In a new series launched by Marvel last month, the Age of Apocalypse picks up minus the acclaimed villain of the end of the world, as seen in previous versions of the Age of Apocalypse. This latest version of the story picks up with Wolverine, AKA Weapon Omega, more or less leading the world. With a single clawed fist. He’s the new mutant enslaver, bent on destroying humanity, and he’s infected with “Apocalypse seed”.

His wife, Jean Grey, has lost her abilities, as well as those of Sabretooth. This recurring theme of de-powering mutants has become tired in Marvel, though it allows for Grey and Creed to prove themselves beyond their mutant powers. In hoping to save the humans that remain, they join up with a team called the X-Terminated. With a journalist from a parallel universe among them, narrating the story, we’re led into the new Age of Apocalypse, with the once-dead Scott Summers, Prelate to Apocalypse, back to fight for Weapon Omega.

I was more excited about this series than it deserves. While the AvX comics are going somewhere with the main plot of Marvel, the new AoA is offering us a side story that I hadn’t seen coming. While it’s fun to read, it seems to be lacking in meaning. All the same, it presents us with some interesting dynamics. Just as in the original AoA comics, Cyclops is one of the villains. Contrary to the originals, he doesn’t seem to have any morals to hinder his work.

In much the same way, Sabretooth is against the Big Bad that overshadows the world, and humans are the victims of their self-appointed dictator. Add to that the Sentinels and things have gotten messier: they fight to kill humans.

So, it’s still a different story. Indeed, without Apocalypse on the battlefield, things seem a little less daunting. In saying that, it’s humans against mutants, with the Shadow King and the immortal Weapon Omega fighting on the same side. Things really couldn’t get worse for humanity, so it seems this series will present a bit of a struggle in terms of plot. I can’t see how Marvel can make it work if they can’t offer the possibility of victory to the protagonists.

Issues #1 and #2 serve as a good introduction, however, and it’s creating an interesting story so far. I await the third issue to reconcile some of the bigger issues at hand, such as the existence of the X-Men, or a similar force, to fight for the humans. In previous renditions of AoA, there has always stood a force of good to fight off the evil. Now, it seems, the two greatest forces for good are either evil (Wolverine) or powerless (Jean Grey). It will be interesting to see how the world copes without its saviours.

Rating: ★★★½☆

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