Issue(s): X-Men Prime
It's confirmed right away that the X-Men are not aware that AoA occurred: Jean Grey remembers reality briefly blinking out of existence at the end of Legion Quest, and even Bishop only remembers it as a vague nightmare.
But the memories somethings override his present-day reality.
Meanwhile, X-Factor are tracking Mystique, who has planted a bomb at a Sentinel factory in Wyoming. Mystique is attacked by a mystery character.
Later, Havok's powers trigger uncontrollably, causing the dam Mystique was attempting to bomb to blow up.
This issue also introduces Marrow.
She is looking for the originator of the Morlocks ("the first among us"). She finds Dark Beast.
Also, Trish Tilby breaks the news to the public about the Legacy Virus.
A mutant, Dennis Hogan, who was on his way to get help from the X-Men regarding the virus is in a diner and gets to hear all the anti-mutant bigotry that comes out after Tilby's broadcast.
He's later beaten to death by a mob (the X-Men arrive too late to save him). We can see how the Legacy Virus is being used to refocus the anti-discrimination theme that was core subtext in the mutant titles, and it's done pretty well.
Also in this issue, all of the telepathic mutants experience a sudden burst of psi-energy. It's X-Man, arriving on Earth.
We also see Empath having a confrontation with Lady Gayle Edgerton regarding Chamber. And we see Sunfire returning to X-Force. X-Force had been using one of Arcade's former locations as their base, but Arcade blows it up in this issue.
In Genosha, Excalibur are investigating the origins of the Genegineer's experiments with mutates when the mutate helping them is suddenly disintegrated. It's done by Sugar Man, who reveals that he's been operating behind the scenes for (like the Dark Beast) "twenty years".
In space, the Acolytes discover a lifeform (it's Holocaust).
It's a disjointed issue since it's setting up so many unrelated plots for so many different characters/teams/books. Artwise this book has multiple teams, many of which are good, so that's a plus, and it is interesting to see the fallout from AoA. But overall it's kind of a mishmosh.
The retcons - Dark Beast having been behind the "creation" of the Morlocks (who were originally just a loose collection of mutants that were rejected by society; a good metaphor/cautionary tale for the core anti-discrimination theme of the book) and Sugar Man behind the creation of the mutates (who already had a perfectly fine explanation in the form of the Genegineer) - are annoying but i guess designed to give greater importance to the AoA characters. In addition to just disliking the retcons, i have like a weird temporal complaints - like, technically, these guys didn't "exist" until AoA "happened" and then these characters got written into the "new" version of the "original" timeline, which means that prior to AoA the Morlocks and Mutates didn't have their origins in these "behind-the-scenes for twenty years" characters. But then maybe the the Morlocks and Mutates shouldn't have existed at all? It makes my head hurt, but i'm choosing to believe that the groups simply had the original (correct) origins prior to AoA and these new origins are simply reflective of the fact that what we're looking at post-AoA is a whole new timeline. (Actually, maybe that means i can stop working on my project altogether, since this shows that we're no longer in the original Marvel universe...)
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Age of Apocalypse happened "two weeks ago". This takes place between Excalibur #86-87; issue #86 ended on a cliffhanger prior to AoA but issue #87 takes place the same "two weeks" later, with the resolution of the cliffhanger getting filled in via flashback. X-Man #5 takes place after this.
Possibly BTS: Banshee, Captain Britain, Emma Frost, Nightcrawler
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showAmelia Voght, Angel, Arcade, Beast, Bishop, Blaquesmith, Boom Boom, Cable (Adult), Cannonball, Colossus, Cyclops, Dark Beast, Domino, Emplate, Exodus, Forge, Francisco Milan, Frenzy, Gambit, Gayle Edgerton, Havok, Holocaust, Hound II, Husk, Iceman, Jean Grey, Jubilee, Marrow, Moira MacTaggert, Mystique, Pete Wisdom, Polaris, Psylocke, Rictor, Rogue, Rory Campbell, Rusty Collins, Senator Kelly, Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde), Shatterstar, Siryn, Storm, Sugar Man, Sunspot, Synch, Trish Tilby, Valerie Cooper, Warlock, Warpath, Wolverine, X-Man
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