Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Age of Apocalypse: The Chosen – April 1995


Credits: Ian Churchill, Salvador Larroca, Steve Skroce, Val Semeiks, Tom Lyle, Tim Sale (pencilers), Scott Hanna, Sergio Melia, Bob Wiacek, Karl Kessel, Terry Austin, James Pascoe, Dan Panosian, Tim Sale (inkers), Ashley Underwood (colorist). NOTE: No writer or letterer is credited.


A Madri priest sneaks into Apocalypse’s private chambers and reviews his files in order to learn if the Madri are labeled “Chosen” or “Forgotten”. After reviewing several of Apocalypse’s files, he’s relieved to see the Madri listed as “Chosen”. Their designation suddenly changes to “Forgotten”, as Apocalypse enters. He kills the Madri priest for displeasing him.

Production Notes

According to the “X-Facts” hype page that later ran in the June issues, Howard Mackie is credited as the writer (which makes sense, as he’s the only writer to spell “Weapon X” with a hyphen, and that’s the way it’s spelled here). Why exactly the June hype page is promoting a book that was two months old is beyond me, though. The lettering on the framing sequence isn’t credited either, but it looks like Comicraft’s computer fonts.

Continuity Notes

According to Apocalypse’s files, Jean Grey was abandoned by the X-Men during a mission and taken into his custody. He claims that she was “well on the way to becoming one of the mutant ruling class” when Weapon X went against Magneto’s orders and rescued her. He speculates that she didn’t want to be saved, a thought that Weapon X also considers briefly in Weapon X #2.

Apocalypse claims that Sabretooth once served him, until he showed compassion for humans. “Bloody and broken”, he later asked Apocalypse for forgiveness (I assume these are references to X-Men Chronicles #1, although we didn’t see what happened to Sabretooth after Wolverine severed his spine in that issue). Apocalypse hypothesizes that his symbiotic connection to Wild Child dulls his bloodlust.


This is a rather flagrant cashgrab, similar to the Stryfe one-shot that came out at the end of the “X-Cutioner’s Song” crossover. The cover price is bumped up over fifty cents, with no justification outside of a wraparound cover. That only eliminates the back cover ad, while the interiors have the same number of ads as any other monthly comic. I think Marvel began automatically charging higher prices for one-shots and miniseries regardless of content during this time, which always struck me as a brazen rip-off. The ‘90s sales boom had already peaked at this point, but I guess some people at Marvel still thought they could get away with this stuff. If this were an Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe style book with comprehensive profiles on a large selection of characters, I wouldn’t mind it at all. It’s obvious that the creators went through a lot of effort to create new backstories for dozens of characters, so I could understand publishing a comprehensive manual that details all of the changes. Instead, we get a pin-up book that just has a few lines of copy on the bottom of each page. With the exception of the two entries listed above, no new information is revealed, and the amount of story included is unquestionably nominal. I could charitably view this as an attempt to establish the new continuity in one place for readers who didn’t follow the entire X-line, but it doesn’t present enough material to do that well, either.

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