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The Age of X Dialogues Part One — Age of X Alpha #1

What happens when two of your favourite Comics Should be Good bloggers geek out at the prospect of alternate reality X-Men fun? “The Age of X Dialogues” where Kelly Thompson and I will discuss every issue of the “Age of X” storyline that began this week with Age of X Alpha #1.

Chad Nevett: Welcome everyone to the first edition of “The Age of X Dialogues” between myself and Kelly Thompson. They came about when we mentioned to one another on Twitter that we were both excited for the “Age of X” story that kicked off this week and will carry on through April in X-Men Legacy and New Mutants as well as Age of X: Universe, a two-issue mini-series. But, the whole story began this week with Age of X Alpha #1.

Before we get to the actual comic, I was wondering what had you so excited for the story, Kelly? Are you a regular reader of the X-books or is this story bringing you to them for the first time in a while?

Kelly Thompson: Well, you may have heard – since I feel like I repeat this story constantly – that I actually got into comics when I was about 16 after seeing the first episode of X-Men The Animated Series one random Saturday morning. A couple weeks later my brother brought home X-Men #290 from the mall and that was it…I was hooked…even though that’s not a particularly good comic…it was still something I’d never seen before and it blew me away. So yeah, the X-books were my entry point, and really continue even today to be a touchstone for me. As a teenager I loved all the crossovers, both the ones I encountered naturally like “EXecutioner’s Song” and the ones I hunted down like “Xtinction Agenda” and “Fall Of The Mutants,” but “Age of Apocalypse” was (and maybe still is?) my favorite crossover of all time. I love alternate reality story lines – it’s such a chance to explore roads not taken. My love of alternate reality extends well beyond the X-Men and comics in general (Buffy The Vampire Slayer – the tv show – has some of my favorite alternate reality stories ever) but I do think that the X-Men started it all with “AoA”…so I always have a kind of kid-like excitement at the idea of getting to explore all that.

Although I have not been reading X-Men comics regularly for years I have over the last six months been slowly toe-dipping back in…first with Legacy and Astonishing, then X-Factor and Uncanny…I even picked up the new Uncanny X-Force…so I guess you could say I’ve officially been drawn back in of late. What about you? Is your interest in this a love of X-Men or alternate reality stories? Or just the curiosity that will probably kill us both?

CN: I’m a big fan of alternate reality stories and, as you point out, the X-titles have a history of delivering some good ones. “Age of Apocalypse” is the big one, one that I still have fond memories of. Oddly, not as much for the actual comics. The thing I spent the most time with was this one-shot behind-the-scenes look at the event that Marvel put out. Lots of designs and maps and back-stories. All of the material that went into creating that other world, that’s what caught my attention the most. The actual stories that happen in the alternate realities seem almost secondary to me sometimes after simply finding out what the status quo is. How have the characters changed? Who’s alive? Who’s dead? That’s what I can’t get enough of. Everything is kind of like what you know, but completely different. Imagination completely without limits! So, yeah, that’s what brings me to “Age of X.” I’ve read the odd X-book in the past few years, but usually for reviewing purposes, to give Matt Fraction a chance to wow me, or because there was a crossover with Dark Avengers. I’m here for the alternate reality stuff.

What struck me about Age of X Alpha is that this is more a prologue than anything else. A quick glimpse into the status quo of this world, showing us a few vignettes of how things are different, but no actual plot yet. All of the promo material said that the first chapter of the story is X-Men Legacy #245, but it’s kind of surprising how little this issue does besides showing how Scott Summers, the Guthries, Wolverine, and Magneto are different with some other characters hinted at/seen, and a general sense of the world provided. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but it did surprise me a little. Did you have a similar reaction?

KT: Yeah, it did surprise me and I gotta be honest, it didn’t do much for me. I mean, short stories are a very tricky art form as far as I’m concerned and most of these were a little weak. I think if you’d taken out the “alternate reality” aspect of them I wouldn’t have enjoyed them much at all based on the strength of the stories alone. I tried to give them a bit of a pass because what Carey (and company) are taking on is so massive and in reality (hah! pun!) they’re not being given much time to get all this running (and finished) but the stories here left me kind of cold. You’re right that Age of X Alpha is definitely functioning as a prologue…so maybe that’s even more reason to give more leeway, but I don’t think this was a strong way to start. I would have rather seen some of this stuff maybe in a massive book of stories that are all behind the scenes character stuff…it’s not exactly the running start I was hoping for…

One of the first things any writing workshop or writing group will ask you when you walk in with a prologue attached to your novel is “Why do you need it?”…and when you fight them (I’m speaking as someone who has fought and fought hard!) they will press “What does it tell your reader that they cannot learn in a stronger and different way later within the text.” There are definitely reasons for a prologue – and there are great prologues out there – but usually – you don’t need it. I think this is an unfortunate example of not needing it. We learn nothing except some world building. World building that I think could probably be done better and more interestingly by diving right in.

Also, and maybe you don’t agree, but one of the strengths going into AoA all those years ago was that you knew exactly what you were dealing with…Professor Xavier has accidentaly been killed by his son in the past, everything is jacked up (although arguably some of the characters have better lives in certain ways), and one X-man has the memories of the original time and is stuck in the new time. So our heroes goals are very clear – they are basically surviving and doing whatever they were before and now they have the added challenge of trying to fix the timestream and risk all that they do have for some “better” life. So I knew exactly what was at stake and what our goals were. With this…and maybe it’s deliberate…or maybe I missed something?…but I have no idea why or how this happened. And it leaves me feeling…unclear about what the point is. I mean if we were going to just have this world the way we have something like Ultimate X-Men then fine…but it’s limited and will be going back to “status quo” at some point over the course of 9 books…so I don’t like book 1 of those 9 to be over and I really know nothing more than I did going in. Also, Paige/Husk’s boobs etc.,? BLECH.

CN: HAHAHAHA! Yeah, some of the art was definitely mediocre dreck. I enjoyed the issue more than you did, but do agree that not every story was necessary. As I mentioned in my review for CBR, the middle two stories didn’t feel all that different from regular X-Men stories. Sure, in the Cannonball/Husk one, she was more violent, but I could see a writer taking Paige down that path if her family were killed. The Wolverine story could easily have just been a short story in whatever X-Men-related anthology title Marvel is publishing now. Neither story felt essential. The other two, at least, gave us something different. The Basilisk story told us right away how different this world is, because THIS is Scott Summers. He’s not the tough tactician and leader of the X-Men, he’s a guy whose eyelids were cut off so he could be used as a means of capital punishment for mutants by Arcade, a man that’s the governor! That’s how screwy this world is! And the final story set up how important Magneto is and how crucial the idea of Fortress X is to mutants.

But, you’re right, we don’t know why this story is happening. Mike Carey has said that that’s purposeful and will be revealed as the story goes on. That’s one of the mysteries for readers. And I’m fine with that. Since that’s the case, I do wonder if a prologue/anthology setting up the world is the wisest move. If this is meant to be a jarring change, one that makes us wonder what’s going on, why not jump right in and release Alpha as a one-shot partway through? A supplemental book that fills in the gaps seems like a wiser choice than kicking things off with this sort of book.

What do we know about this world? Mutants are, by default, criminals, so they all live in Fortress X, a safe haven built by Magneto that they must constantly defend against the forces of humanity. That’s the status quo of this world. Do we know anything else besides some character relationships?

KT: You know…you make a really good point about the Wolverine and Cannonball/Husk stories, they could easily take place in our “regular reality”. That makes me like them even less actually. Damn. I did like the Basilisk story, though the entry into it was very clunky and forced I thought. But it had the most distance from “our world” and also the most emotional resonance…it was also the most well drawn by far. The Magneto story had a lot of potential but ultimately was not the “OMG” I was looking for.

But it sounds like we’re in agreement regardless of how much we liked or didn’t like this issue that it was a weak starting point for a big alternate reality crossover kickoff. So that’s a bummer.

I still hold that I would prefer to know what the stakes are here and what we’re gunning for, but I agree that if this had jumped right in and just been really exciting from page one and just plunged me into the story I could have been convinced that I didn’t need to know the stakes from go.

Yeah, I don’t think we know much beyond what you summed up. And really, other than the “who’s alive and sitting around the fire” we still know little about actual character relationships – except it looks like Magneto and Mystique are an item which honestly surprised me. I figured Carey would go with the traditional Magneto/Rogue/Gambit thing that’s all the rage since he’s such a big Rogue advocate – but I hope he doesn’t go there if Mystique is part of that triangle…considering…yeah, yuck.

CN: I’m glad he doesn’t seem to be heading there, too, but for the reason that that idea was touched upon in “Age of Apocalypse” to a degree. Ever since I saw that Magneto was going to be the central mutant figure/leader in “Age of X” and Rogue was playing a big part, I couldn’t help but flash back to “Age of Apocalypse” and wonder if Carey isn’t just repeating that. While the circumstances are a little different with mutants on the run from humanity instead of Apocalypse ruling North America, it’s still Magneto leading a band of mutants against the Powers That Be and I’m wondering how different it will be. Are the X-books so locked into that Xavier/Magneto binary that any reality where Xavier isn’t the mutant savior, Magneto must be? I don’t know, the idea just seemed a little boring to me. Actually, the first time I saw the “Age of X” Magneto, I thought it was Cable and that had me excited since he would be a very interesting mutant savior figure, especially in a war-like situation.

The comparison to the “Age of Apocalypse” is impossible to avoid and, obviously, the title ‘Age of X’ is meant to evoke that other story. However, looking at what we know, how different does this story seem to you? There isn’t the clear purpose and it’s much more focused, but it’s still a darker, harsher world where the characters we know are meaner if they were good guys and nicer if they were bad. Magneto leads mutantkind against its enemies… Is there enough of a difference here to set this story apart or does it seem like it will be the weaker, sad ‘remake’ of “Age of Apocalypse?”

KT: Well, I think you’ve kind of hit the nail on the head for me…and I know a lot of people dislike the “AoA” crossover, but as I said, I was (and am) a big fan…and I’m just not sure this is different enough. We of course don’t know yet for sure because it’s just one issue and bunch of images and promo art, but as you said, the placement of Magneto as the leader, the apparent absence of Xavier, Rogue looking to play a big/bigger role than usual, even the way in which Scott has been used, is all very similar to what we saw in “AoA”…and then the title…which quite honestly when I first saw it, I thought it WAS “AoA” and that we were going back to that universe somehow. And there was a part of me – albeit a stupid 17 year-old part of me – that was super excited. I guess the questions are three-fold. 1. Is it that much different than “AoA?” 2. Does it matter if it isn’t that different? and 3. If it does turn out as similar as it seems right now…is that a bad thing?

I ALSO thought that the character that turned out to be Magneto was Cable…I guess the white costume threw us off? And I also thought that was a more interesting idea than seemingly re-hashing the Magneto role of “AoA.” I guess creators fixate on Magneto because they like seeing a massively A-list villain go in a different direction and be just as powerful on a slightly different team. But I guess it’s less interesting to me especially because he IS a “good guy” right now in the regular continuity anyway. But here’s the thing that I kind of think is a mistake with the – “goodification” if you will – of Magneto, who I’ll give you is a good and compelling character regardless of what team he plays for. In both “AoA” and “Age of X” I’m not really sure how different he is from “regular continuity Mags”. In “AoA” and “Age of X” he is given a very literal war between humans and mutants – and if you gave that more literal war to Magneto in regular continuity, I think you would get the same character – super powerful charismatic leader stepping up to lead “his people” to victory, or rebellion, or survival, etc.

I mean, we obviously can’t judge from one book, and Carey has said that the why of all this will tie in, but to be honest, I’m going to need that to tie in pretty quickly judging from this first book I think…or it runs the risk of being exactly what you said – the weaker, sad ‘remake’ of “AoA.”

I will say that from what I’ve seen (mostly in preview images and not in this issue) I prefer much of the costume design here to “AoA,” it all looks pretty good for this reality whereas could Rogue’s “AoA” costume have BEEN any uglier? I posit that it could not have.

CN: Yeah, but “AoA” Logan was pretty badass and I still think the sheer obviousness of the name ‘X-Man’ is brilliant.

What concerns me is that the story doesn’t begin until February 23 when both the first and second parts come out on the same day. That seems like awful scheduling to me. Wouldn’t two weeks until the first part and then two more weeks until the second make more sense? The space between Alpha and X-Men Legacy #245 doesn’t seem like it will help anyone’s enthusiasm for the story. Normally, I don’t care about the business decisions, but that scheduling decision just bugs me. It doesn’t seem like the release of Alpha was thought out in a way to lead into the story proper in a way that will get people excited. Taking that into account and your reaction to Alpha, are you less enthused for “Age of X?” Are you regretting getting locked into the whole story?

KT: Logan’s hand WAS a good touch, although I remember not loving the way it was rendered usually…too cartoony maybe? I can’t remember.

Anyway, yes, I agree. The planning does seem really terrible (I’m having the whole Return of Bruce Wayne flashback here…). I suppose if this first issue had been some amazing jaw-dropping stuff, I might not have minded too much and would have just been excited for the next installment, but since it was a huge let down, it seems like they’re giving me a chance to change my mind or forget that I was originally excited about it. I am definitely less enthused by “Age of X” after the first book. I’m going to stick with it though for a few reasons – most obviously because we’re doing this little project, but also because it’s not THAT many extra books for me (6 over four months I guess since I usually read Legacy anyway) and mostly because I WANT to believe it will be awesome – because I want to be transported back to how much I loved comics when I was younger – how much something like “AoA,” full of flaws though it may have been made me love comics SO much.

And it’s still possible that Carey could turn it all around for me…but he’s going to have to hurry!

What about you…regrets?

CN: None. This was a good read for me even with the various problems. The Basilisk and Magneto stories were effective, and I loved the art on the Basilisk one. There are a lot of scheduling and release problems that I would have liked to see fixed like starting things with the story proper and maybe having this come partway through to provide some background, but I can see why they would begin with a book that sets the groundwork a little. I’m in it for the whole thing and hope that the actual story is a good one. While the month-long break before the story begins is annoying, that it does begin with the first two parts will probably get me excited when February 23 comes around.



24 Comments

Yeah, I wasn’t blown away, but as someone that doesn’t give a FUCK about X-Men comics, I’m intrigued enough to check it out when the first two actual parts drop.

I hate the main X books (several books about the same mutants) but why do I find myself wanting to check this out. We’ll see.

Don’t forget, too, that House of M ALSO had Magneto as the big man in the alternate universe. So that makes this at least the third big alternate universe story where Magneto’s one of the most important characters. zzz

I wasn’t all that interested in hearing about this at first, since when I first read about it, the ARTIST was still TBD. When you “plan” a big crossover and you don’t lock an artist in first, it seems a bad move.

If you two will be discussing this storyline, I may have to pick it up. Dangit!

I do plan on rereading Age of Apocalypse soon, as I picked up a bunch of them recently. THAT was a kick ass alternate reality story. Even with Joe Mad art :)

I’m surprisingly hyped for this, considering I never read X-Men comics. It looks like it has an almost manga-esque feel to it, you know? And I’m wondering if Mike Carey can play that out organically?

I liked the Age of X alpha one shot and I agree with Chad and Kelly when they said some of the stories were not as great as the rest. But the previews showing Clay Mann’s art look great. I already read new mutants and Legacy and hope this mini-event gives the sales of those books a shot in the arm.

Travis — At least House of M having Magneto at the centre made sense given how reality was reshaped.

Chris — One thing that I think this story has going for it is that Carey is writing it all, which should make it organic. Well, aside from Age of X Universe, but that’s a support book, so Carey not writing it isn’t as much an issue. Plus, it sounds pretty great anyway.

I think Kelly summed up my feelings about this issue perfectly; most of it didn’t feel different enough from AOA to really suck me in (and the parts that did only reminded me of every other anti-mutant alternate world).

It’s early, of course, but if this story really has something to show us, they’d probably have been better off doing it right from the start.

I like the reverse T&A ( or C&A … chest, get your minds out of the gutter! haha…).

Its nice to see male characters getting exploited for a change. To bad the artists on both series are just average.

One thing I’m surprised Kelly didn’t comment on, given the covers feature on her blog is the sheer awfulness of the cover. I don’t think it could have been less eye catching if they tried.

Still optimistic about the story proper, though. And looking forward to more of these with each chapter.

I think it’s interesting that so many of these comments have people saying they don’t read and/or like X-books but that they’re intrigued.

I guess that means they’re doing something right here…because that sounds like it’s definitely capturing the “already reading” and seems like a few more as well. Interesting.

@James: There IS an above average number of shirtless dudes in these designs…I take that to mean that men’s shirts are a rare commodity in this reality?

@Brenden T: Funny, I like the cover. A lot actually. Admittedly I’m a huge fan of Chris Bachalo’s style, so I was predisposed to like it from go, but I think it’s got a lot of energy and craziness to it that I like. If the inside had had remotely the same intensity and passion I think I would have been much more pleased.

One thing I DON’T like is that the cover is very misleading…very few of the characters featured do much of anything in the book (Rogue is not in it at all, Nightmare and others just have have a line or two) and the Wolverine that IS featured in a story looks nothing like the Wolverine of the cover. I guess the good news is that if you don’t like the cover, you might be pleasantly surprised by the insides…but for me it was the reverse.

Also, just wanted to add since someone mentioned Clay Mann above, that I am a HUGE fan of Clay Mann…love his style (and most of these designs – although I personally would have dolled out a few more mens shirts) and I’m excited to see his work here. Anyone who can redesign Dazzler so that I’m totally interested in her (for the first time EVER) is doing something right. :)

I’ve been reading New Mutants, but I won’t be buying it during Age of X. I can’t afford to buy any extra comics, and I’m not convinced that New Mutants will make much sense to me without reading those other comics, even with Mike Carey writing the whole story. If it’s that good, I might get the trade eventually.

I’ve gotta say, I agree that the Bachalo cover is awesome – the man’s got a distinct, high-energy style that the artists inside couldn’t hurt to ape.

Turns out, once I opened it up, it wasn’t really worth the four dollars

The AoA parallels abound (the back-and-forth in the article hit upon the biggest ones really well actually), and my first thought upon seeing the teasers was that it was a cheap gimmick to make a few bucks on what I always perceived to be an extremely popular alternate timeline.

The more hype I read, however, the more I got excited – finally, a chance to see Pixie as something other than the worst mutant to ever join the X-men.

And then after reading Alpha, I’m seriously hoping for something out of the first issue, because my expectations have dropped to near-zero again. What a rollercoaster this has been.

Back to the art – is this the best they can do? Why not a Rocaforte or someone similar? Somebody with a voice. Half of the shorts look like they were drawn by a staff of Korean animators for Kids WB. And the Walta artwork almost made me put the book back on the shelf. I will say the bookends and interludes looked great though. I might have to hunt down some more from Pierfederici.

A pretty big disappointment overall. Even worse to hear the next two aren’t coming for a month. But this type of work is endemic from the Marvel house these days – capitalizing on the popularity of their brand instead of sitting down and writing some decent stories.

I share a lot of the concerns (and enthusiasms!) expressed here. I thought the one shot would serve as in some of the other recent X-crossovers, as chapter one. But this is definitely prologue — X-Men around a campfire telling scary stories; really? — and it does leave me a little nervous about what is to come.

As to where to locate it, definitely got the alternate AoA vibe, but also a little House of M, maybe because of the Coipel cover artwork we’ve seen all over. Having Mags as the head cheese also feeds that. I agree, it would have been very cool to have Cable — or Scott for that matter — at the helm. Magneto feels a little throwback’ed.

I like the new origin of Scott, love the torment of it and the look. And it gave Arcade a believable, I-would-read-more-of-this role in the universe, something very hard to do in Marvel-616. (How did that character ever get legs?)

I liked the Paige story, too; that’s a character in need of a makeover, and I thought Carey made quick work of beginning one. Hope to see more of her in the series; and I absolutely love that idea that she won’t return to human form until Sam cries for his family. The sequence there was a little odd, not sure we were given a believable reason for Sam’s stoicism, but when it comes to where it landed, I’m all in.

It’s nice that they left us not knowing what’s happened to Wolverine; that will be a fun reveal. And the Magneto story — okay. I feel like I’ve read another version of this in Ultimate X-Men, and probably I actually didn’t need to see Magneto at all. He’s present enough in everyone’s comments. But okay.

I, too, wonder how I’m supposed to understand this miniseries, how it’s connected to 616. But rather than pushing me away, for now that’s a big part of the hook. If it were a stand alone I don’t think I’d be buying it.

Generally, my rule with miniseries like this is, either check it out in the store (I sort of wish I had with this issue), or buy the 1st 2-3 issues and see how it goes. One down, Marvel! We’ll see what February 23rd holds.

Yeah covers were mega misleading, it was basically just another Cyclops book.

Would of prefered if the teasered a lot characters such as Gambit etc actually did something substantial, i hope this issue wasn’t a forebearer of what’s to come character wise, or i’m out.

Also, I have to disagree with Jesse’s take on Marvel right now. It might be that some of the storytelling isn’t where I want it — I love you, BMB, but what’s going on with Avengers? — but I think when you look at what the writers are aiming for, it seems pretty clear a lot of them are swinging for the fences. Legacy’s a wait and see title for me most months, but even there, I never think Carey is sitting on his laurels.

IMHO… :)

i have to say im looking forward to reading this story. i actually looked at these initial stories as a setting and i liked that not too much was revealed; im just worried there will not be much time for a story to develop if they over stretch to introduce so many players. it is a short story after all.

and the time line that the comics are coming out is disappointing. i think it would be better released so something new came up every week or two weeks. thats one of my favorite points about brightest day right now.

i wish they talked a bit more about the wolverine story. im not sure how that ended after reading it and id like to see where wolverine is in the upcoming story. i loved the fact that he was in his secret service uniform from his weapon x days. im heavily awaiting sabretooth because of it and really really reallly hoping for omega red, who i feel is less likely to be in it but it would still be a great siting!

i agree that cyclops is a bit more raw in this presentation and that looks fun. it is nothing like this aoa counter part, in my opinion. this cyclops does not seem to be the trained scott summers of either the 616 reality (i think thats the main story line) or the aoa counterpart.

finally, is rogue’s name legacy or reaper in this timeline? im just a little confused because ive seen both in different places.

That’s some good criticism there Chad and Kelly. I’m worried a major part of this is going to be a Gambit/Rogue/Magneto love triangle. Sure, nothing of that sort happened in this issue, but Legacy has been building up to it for months. I would hate to see an interesting alt-universe idea get wasted on Rogue’s psychodrama- which isn’t even something anyone wants explored in the 616 universe.

I like the fact that a lot of information is being held back. It’s easy for something like this to be completely spoiled with previews and interviews.

I’m glad someone else has noticed the weird scheduling of this. I thought it would be released every two weeks following this oneshot until I checked Marvel’s website. Maybe Part One and Two are coming out on the same day because Legacy is delayed- but that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the crossover.

Yeah, it wasn’t so much the art of the cover I disliked (Being a Bachalo fan) as the point that it’s misleading, cluttered, and does nothing to visually stand out from any other X-cover. It doesn’t scream “EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT HERE!” so much as “THIS IS AN X-BOOK!” which, I mean…to me that’s a failure.

Apparently so for my customers too, as every one asking for it walked right past it first, actually looking on the shelves for it and not being able to pick it out. If it were a standard X-Men cover…I still think it’s a bit messy, but okay. But as the cover for this big alternate story all about how different everything is? Eh, I just think it’s a miss. Which is a shame, because I really like the idea of this.

Something that may or may not end up being an issue for me (depending on where they go with it) is that, as is often the case in alternate timeline books, the cast if very reflective of the current X-Men books. That may be intentional, but it may also just be lazy writing.

For example, in Age of Apocalypse, the alternate world is created by Legion mucking about with time travel, so the world we get is supposed to be what would happen if things went differently a while back. Logically, there should be people who died in the AoA who are alive in Earth-616 continuity, and people who lived in AoA but died in 616. Likewise, there should be some people who are alive in AoA but never became as important as they were in 616 (say, non-mutant heroes who never got their powers) and people who are important in AoA that we’ve never heard of before because they lived mundane or short lives in 616. AoA actually was pretty good about those things, but I was a little disappointed to see that the movers and shakers of the AoA were mostly characters who were prominent in 616 too. It would have been neat to see some obscure Silver Age villain elevated to major player status because the original X-Men weren’t around to shut him down before he ever got started.

On the other hand, House of M was supposed to be the Scarlet Witch slapping a “what if Magneto won?” filter over everything. It made sense that, say, Spider-Man and the Avengers still existed but Factor Three didn’t and Vulcan was nowhere to be seen because Wanda slapped a “House of M” template over existing people so it didn’t matter how things actually might have been if Magneto had won in the “real” world.

So, with Age of X, if it turns out that the world was changed wholesale by magic or someone’s powers or it’s all just a hallucination, then fair enough. But if it turns out that it’s time travel again or a parallel universe, I’m going to be bothered by the probably unintentional implication that, say, Nightcrawler was destined to die whether or not the events that lead to his death actually occured, or that Pixie is just so important that she’s going to be around even if it makes no sense that she’d come to America in the first place.

In other words, if the cast of AoX is going to be blatantly reflective of the cast of the ongoing X-Books, I really hope there’ll be a good reason that fits with the root cause of the alternate timeline, and not a combination of “Ain’t that a coinky-dink?” and “try not to think too hard about it.”

I’m definitely worried about the AoA similarities, but I’m also worried that this alternate reality isn’t different enough from the regular continuity either. Hellion’s arms are gone, Rogue and Gambit are an item, Cannonball is in a leadership role, all the mutants are living together on a fortress of last resort, Kavita Roa sides with mutants after looking for a cure. The characters’ situations and their personalities seem false given what we know so far. I liked the Basilisk story, and I’m interested in hearing about the Phoenix backstory, but without knowing what caused this universe to be different it’s hard for me to not get hung up on the AoA and 616 similarities.

Did someone say Phoenix? Hey, this will be a good opportunity to insert Jean Grey into the regular universe. You know, like AoA did with Blink. Jean has been dead long enough, don’t you think?

Where r all d ethnic men(Aboriginal, Asian, Indian, Native American, Arab, Black)?

We aint gonna get dis. No way we r gonna support such racist colonial fetishist garbage(Strictly White men and ethnic women) no matter how good it is.

Looks like the cast includes Sunspot, Thunderbird, Jubilee, and Storm. That’s four of 21 characters, SilverZeal.

That pretty much covers it. As readers of American comics know, most of the world’s people are white.

Yes by all means, let’s make Phoenix even more convoluted.

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