COMIC BOOK REVIEW - All-New X-Men: Apocalypse Wars
By The Masked Medic
From one Marvel novel to another. It doesn’t happen very often, but I thought why the hell not! As I explained the last time I reviewed an X-men novel, it often feels like Marvel doesn’t really know what to do with this team when it comes to their comics. That being said, they’re not really sure what they’re going to do with them regarding their films either, so maybe it doesn’t matter. The last time we met this X-men team they were attempting to bring down a group called the “Ghosts of Cyclops” who were out causing destruction. The final part of that novel saw Cyclops abducted by Toad.
‘Apocalypse Wars’ sees the story from the last novel continue in which this new team of X-men are attempting to find their leader. Cyclops who has been captured by Toad attempts to escape but in attempting to do so, levels an entire building on top of himself and is rescued barely alive. Hank, aka Beast, attempts to find a way in order to let him and his team go back to the past from which they came, rather than live in this future where they’re seen as fugitives. He attempts to enlist the help of Dr Strange, who unfortunately tells him that sending them back cannot be achieved by magic, but lends him a mystical mask that lets him see otherworldly energy. The remainder of the novel deals with Evan, who is a clone of En-Sabah Nuh, the villainous Apocalypse, and Hank being transported to ancient Egypt by the mask given by Dr Strange. Here Evan meets En-Sabah as a teenager and realises that he wasn’t always evil. He forms a plan to try and rescue En-Sabah from what his future holds, but Hank disapproves. Can Evan find redemption for En-Sabah and thus change history? And will the two budding X-men even make it back to their own time?
I think if you’ve read ‘Ghosts of Cyclops’ then you probably wouldn’t have as difficult a time in dealing with the complexities of this X-men team. The plot of ‘Apocalypse Wars’ also seems a tad bit simpler. The novel for the large part was a decent mix of action but also sub-plot aspects in which we see the growth of individual team members. This novel definitely focused a lot on Hank and Evan which was nice to see as the first novel didn’t do that as much. I think the concept of Evan attempting to stop Apocalypse from ever becoming the villain that he does was fairly interesting, and I hope that that thread is picked up in the next novel. I do wish we had seen some more team moments, but there has to be a balance between that and individual character growth I suppose.
The artwork was not bad and some of the covers were excellent. The highlight of the novel however was the variant covers. The one I picked above was my clear favourite, however! Overall, I can’t say that this was a bad novel to read. Perhaps my love for the X-men means that I expect a little more, but I’m happy for them to stay this good as long as they continue to build on what they have already!
Completely honestly, I didn’t really focus on Evan in the first book, but in this novel, he shines bright in scenes like this!
Evan. It’s remarkable how he attempts to save the life of a teenager that he knows will end up becoming one of the greatest villains of all time!
Story Arc: ★★★½
Character Development: ★★★★