X-Factor V1 # 107 - 109 (Oct - Dec '94), UXM # 320 - 321 (Jan - Feb ' 95), XMV2 # 40 - 41, Cable # 20
X-Factor # 107 - 109: Mystique vs. Legion
Writer - Todd DeZago (Plot -107, Script 108-109), John Francis Moore (Plot on 108 - 109),
Pencils - Paul Borges (107), Jan Duursema (108 - 109)
#107 is essentially a one off issue with Guido fighting Blob at an airport.
#108 starts with Forge putting Nightcrawler and Rogue through an intense virtual reality session, trying to recall exactly what happened to them at the end of X-Men Unlimited # 4 when Mystique seemingly sacrificed herself for her children. It's nice to see Forge still having this connection and feeling of responsibility for Mystique since she had been living in his care for so long.
We end up learning that Mystique is looking for Gabrielle Haller and Legion so she can get revenge on Legion for killing Destiny while he was possessed by the Shadow King (harkening all the way back to UXM # 278 and the Muir Island Saga). Meanwhile, Alex and Guido confront Avalanche who is on a covert mission.
In #109, Legion wakes up just as Mystique arrives and battles X-Factor on her own to David (Legion). Avalanche shows up to assist Mystique (calling back to their Freedom Force days), but he gets caught. In the end, Mystique fails and Legion declares that he needs to "fix everything."
UXM # 320 (January '95): Legion is God
Plot - Scott Lobdell
Script - Mark Waid
Pencils - Roger Cruz
UXM # 320 begins in media Res with Storm, Psylocke, Iceman, Bishop, and Jean fighting Legion in an Israeli desert. David has created a fortress and his psi powers are ten fold that of his father, Charles Xavier. Legion is essentially a God. We learn that he aims to travel into the past and fix some event in the past, helping make his father's dream come true. Legion takes everyone he is fighting with (except Jean) into the past.
We get a snippet of Jahf, the protector the M Kraan Crystal, telling Lilandra that the end of the universe is coming.
X-Men V2 # 40: Time Travel
Writer - Fabian Nicieza
Pencils - Andy Kubert
Most of this issue takes place in the past. We are back in the 40's at the time when Xavier, Magneto, and Gabriel Haller were together and young in Israel. The 4 in the past (Bishop, Psylocke, Iceman, Storm) plus David (Legion) have no memory of their past and spend 4 weeks trying to figure out what's going on.
We get a little bit of insight into the present day when Cable and Domino show up. Someone must have thought "Hey, Cable is a time traveler, let's get him to help!"
This issue ends with Lilandra and an army of Watchers showing up to warn Charles of what is about to happen.
UXM # 321: What happens in the past, stays in the past
Plot - Scott Lobdell
Plot - Mark Waid
Pencils - Ron Garney
We see a little flashback of Charles and Magneto getting in a bar fight in the past. Cable travels to the past and tries to wake up the 4 X-men so they can start helping to preserve the past.
In one of the most disturbing events I have ever read in a comic book, Legion possesses his father and appears to rape Gabriel (his mother). I don't know what the hell is happening here. Is Legion supposed to be his own father? What the hell was the point of this!?
We learn that Legion's plan is to kill Magneto in the past so that he doesn't oppose Charles through the ages, allowing his father's dream to be realized.
X-Men # 40: Existence comes to an end
Writer - Fabian Nicieza
Pencils - Ron Garney
This is the episode where everything hits the fan. Magneto is fighting Legion for his life. Young Charles Xavier has a conversation with the X-Men. In this final battle, Iceman unleashes his strong ass powers and freezes Legion like a statue, but it isn't enough to stop him for good. Eventually Legion delivers a final strike on Magneto, but Charles jumps in front and sacrifices himself.
We see a quick cut to Apocalypse (in the past) where he comments on "Sinister's prediction" coming 10 years too early. It appears that he is ready for an ascension. Thus begins the Age of Apocalypse alternate reality in which we see what would have happened if Charles Xavier died before forming the X-Men.
Lilandra wanrs that entire civilizations are beginning to crystallize over. Apparently without Xavier and the X-Men, they never stopped D'Ken from utilizing the M'Kraan Crystal and now the entire universe is being destroyed.
As certain doom approaches, Gambit and Rogue share their first and last kiss. In addition, Warren joins Scott and Jean in one last moment together as all three are destroyed by the crystallization.
Cable # 20: The End of all Things
Writer - Jeph Loeb
Pencils - Ian Churchill
This issue shows Cable coming back to the present timeline and we see the end of all things from a few different perspectives. Warren comments about how he wishes he was with Betsy at the end.
The most important event is that Jean and Scott decide to tell Cable that they were Slim and Red, the human parents who raised him (as chronicled in the Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix). Ironically, he said he already knew! He must have pieced everything together based on the little hints that have been dropping (and I've been commenting on here) over the last few months.
Similar to Rogue and Gambit, Cable and Domino share both their first and final kiss as fate washes over them.
In an interview titled "A Shot in the Dark - Jeph Loeb: The Comicology Interview," Jeph loeb said:
"I wanted to write Uncanny. And I knew that the only way that that was going to happen was [if I wrote] the best X-Men stories I could without the X-Men being in them. I tried to get them to co-star whenever I could, and at the point that I did Cable #20 — which by a fluke turned out to be the last X-Men story [before Age of Apocalypse], because it was the last book that was shipping — [the editors] suddenly realized that [the X-Men] hadn’t had a chance to say goodbye before everyone died, so I got to write a Last X-Men Story. What was great about it was that it was a character piece. I felt that Warren would not accept that the universe was going to die; he was not just going to stand there and fade out, and that instead he would, like Icarus, fly into the sun. We had a lot of discussions about it, and Bob put his foot down and said, “No X-Men would ever take his own life.” Other than that, nothing was changed in that story, and in my opinion it was one of the best stories that I wrote in that group."
Well there is one character development point that all characters share...They all died. But in addition to that, here's where some of them left off.
Forge continues his connection to Mystique, searching for her to help her. Mystique appears to no longer be losing her grip on reality, but also seems firmly back in the villain territory.
As they think they are drying, Cable and Domino share their first kiss. I hope their romance continues after Age of Apocalypse.
Cable officially finds out that Jean and Scott raised him in the future.
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