After finishing up New Mutants #2, my mind began to drift back to the fabulous Age of Apocalypse storyline. I stopped collecting comic books right before the AOA storyline got underway back in the mid 90's and when I decided to start collecting again 6 years ago I began to collect the back issues of the titles I used to collect as a kid. As a HUGE X-fan, some of the first back issues I brought as I re-started my comic collection were a part of the AOA story. Since I'm a big fan of alternate dimension stories I was immediately drawn to the AOA.
What exactly was the Age of Apocalypse? The AOA story detailed Prof. X's crazy son, Legion, travelling back in time to kill Magneto in an attempt to make his father's life easier. The X-Men got wind of Legion's plan and followed him into the past in order to stop him from altering things. Well, the X-Men screw up, Legion accidentally kills Prof. X(WHOOPS!!!)and Apocalypse decides to attack humanity several years earlier than he originally did. With no Prof. X around, there were no X-Men/X-Factor, so Apocalypse was able to easily conquer most of the world. The AOA storyline then focused on familiar faces in VERY unfamiliar places. Magneto was the leader of the rebel X-Men, Rogue was his wife(and the two had a child named Charles), Cyclops was a member of Apocalypse's forces and only had one eye due to a fight with Wolverine, Wolverine only had one hand due to that same battle, as well as several other very cool tweaks to X-history. In the end, Bishop, who was the only person to remember the "correct" way things were supposed to be, was able to travel back to the moment where Legion kills Prof. X and stops him, setting things right and preventing the AOA from ever occurring... Well, sort of. For the 10 year anniversary of the AOA Marvel put out a terrible mini-series that was supposed to celebrate that wonderful storyline. The AOA mini was truly one of the worst things I had ever read, and I refuse to comment on it, even to this day.
The AOA was a groundbreaking comic book crossover for several reasons, such as the way all of the X-characters were changed, the cohesiveness of the overall story(something you rarely see in a x-over of that magnitude), as well as the appearance of several new characters, such as Blink and my all-time favorite character, Nate Grey. The AOA was also different in that for the 4 months it ran, all of the X-titles were re-started with a different cast of characters and brand new titles. Uncanny X-Men became Astonishing X-Men, Wolverine became Weapon X, Cable became X-Man, X-Factor became Factor X and so on and so forth. Marvel tried to repeat the AOA storyline with the House of M x-over, which was pretty much a direct rip-off of the AOA, but for me nothing has ever come close to matching the sheer ambitiousness of the AOA story. The AOA storyline also spawned the great X-Men Legends 2 video game(the only video game where you can play as both Nate Grey AND Cable!).
After typing up this post, I'm really close to pulling out the entire AOA story and giving it another read... Well, I guess I'll end this post by saying if anybody has any thoughts or comments on the Age of Apocalypse I'd be very happy to read them. With the AOA being my favorite comic book story, I'd be overjoyed to spend some more time talking about it.