Thursday, October 22, 2015

Age of Apocalypse #4 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

I haven't been the biggest fan of this series, but Nicieza finally finds the emotional core that it's been lacking.

My main problem has been that Nicieza never really made clear why a certain character was on a particular side.  Why did Cannonball chose Apocalypse?  Why did Emma chose Magneto?  But, those divisions fade in this issue as all the mutants team together to try to stop the Legacy Virus.  As such, my main problem with this series is essentially overcome by events.  Scott leads Burner and Wolverine into McCoy's lab and even Havok is forced to join them when Scott shows him live feeds of the chaos in the Human Ghetto.  They discover what I expected:  Dr. Nemesis did, in fact, create the Virus, though it's not clear yet why he did so.  Meanwhile, Apocalypse becomes one of the first to succumb to the Virus, dissolving into nothingness as it used his mutant power -- control over his cellular composition -- as fuel to consume him.  Magneto is also a victim, and Emma is forced to euthanize him lest his powers go so haywire before the Virus consumes him that he inadvertently destroys the Earth's electromagnetic field.  Emma's grief is one of the rare moments of identifiable emotion in this series, and it lifts the entire issue.

Nicieza sets up the battle royale with Dr. Nemesis in the next issue, particularly because it appears that he may be using the virus to steal the powers of people that it infects.  At the very least, everyone will be have the same enemy, so I won't find myself wanting everyone to wear jerseys to define their team, as I have most of this series.

*** (three of five stars)

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