Marvel Comics 2015
Written by Dennis Hopeless
Penciled by Mark Bagley
Inked by Andrew Hennessy
Coloured by Nolan Woodard
Lettered by VC’s Cory Petit
After Cyclops nearly lost his life in a run-in with longtime X-Men foe Toad, Beast became convinced that the original X-Men needed to return to their proper time. Turning to Doctor Strange for help, Beast learned that there were no magical means to achieve his goal...but didn’t leave empty handed: Doctor Strange gifted him an ancient Egyptian mask that allows its bearer to see into the beyond…
I have to say that these issues have been exceeding my expectations in ways I never dreamed possible. While we open with a Birthday party for Evan, Kid Apocalypse, it quickly turns into another story revolving around Beast and time-travel. This time around he’s traveling with Evan to a most unexpected place. Before that can happen however Evan has to deal with the fact that his life has been a lie and the smiling kid they’ve all come to know is as happy as the face he fronts.
Dennis is giving us some top notch characterization in this series. Granted the younger original X-Men isn’t hard to do considering they’re run back in the day was stiffer than week old bread. Still that we’re getting a chance to finally see them as some have envisioned and others feared they’d be this is some of the most compelling stuff in the X universe.
While Evan is trying to come to grips with being a clone of Apocalypse and all that entails, legacies aren’t easy to deal with under the best of circumstances but definitely harder when the one you are cloned from has such a rich, nasty and violent history. Still it means with what the original X-Men are going through they should be able to relate to one another even more than they currently do. Perhaps this story arc will change all that, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Doctor Strange’s gifted mask is the catalyst and I have to say did the good Doctor know what he was doing or is this just one of those odd circumstances where fate has decided to step in? Evan wants to know more about who he is, where he came from and his own possible future and Beast well he’s along for the ride proving once again that while Time Travel eludes him he keeps falling prey to its whims. Is this the beginning of the Apocalypse Wars could be and join the fun as we see the old adage, “be careful what you wish for, cause you just might get it” is never more accurate.
Mark’s one of the hardest working men in comics and he’s such a talented guy. I love seeing his work here and how brings both the optimism and horror’s of the life these characters lead to the page. He’s also got such a seasoned eye when it comes to storytelling and how the pages and panels need to be used for the flow of the story. Right use of backgrounds to highlight what’s happening or very little to focus on what needs seeing either way he’s a very gifted man. Plus he’s got great talent behind him finishing it all up.
While i’ve been enjoying their return to the mainstream more than I thought I would this series has given me hope for the X-Men again and these kids are the only ones i’m reading about. It’s too good to miss!