We start off following a woman who calls herself Switchback as she’s making her way to a fabled location known as Avalon. She has left her home of Chicago because it’s no longer safe there, and all her companions died on the journey here.
A monk named Cain (who with his massive bulk is obviously Juggernaut) leads her to the place. He does not seem to be the hothead we know him to be, though he obviously got a hold of the gem of cyttorak at some point. Switchback, meanwhile, seems to be an original character created just for the Age of Apocalypse. Her powers allow her to manipulate time, which you can probably imagine could be important in an altered timeline such as this.
We cut to New York where we get a taste for why Switchback left America – giant sentinels roam the streets. For now though, Nightcrawler is inside Heaven, which you may remember is Angel’s club. The discussion between the two of them is tense, but Nightcrawler finally forces the information he needs out of Angel – he’s trying to get passage out of America to find a mutant named Destiny.
Meanwhile Magneto contacts Mystique, who he apparently has multiple cameras aimed at so he can view her from all angles. She is extremely reluctant to help him, but Magneto threatens that she must comply. Apparently there is some bad blood between Mystique and Destiny that makes Mystique not want to see the woman. However, she says she will be glad to see her son again.
Since he calls himself Kurt Darkholme, it’s fairly safe to say this version of Kurt was raised by his mother rather than being abandoned as a baby. That leads to him being far more ruthless than the normal happy go lucky elf we know. And while our version eventually becomes a priest, this Nightcrawler hates churches and religion of any kind. He also somehow manages to break off John Proudstar’s finger by teleporting it away but not taking the rest of him.
Their fight is primarily over the fact that Mystique is known to rob blind the humans and mutants who travel to Avalon.
Dani Moonstar was there amongst the other Native Americans as a spy for Apocalypse. She informs him of Nightcrawler’s plans and we get a fun Deadpool cameo for the trouble.
Back in Avalon, Cain brings Switchback to Destiny. Destiny extends her hand and when the two touch, a strange energy feedback occurs and Destiny cries out in pain. She announces dramatically that she can see “the apocalypse,” and I think it’s fair to say she doesn’t mean the current leader of the not so free world.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this one because it’s a bit different than the heavy amount of exposition we’ve been getting. The focus on Nightcrawler allows us to get to know him better and we learn how he’s struggling with his current values as an X-man and his mother’s more morally grey ways. I also think the inclusion of the Ghost Dance Organization is a nice touch, blending actual American history with this dystopian future.
Next issue up is Gambit and the X-ternals #1.