x35's X-Termination #2 - X-Termination, Conclusion: Final Reckoning review

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I think, therefore I have a chance

AF Reviews: X-Men
AF Reviews: X-Men

David Lapham, Marjorie Liu and Greg Pak bring us the final chapter of X-Termination and the final chapter of the Age of Apocalypse and X-Treme X-Men books. Art chores are handled by Matteo Lolli, David Lopez, Guillermo Mogorron and Raul Valdes. Again very obviously the case of far too many people working on a book.

If you've been following this story like I, then you no doubt will have put up with one of the most unimpressive and go-nowhere stories with nothing but inconsistent art. I wasn't expecting a miracle from the final part of the story but I came out surprised at just how goddamn piss weak and insulting this comic was. I don't know where to begin with this junk.

Okay, Age of Apocalypse. Age of Apocalypse was a big hit in the 90s and one of Marvel's most successful crossovers to date. It had a big fanbase and several characters from the reality became fan favorites. Despite that, Marvel couldn't quite bring back the Age of Apocalypse and make it work. Nearly 20 years after the original storyline, and a few revisits of the reality, along came a talentless hack of a writer named Rick Remender. He'd already screwed up everything Grant Morrison did with Fantomex, and next set his sights on Age of Apocalypse. Not only did he absolutely destroy the entire character of Apocalypse by introducing the Death Seed as the entire origin of the villain, he also decided to kill of EVERY single character in the Age of Apocalypse save for Jean Grey, Sabretooth and Wolverine. He decided for Wolverine to become the new Apocalypse using his Death Seed (because that made so much sense) and because he's so smart he decided it'd be a great idea to have Age of Apocalypse Scarlet Witch proclaim "no more mutants" and depower Jean Grey and Sabretooth too. Rick Remender as much as demolished the Age of Apocalypse in one foul swoop and it was an enormous surprise to see a subsequent Age of Apocalypse ongoing announced (written by David Lapham, the author of the terrible Deadpool MAX series) when the universe had been so profoundly broken by a piece of piss who can't write. Age of Apocalypse wasn't a great book but it did a few things admirable. It's stars were 5 characters who were as much as new - Deadeye, Fiend, Goodnight, Horror Show and Prophet - and they each became interesting and cool characters in their own right. But the book simply couldn't last. Rick Remender had literally took the Apocalypse out of Age of Apocalypse and the book was cancelled after a year and it was decided to "wrap up" the series in the X-Termination crossover.

Except the X-Termination crossover was nothing but an insult to anyone who had read Age of Apocalypse. As the story unfolded, the characters of Age of Apocalypse all began to drop dead, most of them off panel without any resolution whatsoever. Then the shit-flavored sucker-punch came when the finale to the piece had the entire Age of Apocalypse universe as much as erased from existence. Again off-panel. There is just absolutely no respect to fans of Age of Apocalypse at all here. Specific characters like Fiend appeared in one page and died off-panel, Goodnight didn't appear at all in the story but supposedly died off-panel, Deadeye had a few lines and nonsensically died off-panel despite her being transported to the mainstream reality and the Jean Grey becoming Apocalypse angle (which adorns the cover to this issue) was virtually completely irrelevant and ignored in the story. Nothing was done with Jean becoming Apocalypse, it was a massive red herring to draw away from the fact that there just isn't much of a story even going on here, it's just a clear-out of two books Marvel couldn't sell.

Then we have the art of this issue. The art for the crossover has been incredibly uneven and more oft than not outright terrible. David Lopez' art is great and I'll admit I thought it looked great back in the first part of X-Termination when it was just him. Here it's basically buried underneath constant art changes and none of the artists besides Lopez here are very good. The other artists are just really poor. It's not just that the styles are completely jarring (which is a running trend with X-Termination), it's that they're just not very good at drawing. Valdez (who has contributed to 3 issues of X-Termination) is just a really weak artist who seems to only have strength in drawing grotesque close-up caricatures and Mogorron is definitely the worst new artist I've discovered this year. His style is basically 80s John Romita Jr. except forgetting to draw any details on the faces. I can't notice Matteo Lolli's work, so it actually must flow pretty well against one of the other artists, but considering the majority of art is terrible, it's not a credit to the man.

This is such a bad story and an awful issue. Just flat out unsatisfying, unfulfilling and ungratifying. And all those words mean basically the same thing. The X-Termination couldn't be bothered to even run with it's own narratives and by the end just wanted to quickly warp it up without any resolution or explanation. Plus they killed off several characters and then an entire universe all off-panel. This was nothing but a poorly drawn and pathetically written mandate to eliminate two books and their fanbases with no tact at all.

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