[One Man’s Worth] Astonishing X-men # 3 & 4

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Wild Child is being chased by Infinites, but the X-men intercept them and take them down.  Unable to communicate with them to let them know what happened to Sabretooth, Wild Child actually licks Rogue on the face so she can absorb some of his memories.  Gross. They head toward the plant in an effort to destroy it and possibly also save Sabretooth.
However it doesn’t look like they’ll be too successful when Holocaust seemingly beats him to death.

As they sneak into the plant, we get to see just how advanced Morph’s powers are.  He turns himself in a great white whale, a giant octopus, and a brick wall among other things.  He also makes jokes the entire time, usually to the chagrin of his teammates.  Sunfire burns things a lot and talks about getting revenge for the people slaughtered in Japan.  Rogue makes a good leader for the team, even if she can’t stop Blink from teleporting off ahead once she sees the state that Sabretooth is in.

Back in Westchester, Magneto and Bishop are talking when Nanny suddenly turns into a giant metal egg, enclosing baby Charles inside it.  It means that Apocalypse has arrived.

Blink squares off against Holocaust, and while he doesn’t take her seriously at all, she actually holds her own quite well against him.  He’s near impossible to kill, but she makes a valiant attempt.  Morph shows up to aid her, but surprise, it’s actually Rogue having absorbed Morph’s powers in order to get close to Holocaust and do him some damage.  It’s through this that we find that Rogue is just as capable of making bad jokes as he is.  Holocaust still knocks her cold though and only Morph changing into young Charles is enough to awake her and make her get back up.

In New York, Apocalypse shows a captured Magneto this footage of Rogue to aid in his torture of him.  Magneto tells him that he and his X-men will never give up as long as they are alive.

Apparently Apocalypse’s followers aren’t so brave, as Holocaust prepares to teleport away when Rogue gets the upper hand against him in the fight.  He tries to take her with him but she is pulled back at the last minute, to find both an alive Sabretooth and Iceman standing there.  An angry Rogue declares that the age of Apocalypse is over.

Obviously, my choice to speed things up by finishing out these series a little faster means we’re missing some details.  I’m pretty sure we’ll see Magneto get captured in another issue.  But I don’t know that it really matters, as we all know pretty much where this is headed at this point.

Morph seems to be Lobdell’s only chance at releasing some humor in these otherwise very dark comics.  I don’t know what he’d do if he didn’t have a silly character to let that out on.  Besides that it’s really great to see Rogue in this strong leadership role.  I know she’s since led a few teams for the X-men and it’s a role she definitely deserves.  For two issues that are basically two halves of one fight, this is a pretty strong story, and a great lead in to X-men Omega, though it’s going to take us a while until we get there.

 

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