Thursday, July 8, 2010

X-Men vs. Apocalypse, Volume 1: The Twelve by Erik Larsen, Joe Pruett, Terry Kavanagh, Alan Davis, and Fabian Nicieza

After really enjoying X-Men: The Shattering, I knew I needed to pick up the next book in line, X-Men vs. Apocalypse, Volume 1: The Twelve. It picks up right where the previous volume left off.

As the mystery of The Twelve and Death’s true identity deepen, this volume opens up focusing on a few plot threads that are new to readers of the previous volume. As Cable, a man from the future sent to the past to prevent it, is stalked by Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Wolverine is struck by his inner demons. After they get caught up to the beginning of The Twelve, we return to the X-Men from the previous volume, now joined by the others, as the entire plan, spanning the entire history of the X-Men, comes to fruition. All of the future is in jeopardy as a dark god of humanity’s past plays his part in the prophecy, and threatens to destroy everything the X-Men have ever fought for.

X-Men vs. Apocalypse, Volume 1: The Twelve contains: Uncanny X-Men #376(“Filling in the Blanks”), #377(“The End of the World As We Know It”), Cable #73(“Pestilence!”), #74(“Mindgames”), #75(“Who is Worthy to Break the Seals..?”), #76(“In My Eyes”), X-Men #96(“The Gathering”), #97(“The End of the World As We Know It, Part Two”), Wolverine #145(“On the Edge of Darkness”), #146(“Through a Dark Tunnel”), #147(“Into the Light”), and two pages from X-Man #59.

Like its predecessor, this is a fun book. There is a huge cast of characters, which may be off-putting to some, but for the most part it is well handled. The beginning of the book, which strays from the original X-Men plotline, also can be a bit of an abrupt switch, but it does a nice job of telling a fluid tale that brings all of the important characters up to the beginning of the major storyline, “Apocalypse: The Twelve” (although it should be noted that one of the issues collected references X-Man #60, which isn’t included; that seems like an odd piece to leave out). Everything draws together quite nicely, taking a large number of plot threads and pulling them down into one major one, before branching out a bit at the end to two. The first half of this large story flows well, and really builds the tension for the second volume, X-Men vs. Apocalypse, Volume 2: Ages of Apocalypse. I won’t miss it.


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