Marvel’s Next Big Thing: AGE OF APOCALYPSE #1 by David Lapham & Roberto De La Torre

Age of Apocalypse #1 cover by Humberto Ramos

Coming your way in March 2012–and spinning out recent events in Uncanny X-Force–it’s Age of Apocalypse #1 by writer David Lapham and artist Robeto De La Torre, the latest entry in the X-Men corner of the Marvel Age of Apocalypse Universe.

Today, Marvel Comics held a press call with Age of Apocalypse writer David Lapham and assistant editor Sebastian Girner to give us, and by extension, you, the scoop on the new series.

Next week will see the release of Uncanny X-Force #19.1 which, presumably, closes out the epic story that Rick Remender has been telling for most of this year called “The Dark Angel Saga.” Age of Apocalypse #1 will pick up right from where Uncanny X-Force #19.1 leaves off, almost literally, with page one of the former taking place a mere five minutes after the final page of the latter.

Age of Apocalypse #1 opens with the series’ big villain: Weapon Omega (you might know him as Logan or Patch or Wolverine in the regular Marvel Universe) gaining some semblance of victory over his enemies. He has wiped out the last major human city, killed most of the world’s human population, as well as most of his mutant enemies. It looks like there is no one left to oppose him… no one, that is, except our plucky band of heroes.

Led by Prophet (William Stryker), the heroes of Age of Apocalypse are The Fiend (Francesca Trask), Deadeye (Zora Risman), Goodnight (Donald Pierce), and Horror Show (Graydon Creed). That’s right–not only are the bad guys of the Marvel Universe the heroes of the Age of Apocalypse Universe, but just about the only people left to oppose Weapon Omega are a band of human beings who, according to David Lapham, “have no powers, per se, but they are the best of the best.” And the best of the best of the best? That’s Prophet, “a one man CIA,” Lapham says, who has tons of sources on the ground and is always one, two, three, four, five steps ahead of the opposition. Think of him as a “confident, Clint Eastwood type of tough guy character.” In the Age of Apocalypse Universe the bad guys aren’t heroes because they’re the underdogs, they’re heroes because they grew up in a different universe under different conditions. Here, William Stryker is truly a good person.

But what of the Amazing X-Men? Marvel and Lapham are being tight lipped about those mutants that opposed Weapon Omega in Remender’s Uncanny X-Force story, but Lapham did say that the surviving members of the team would be revealed, and perhaps tipping his hand a bit, Lapham revealed that though the story is focusing on the human heroes, Sabertooth, Dark Beat, and Jean Grey would be involved. Though the story follows and evolves from the original Age of Apocalypse continuity, and the stories from Uncanny X-Force, Age of Apocalypse is going to be its own thing. “I really want to create a very credible world,” Lapham said. “Instead of good mutants vs. bad mutants, it’s the humans vs. the mutants.” The intent is to have nods for the die hard X-Fans who have read all the past stories but to create something new and accessible for everyone.

To that end, David Lapham worked very closely with Uncanny X-Force writer Rick Remender who not only helped to tee up the first issue of Age of Apocalypse through events in his own book, but contributed ideas as well. The first year of Age of Apocalypse stories are plotted out and Lapham says that he is “constantly coming up with ideas for beyond that.” When asked how the Celestials –so important to the goings on in the Age of Apocalypse Universe–would play a part in the story, Lapham said they would be present in the book, and always in the background, but not the focus. The main thrust of the book is the human resistance being outnumbered 100,000 to 1 by their enemies. Age of Apocalypse is going to have a very street level focus, Lapham said.

Some might think that indie-minded David Lapham would be a strange choice to head up a book in a corner of the Marvel Universe that is most steeped in continuity. But writing an X-Book that takes place outside of the Marvel Universe means “you can play with the toys without [constantly] checking the continuity.” Like his current gig writing Deadpool MAX, “you don’t have to return to the current status quo at the end,” Lapham said. “It’s very freeing.”

And the art? “When you’re writing you hope to get a guy like [Roberto De La Torre],” Lapham said. “It’s epic what he brings [to the book].” See for yourself in the uncolored and unlettered preview pages below.


  1. i always loved the Age of Apocalypse event in theory, I never actually read it, is it good or is it kinda dated now?

    also, i am so excited about this!

    • It’s good but it’s such a huge read

    • Parts are really good while others are extremely dated. If you’re wanting to check out the good stuff, I whole-heartedly endorse both Generation Next and Astonishing X-Men as good entry points. If you dig those, you might be more likely to tolerate some of the more overt-90’s miniseries (I love Amazing X-Men, but with the Kubert art it feels quintessential 90’s X-men to me).

    • Astonishing X-Men is one of the first trades I ever bought, it a SHINY gold cover. I read it until the pages fell out and I can’t recommend it enough. Prepare to fall in love with Blink!

  2. De La Torre is really good.

    I’ll have to see some more of the writing before I decide; I wasn’t impressed by the Point One preview. That is, I was really impressed by the art, but I wasn’t really impressed by the writing.

    This is more of a “let’s-wait-until-the-public-library-buys-the-trade” book for me, due to the writing in the preview.

  3. I loved age of apocalypse. It was wahat got me into comics, prior to that I only knew the x-men through the cartoon.
    This news has me excited, but other than Uncanny XForce, I have never read a AOA story after the original that was worth my anticipation.
    Fingers crossed.

  4. I have just finished reading “Age of X” and as much as I like Lapham and De La Torre I think I had enough of whatever Age of Anything. I mean, “Age of X” was good but I think I’ve read enough variations of mutant apocalypses in my comics reader life.

  5. Good on ’em

  6. Though I love Lapham & De La Torre, this is what I hate about the X-Men. IT NEVER ENDS!!! So Remender finishes his epic (which I plan to buy someday), just to lead off into another event?

    What grinds my gears is I read Messiah Complex, and enjoyed it, but was mad that the story continues before and after the book, so I was only half-familiar with everything. Which was fine, cause I liked it. Then I just got Second Coming which I’m reading through (and enjoy) but I can already tell the story will just keep going through countless other books, especially since Hope is the center of Avengers VS X-Men next year. When will it end?? New X-Men and Astonishing X-Men had clear beginnings and clear endings, which added to their greatness. I understand that the Messiah books are events, but shouldn’t that make them even more concrete and stand-alone?

  7. I dunno about this one… The composition of the protagonists is interesting I guess, but I don’t have much reason to care about them for now. When I first heard about this thing, I was hoping for more mutants v. mutants.

    • Yeah, I was all set to put this on my pull list, but I’m not so interested in reading about humans in the Age of Apocalypse.

      Also, the AoA Wolverine’s role in the Uncanny X-Force’s visit seemed totally out of place. It didn’t really even feel like AoA. Just some similar costume designs on a few characters.

  8. The creators are certainly talented and I loved revisiting the Age of Apocalypse in Uncanny X-Force. But I don’t need a follow up to that world beyond Remender’s story at this point and the human characters don’t sound all that interesting. So I’ll probably pass on this one.

  9. I really liked Age of Apocalypse way back when. And I’ve heard good things about Remender’s run on X-Force so I might pick up the trades. But I don’t know… it feels like there’s been a lot of returns to the AOA. Maybe that’s just my perception though.

    It’s just not something that’s going to pull me back in. Especially when I’m spending to much on DC already. Sorry, Marvel!

  10. @manwithoutbeer – you should enjoy the end of Dark Angel Saga in UXF that came out today. It feels like a definitive, full story.

  11. I wanna be excited for this due to its connection to UXF, but I just can’t bring myself to care.

  12. Okay I’m new to uxf and it seems like something I want to follow, but now I’m wondering if I should skip issue 19.1 bc I have no intention of buying AoA, or is is uxf 19.1 something I should pick up bc it advances the story of xforce or does it merely set up this new other series?

  13. Someone doesn’t like humor.