New details about the X-Men’s past, and: what happens when both Horsemen and X-Men find the virus that could wipe out mutantkind once and for all…?

AGE OF APOCALYPSE (2015) #3 by Fabian Nicieza and Gerardo Sandoval!

In the third issue of AGE OF APOCALYPSE, Cypher finds out more about the X-Mens past in a conversation with Magneto. As Dr. Nemesis proceeds with the plans he has for Jean Grey, Emma accidentally gets physically connected with her and the X-Men find out about the Legacy Virus. And, since the Horsemen are able to locate it, it all leads to a big confrontation between our heroes and… En Sabah Nur himself?

Age of Apocalypse eight years ago

Readers were extremely confused to see Emma Frost on the team of X-Men during the first few issues. Though this derivation from the original AoA timeline didn’t really bother me, I didn’t really understand why the creators would decide to change this to begin with. Until reading this issue. (Spoiler!) Apparently, as we find out during a flashback sequence, Emma was part of an early team of X-Men that fought the Horsemen for the very first time – going by the code name of Marvel Girl! But that’s not all! Not only is Magneto seemingly not in any romantic relationship whatsoever with Rogue (who seems to desire a 616-esque version of Gambit as we found out in #2) – he’s also married to Emma! A nice twist that really surprised me, and I really want to see where this is going!


Though, overall, I still really enjoyed the art in this issue – Sandoval’s very dynamic, very 90’s-esque style is just extremely appropriate for a book like this – in this issue, there occasionally were some really bad panels. Which probably has something to do with the way the artist translates body proportions. They’re supposed to look exaggerated and dynamic, but, in many cases, end up just looking kind of silly and straight up ugly, as in the case of Emma and Rogue in these panels!

Age of Apocalypse Magneto's wife

I was pleased to find a fair amount of setup in this issue. This is not an over the top book with more and more fights every issue that just end up making the book kind of anticlimactic (as in the case of OLD MAN LOGAN or E IS FOR EXTINCTION). This book gives the characters time to breathe, time to explain their motivations and time for the reader to learn about them. Which works especially well with Magneto in this issue. We learn a lot about his past and the way Xavier’s death influenced him. The reader himself identifies with the character of Douglas and discovers the world of the X-Men through his point of view. And, in the end of the issue, we can definitely see the plot sliding toward its climax. There’s an extremely surprising and thrilling plot twist/ cliffhanger that makes me want to read the next issue really bad!

My one concern is that “Secret Wars” doesn’t seem to be particularly consistent.  The history given in this issue conflicts slightly with that of SECRET WARS #2, where Jonathan Hickman gave a slightly different backstory to the history of AoA in Battleworld.  Meanwhile, I’m still not sure how OLD MAN LOGAN’s brief time in the AoA realm works with this book continuity-wise.


The bottom line: AGE OF APOCALYPSE #3 finally gives us an idea of what the creators planned for Emma, prepares the book’s finale in a very climatic way by not giving the characters some time to breathe and characterizes Magneto really convincingly. All that with still fairly good and fitting art – that does have some flaws from time to time, though.



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