Day of Judgement
Credits: Joe Pruett (writer), Brett Booth (penciler), Sal Regla/Rick Ketchum/Scott Koblish (inkers), Matt Hicks & Jessica Ruffner (colors), Sharpefont (letters)
Summary: On the Moon, the X-Men and Excalibur unite to stop the invading Shi’ar, led by the Four Horsemen. After Mastermind uses her illusion powers to simulate the return of Dark Phoenix, the Shi’ar retreat. Xavier swears that the Shi’ar’s ruler, Apocalypse, will not succeed.
The story is set in the future, not as far into the future as Wolverine #148, but years after Cyclops’ death. A new member, Siphon, now has Cyclops’ powers.
The Four Horsemen consist of Deathbird, Caliban, Ahab, and Eric the Red. The identity of Eric the Red is unrevealed, but he’s a far more monstrous version of the character than we’ve seen before.
Lilandra has been killed by Deathbird in this reality.
Professor Xavier is returning from space with his army of Skrull students. (Remember them?) He attempts to mindwipe Deathbird in battle, something he swore never to do again following X-Men #25.
The Excalibur of this reality consists of Nightcrawler, Banshee, Colossus, Shadowcat, X-Man, Captain Britain, and Mastermind’s daughter.
Miscellaneous Note: The title misspells the American spelling of “judgment.”
Review: So, are all of the “Ages of Apocalypse” chapters supposed to be a part of the same reality, or is each one its own world? It’s slightly ridiculous that Marvel was so unclear on this point. Even when the same writer handles two separate issues, the continuity is muddy. Joe Pruett’s story in Cable #77 establishes that Apocalypse merged with X-Man and became a new, deadly High Lord. In Pruett's next story, X-Man is a member of Excalibur and remains a background figure during the big fight. And like the Wolverine chapter, this issue features numerous characters in main roles that weren’t actually in Apocalypse’s chambers when reality warped. It’s just a Generic Shocking Future that takes elements from current storylines and extrapolates on how important they’ll be later. In that regard, some of this actually isn’t so bad. Taking Deathbird’s role in the “Twelve” storyline and inferring that the Shi’ar will one day serve Apocalypse makes sense, and giving the members of Excalibur a chance to react to Ahab (who’s supposed to be their friend Rory Campbell) is a nice use of existing continuity. Most of the changes feel arbitrary, though, and the tepid script isn’t enough to draw you into the story. This just reads as crossover filler, which is exactly what Unlimited wasn’t supposed to be at this point.
Credits: Matt Nixon (writer), Toby Cypress (artist), Joe Rosas (colors), Sharpefont (letters)
Summary: While delivering food to the homeless, Wolverine encounters a woman searching for her son. He follows Chuck’s scent and discovers he’s been abducted by an internet friend, Professor Gibbon. Wolverine severely wounds Gibbon and sends Chuck back home to his mother.
Review: There isn’t much to the plot; in fact, it reads as if Nixon just runs out of pages at the end, but this is a fairly decent back-up story. The story’s helped a lot by the first-person narration, which is quintessential Wolverine without relying on too many of the clichés. Too many writers fail to realize that Wolverine solo stories are tolerable when the guy actually has personality, and isn’t just spewing catchphrases and cutting people open. The art should go down in the Off-Model Wolverine Hall of Fame. Toby Cypress’ work looks like a weird combination of Rob Guillory and Kevin Nowlan, and while I don’t care for his Wolverine specifically, I think the overall look is interesting.