Astonishing X-Men # 3, X-Calibre # 3, Gambit and the Externals # 3, Generation Next # 3, Weapon X # 3, Amazing X-Men # 3, Factor X # 3, X-Man # 3.
Picking up on the table setting that was done in X-Men Alpha, and the characters that were established in "the #1's," the plot started to move forward in the"#2's" of the respective titles. The #'3 here are starting to wrap up their respective stories and set the stage for the conclusion of the Age of Apocalypse event.
Factor X # 3
Writer - John Francis Moore
Pencils - Steve Epting
There's a lot of momentum in this bad boy. Havok officially calls out Scott, proving he's a true bastard. Now from his perspective, he's right about his brother being a traitor, but you're both working for an evil dude so that puts Havok on the wrong side of this.
Jean shows up and is captured in the pens, pushing Cyclops to defect once and for all. Havok and Cannonball work together to take down Cyclops, but they are unsuccessful and these two get away.
Quick point here...I don't see Cannonball being a bad guy, in any universe. That just seems like a bad decision.
Scarlett is outed as a spy and it's heavily implied that she is pregnant.
We also get a mini (disappointing) flashback where we learn that Cyclops lost an eye and Wolverine a hand from a battle these two had with each other years ago.
Astonishing X-Men # 3
Plot- Scott Lobdell
Pencils - Jeph Loeb
Pencils - Joe Madueria
The main story here is a big fight between Sabretooth and Holocaust. In fact, I wrote in my notes that Sabretooth died here, however he shows up alive next issue (Spoiler!).
Meanwhile, Wild Child meets back up with the team and while everyone assumed he didn't have the intelligence to communicate, he is able to lead the team to the Infinite Factory (The evil plan Holocaust monologued about last issue). Morph impersonates Holocaust to get in and Sunfire continues being a maniac, evaporating Infinite Soliders. We also learn that Infinite Soliders are the results of Dark Beast creating soldiers out of dead (murdered) mutant genetic DNA, however they are only able to live for about 1 year.
Amazing X-Men # 3
Writer - Fabian Nicieza
Pencils - Andy Kubert
After bringing back Unus, Nicieza resurrects another Silver Age Villain, The Vanisher in an attack on Bishop and Magneto. He is quickly dispatched, but not before Apocalypse himself shows up and they engage in an epic duel. The result is both Magneto and Apocalypse kidnapped, setting the stage for the #4's and X-Men Omega.
Meanwhile, Quicksilver threatens Angel and pushes him to finally choose a side (the mutants) while the Shadow King (who lives in a jar) learns of Bishop's secrets.
X-Calibre # 3
Writer - Warren Ellis
Pencils - Ken Lashley
Things finally start happening here, but it all seems so random that I can lay it all out in bullets:
Mystique saves Kurt from the Pirates
Kurt challenges his mom about being a coyote
Doug Ramsey is Destiny‘s adopted son
Mystique asks Destiny to leave Avalon
Damask has a change of heart, attacks Wade and defects
Cain has an aneurism and dies
NC teleports Wades head off his body
The issue ends with the X-Calibre team being formed, consisting of Nightcrawler, Damask, Mystique, and Switchback.
Weapon X # 3
Writer - Larry Hama
Pencils - Adam Kubert
There isn't a whole lot that happens in this one either. Wolverine spends time in Wundagore with Carol Danvers. She leads him to a very talkative Gateway. That's about it.
Gambit and the Externals # 3
Writer - Fabian Nicieza
Pencils - Salvador Larocca
Gambit and the X-Ternals, along with the Deathbird-led Starjammers, land on the large planet where the M'Kraan Crystal is kept.
Gambit, Lila, and Deathbird go inside the Crystal. Once inside, they meet Jahf, the keeper of the crystal. We learn that there is only one reality within the crystal. Since Xavier died, Jean never became the Phoenix and therefore fixed the crystal. Since that never happened, the crystal is not only corrupting the two realities we've seen before, but all realities. Jahf explains that Gambit and the team were chosen to take a sliver with them to accomplish their goal, however it's never really explained why they are supposed to be so special.
The rest of the team stays outside of the crystal, fighting Rictor and Gladiator. Lila sets up to take everyone back to Earth (to begin the endgame), but Sunspot sacrifices himself so the others can get away, dying.
Generation Next # 3
Writer - Scott Lobdell
Pencils - Chris Bachalo
I'm still waiting for Generation Next to start picking up. Mondo officially saves Illyana. Colossus is getting more dark and obsessed with saving his sister. Everyone else is on duty at this point carrying out their mission, and that's about it folks.
X-Man # 3
Writer - Jeph Loeb
Pencils - Steve Skroce
You know how I mentioned that nothing happened in Generation Next, well everything happens here in X-Man. Domino, Grizzly, and Caliban come looking for Nate. Domino kills Mastermind while Toad kills Caliban. Unfortunately for Toad, Grizzly sneaks up behind him and literally bites his head off, killing Toad.
Nate takes on Domino head on and not only defeats her, but completely wipes her mind, effectively killing her.
After the battle, Forge finds that Essex had killed Brute last issue, which prompts Essex to land a fatal blow on Forge. Nate shows up in time to hold him while he dies, before Forge can tell him to seek out Magneto.
At this point, Essex doesn't even hide it and reveals himself as Mr. Sinister.
X-Universe # 1 & 2
Plot - Scott Lobdell
Script - Terry Kavanaugh
Pencils - Carlos Pacheco
This is essentially a series about "what's happening with the rest of the Marvel Universe during Age of Apocalypse?"
We are introduced to a devastated Wakanda, which is attacked by the Marauders. They are a super villain team made up of Wilson Fisk (Kingpin), Harry Osborne (Green Goblin), Arcade, and the Owl. Gwen Stacy, Tony Stark, and Hawkeye kill them off.
Sue Storm and Ben Grim are in London, attacked by an evil version of the Hulk. This series is the only place where the 4th Horseman, Mikhail Rasputin, shows up, however he looks nothing like the Mikhail we've come to know. He promises peace and unity while being welcomed to Europe by Victor Von Doom.
We learn that he is secretly using Empath to stir up unrest, right as members of the human high council are kidnapped by Mikhail under false diplomatic pretenses. Tony Stark is able to use technology to break them out by creating a power surge (sound familiar?) Matt Murdock (Daredevil) is working as a blind worker for Mikhail, but eventually betrays him and kills Empath. Eventually Mikhail is killed by Donald Blake, who we are led to believe is really Thor.
My Rating - 7/10
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