Review: Age of X Universe #1

Published on April 4th, 2011

In the late 90’s, I remember being fed up with all the small little events and crossovers, most of which came out of  the X-Men books. I am not one to jump onto “Special Event” series , especially not one that doesn’t seem to effect the main Marvel Universe, but after following Second Coming and now Age of X,  I can tell you that they are starting to wash away my doubt. How, you might ask, did I feel about Age of X Universe #1 written by Simon Spurrier and Jim Mccann and drawn by Khoi Pham and Paul Davidson? Read on to find out.

ageofxuniverse1Age of X is an interesting idea. It takes a point in the X-Men’s history and turns it on its head. It zigs when the rest of the Marvel Universe zags. This new Universe presupposes that the X-Men never formed and thus, there was nothing holding back the wave of anti-mutant contemn that swept the world. In this books case it tells us the story of  both the Avengers and Spider-Man, broken into two separate stories.

The first of the Age of X :Universe stories, and in my opinion the better of the two, is about the Avengers. It this Universe, the team consists of  Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Woman, Sue Storm, and Ghost Rider. It doesn’t really straight out give us the changes in these heroes, however, some are noticeable and all of the ideas are sound and logical. The Avengers of this world seem to be controlled by the government and are made to fight for human kind against any and all types of mutants. These Avengers are a much different breed. You can really tell Captain America struggles with his choices and Tony (Iron Man) is literally more machine than man and there are some disturbing changes to the team that remind me of the excellent mini-series House of M. Because this is a two part story,  it ends with them finding Fortress X with a jawless Sabertooth as their guide and receiving instructions to exterminate all mutants with extreme prejudice.

The second story feels more like a short and deals with Age of X Spider-Man. While this story was not nearly as engrossing as the Avengers story, it did have a lot of interesting qualities. The biggest of these being that not only are Peter and M.J. married, but M.J. is also pregnant. Peter is still Spider-Man in this timeline and is being hunted by the government because he has a gene that is different and therefore thought as in the same category as mutants. The basic point to this short seemed to be telling the story of M.J. trying to escape with Peter and the unborn child undetected by the governments genetic scanners. All in all, this was an “ok” little short, but it did not pull me in as much as the Avengers storyline did.

The writing on both of these pieces are good to excellent with Spurrier’s Avengers work being the better of the two. The art work on the Avengers piece also stands out with Pham’s work looking a lot like Clay Mann’s. You can tell that Age of X has had a lot of thought behind it and this book is no different. If Marvel continues to put this kind of work in all their mini-series and event books, then I will be a little more broke but a lot more happy about the money I am spending.

Final Verdict: Age of X marks the spot for a great Marvel elseworld story! The Avengers story by Spurrier and art by Pham leaves you wanting more!

Sheldon Lee