three take place before the events of the AoA crossover (sorry, the Wolverine/Cyclops fight where Logan loses his hand and Scott loses his eye does not appear) while the last story picks up right where the original AoA left off. Each story has a different creative team behind it.
First story:
The X-Men are battling some sentinel prototypes in southern Africa. Colossus stops fighting in the middle of it all leaving his teammates to do all the work. They’re upset, but they keep fighting. When they get back to their headquarters Colossus explains to Magneto that his will to fight is gone and that he can no longer be part of the team. He goes to his room and tells his wife, Shadowcat, that he’s done fighting. She backs his decision and wants to start a family. Magneto interrupts them with a proposition. He wants them to be the teachers for a new batch of mutants.
Second story:
Sabretooth recounts the turning point of his life. Two years earlier he got into some trouble. Holocaust caught him trying to hide some school kids from an LA culling. He defeats Sabretooth in battle and has him sent to prison. Sabretooth is thrown in a cell with Wild Child where they fight tooth and nail for three days. Eventually, Sabretooth gives in to his animal side and defeats Wild Child. With Sabretooth asserting his role as Alpha male Wild Child obeys him. They bust out of prison together killing all Infinites that get in their way.
Third story:
In Neo Tokyo, some Yakuza thugs are holding Mariko captive. She was busted sabotaging their arcade games. In comes Weapon X who cuts her loose and threatens her captors. Realizing who they’re dealing with they take off. With everyone gone Mariko wants to continue her sabotage. Logan advises her to choose a better path and make something of herself. In teleports the Silver Samurai, Mariko’s half-brother. He’s mad at Logan for interfering with his family. He attacks Logan, but gets his butt handed to him. He teleports away in shame. Mariko wonders why Logan didn’t kill him. Logan tells her it that the easiest choice usually isn’t the right one.
Fourth story:
The bombs are dropping onto New York City and all everyone can do is watch. Their lives are saved however, when the bombs stop midair and disassemble themselves. Rogue and Quicksilver both question Magneto if he was responsible for saving everyone. He tries denying this several times, but finally lets them believe what they want to believe. Motivated by Illyana’s words, Magneto reconstructs the Statue of Liberty as a symbol of hope. When he finishes he runs into Weapon X who hands over Jean Grey’s body. He wants Magneto to bury her. He also tells Magneto that now’s his chance to make his dream come true. Months later in his office, Magneto gets a visit from Sinister who wants to know what really happened on the day the bombs didn’t fall.

Full Summary: 

First story:
Wakanda, a South African nation
The X-Men are fighting a horde of sentinel prototypes. These sentinels are human-sized as opposed to the regular hulking behemoths. Colossus stops fighting in the middle of it all and sits down on a pile of skulls leaving Rogue, Sunfire and Sabretooth to handle the onslaught. Colossus starts thinking about his life and how war is all he’s ever known. His teammates yell to him, and even though he hears them he doesn’t respond. He’s sick of fighting, he’s sick of it all. His teammates give up on trying to snap him out of it. Rogue warns him that she’ll have words with him later, and that it isn’t over. Rogue’s words hit hard because he decides it is over. His personal war is over and he has lost.
Later, at the X-Men’s temporary headquarters, Magneto questions a sullen-looking Colossus about his actions earlier in the day. Mags wants to know why Colossus would just stop fighting and put his fellow X-Men in more danger. Colossus can only apologize. He’s not sorry that he stopped fighting, but is sorry that he’s not sorry that he stopped fighting. He recounts the different types of atrocities he’s seen and explains that he’s giving up the fight. He leaves the room, walking past his downtrodden teammates.

He heads to his room and finds Kitty waiting inside for him. She asks him how it went and he tells her that he feels as though he’s betrayed them by giving up. She reminds him of everything he’s done for Magneto’s dream, the sacrifices he’s made. She tells him that this is their opportunity as husband and wife to get away from it all and start a family. They hold each other by the window.

Magneto floats up outside their window. He asks the two lovebirds if he could talk with them. He’s discussed it with the rest of the X-Men and has a proposal for them. Kitty starts to protest, but Magneto tells her that it has nothing to do with fighting. He wants them to use their experience and train the next generation of mutants. He displays five holo-vids, each with a different kid. Magneto asks for an answer.

Second story:
Another day under Apocalypse’s rule, another culling. This time it’s Los Angeles and both Sabretooth and Holocaust are there. Sabretooth is finally fed up with murdering innocent women and children. Off-panel, he hides some children from the cullings. This doesn’t go over well with Holocaust who whoops up on him. He announces Sabretooth’s betrayal to his Infinites and orders them to take him away to prison. There’s an inmate there who ate his last three cellmates and that’s the cell he wants for Sabretooth.

The Infinites wonder aloud why Holocaust would let Sabretooth live. None of them can figure it out, but Sabretooth knows. Holocaust knows Sabretooth is not afraid to die. He also knows that Sabretooth’s only fear is that of the uncontrollable beast inside him. Instead of letting him die, he wants Sabretooth to become the feral monster he has the potential to be. The Infinites toss him into his cell and remove his restraints. It’s dark in there. Sabretooth is greeted by some hissing and prepares to fight.

Something leaps at him and he’s knocked back against the cell bars. It’s Wild Child and he claws away at Sabretooth’s chest. They end up fighting for three days straight. After the forty-eighth hour or so he feels himself weaken. He knows there’s only one way to end it, just like Holocaust knew. Sabretooth gives in to the rage and becomes an animal.

He wakes up, not knowing how much time has passed. He’s fully healed and there’s no sign of Wild Child. The walls are all bloody and there’s an awful stench in the room. He can’t figure out the smell at first, but then it hits home triggering some memories of the fight. He actually let Wild Child live. Why, he doesn’t know. His victory made him the Alpha Male of the cell and Wild Child knew it. Sabretooth marked the cell (his territory) with his urine, which is the odor that triggered the memories. He stops thinking and looks under his bunk and finds Wild Child asleep underneath. Sabretooth finds a chain and makes a leash out of it. Together, they bust out of their cell.

The prison guards are sitting around a table relaxing. They wonder what’s going on with Sabretooth and Wild Child as they’ve been quiet for a long while. Their question is soon answered as they show up in their room. Sabretooth lets go of the leash and sends him into attack mode.

Sabretooth recounts that story as the turning point of his life. It helped pave the way for him to join the X-Men and eventually become Blink’s mentor and friend.

Third story:
The Shinjuku district of neo Tokyo:
Inside a Yakuza-run virtual video arcade, three Yakuza gang members are holding a young girl captive. Her wrists are duct taped and her captors are all brandishing weapons. In walks Weapon X and he’s not too happy. He asks the thugs if they know whom they’re holding. They explain to Logan that the girl, who turns out to be Mariko, used a nano-tech sprite scrambler in her card and sabotaged every arcade game they had in the joint. They don’t really care who her family is; she’s going to get what she deserves.

Despite Mariko’s assurances that she doesn’t need Logan’s help, he presses the issue. He wants them to let Mariko go. They threaten to chop his head off. Logan unsheathes his claws and cuts away the duct tape. Then he slices through a nearby motorbike. The Yakuza guys realize who Logan is now and one of them points a gun at his head. The gunman tells Logan that he’s not impressed with his little parlor tricks. Logan puts his claws away and prepares to fight. The Yakuzas, intimidated by the whole thing, take off. They warn Weapon X not to be around when they get back.

Mariko bends down and picks up her sprite scrambler. She’s intent on doing more damage. Logan tries to talk some sense into her. He tells her to get back to school and make something of her self. Because of what she did, he almost had to kill three people. She asks him if her father sent him to look after her. He tells her that he doesn’t take orders from Shingen, but he does owe him a favor.

In teleports the Silver Samurai, Mariko’s half-brother. He’s mad at Logan for protecting Mariko, which he feels is his duty. He takes his sword and plunges it into Logan’s arm. SS comments on how the tachyon field of his sword can cut through anything. Unfortunately for him, the sword stops short in the middle of Weapon X’s arm. It doesn’t cut through adamantium Logan reminds him and then decks him, sending SS slumping against the wall. Logan pulls the sword out from his forearm and throws it back at SS. To the Silver Samurai’s surprise it lands right back in its sheathe. Logan stands above him and asks him if he has anything else to say. SS powers up his teleportation ring and disappears.

Mariko looks over at Logan and tells him it would have been easier just to kill him. Logan responds that the easy choice is hardly ever the right one, but just because it’s the right decision doesn’t mean it’s any easier to live with. He leaves.

Fourth story:
All those who fought so desperately to help Bishop restore his timeline can do nothing but stare up at the sky as the end of their existence is upon them. A bright flash fills the city of New York as the bombs begin to drop. The light then dissipates much to everyone’s surprise.

Nightcrawler can’t believe what’s going on. The bombs are all suspended in mid-air dozens of feet above them. Quicksilver wonders aloud if his father is doing this. The bombs are surrounded by a pink aura and they’re coming apart. Then, there’s a huge explosion.

A section of NYC is on fire. Cyclops’, Weapon X’s and Jean Grey’s bodies are lying on the bridge. On another part of the bridge is Magneto. Rogue and Charles are lying on the ground unconscious beneath him. Magneto kneels down and takes his helmet into his hands. He remarks that the “Age of Apocalypse” is over and then tosses his helmet to the side. He takes Rogue and Charles into his arms. They wake up. Rogue is surprised to still be alive. She remembers the bombs stopping and then the explosion. She asks Magneto if he had anything to do with it. He starts to deny it, but Quicksilver shows up with Illyana in his arms.

He’s so excited. He can’t believe his father was capable of such a feat. Magneto once again tries to deny the fact, but Quicksilver won’t stop gushing. Magneto thinks about it for a second and decides to let them believe what they want to believe. Rogue wonders if Bishop failed since their reality still exists. Quicksilver thinks that he might have found a way for both realities to move on. Either way, Magneto says, they will find out in time. Illyana tells Magneto that she thinks Bishop brought hope from his world and sent it to theirs. Magneto stoops down next to her and tells her she’s right. He states that the time of darkness is over; the light of hope burns bright. He says the people need a symbol of that hope.

Magneto takes to the air and heads over to where the Statue of Liberty used to be. All that’s left is the base, but not for long. He concentrates and lifts debris up from underneath the water. He forms an amazing replica of Miss Liberty. Satisfied he takes off back to the bridge. Logan who’s carrying Jean’s lifeless body in his arms greets him there.

Magneto asks about Jean and Logan tells him that she died trying to save the world and any reason for him living died with her. He wants Magneto to bury Jean, to do him this one favor so Jean can rest in peace. Mags asks Logan what he plans to do. Logan tells him there’s nothing left for him. He tells Magneto that now is his chance to make his dream come true. Logan tells him not to screw it up.

Months later at night, Magneto is sitting as his desk. He yells in anger and magnetically lifts all of the office supplies off his desk and slams them back down. He gets up and walks over to the bathroom. He stares at himself in the mirror and states out loud, “The burden of living this lie…”. A voice interrupts him and asks him if his secret is too much to bear. The voice asks Magneto if he would tell him what really happened on the day the bombs stopped falling. Magneto turns from the mirror and sees Sinister standing in the shadows. “You?!”, he says.

Characters Involved: 

First story:
Colossus, Magneto, Quicksilver, Rogue, Sabretooth, Shadowcat, Storm, Sunfire (all X-Men)

via hologram
Chamber, Husk, Mondo, Vincente and others (all future Generation Next)
Second story:
Wild Child


Iceman, Magneto, Morph, Rogue, Shadowcat, Sunfire (all X-Men)

Third story:
Weapon X
Mariko Yashida
Silver Samurai

Fourth story:
Magneto, Nightcrawler, Quicksilver, Rogue, Storm (all X-Men)
Gambit (X-Ternal)
Illyana Rasputin

Weapon X


Story Notes: 

Marvel is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the “Age of Apocalypse” crossover with this one-shot, a six part storyline including an Exiles tie-in with issues #60 and #61, an official handbook and four TPBs collecting the original stories.

There are four pin-ups at the end of this issue:
· Weapon X and Phoenix posing on the outstretched arm of a Sentinel (Adam Kubert and Laura Martin)
· A collection of various important cast members from each AoA series with Apocalypse above them all (Roger Cruz and J.D. Smith)
· A pin-up featuring the cast of the X-Ternals, sans the traitorous Guido, in various poses. (Tony Daniel and Morry Hollowell)
· Another cast photo, this time of the Amazing X-Men, but no Exodus. All of them except for Iceman are on top of a destroyed sentinel head. Iceman is kneeling in front holding one of the eyes. (Andy Kubert and Laura Martin)

This issue features a wraparound cover by Bryan Hitch and Paul Mounts.

First story:
Colossus and Shadowcat would later form Generation Next

Mikhail, Colossus’ brother, became Apocalypse’s fourth Horseman.

Wakanda would later be revisited in the AoA timeline in X-Universe #1. Gwen Stacy and Tony Stark do battle there against four Marauders amidst a village relief effort.

Second story:
This story is told from Sabretooth’s point of view two years after the events had taken place.

Cullings were the mass exterminations of Homo sapiens carried out by Apocalypse’s underlings, usually headed up by a Horseman.

Third story:
This marks the first appearance of the Silver Samurai in the AoA reality.

Fourth story:
This story is continued in Age of Apocalypse #1

Magneto, Rogue and Charles were standing on a cliff’s edge when the bombs were dropping in X-Men Omega. Somehow they ended up on the same bridge where Weapon X, Cyclops, Havok and Jean Grey went at it.

Sinister supposedly died in X-Man #4 at the hands of Nate Grey. With his propensity for cloning, you never know.

There’s a computer screen on Magneto’s desk in the last scene. On it were the current status of ten mutants:
Terrence Aaronson: WANTED
Jesse Aaronson: WANTED
Jean-Paul Beaubier: WANTED
Jeanne-Marie Beaubier: WANTED
Samuel Guthrie: WANTED
Elizabeth Guthrie: WANTED
Paige Guthrie: DECEASED
Alex Summers: DECEASED
If what was on the computer is true yet another character supposedly killed during the AoA crossover (Cyclops) is revealed to be alive. Cyclops was thought to be killed in X-Men Omega by his brother Havok. This will satisfy the die-hard fans that argued the fact that Havok and Cyclops are immune to each other’s powers.

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