Previously in Astonishing X-Men, the whole team has been dragged through a multi-universe event from Wolverine’s actions in the pages of X-Force. He brought back with him the Kurt from the Age of Apocalypse Earth and his cross dimension jumping to get himself home but he also has brought an ancient evil. One of them on Earth 616, a couple on the Age of Apocalypse’s planet and a full army trying to break through the barriers to invade and destroy the multiverse.

I’m going to start right off by saying that the cover of this issue is a horrible tease. It shows Wolverine and Jean posed as if they are about to kiss with sad looks upon their face.

The issue itself though is clearly starting where the 4th portion of X-Terminated left off. Jean has taken in the Apocalypse Seed and absorbed it’s power into herself. You can’t see it from the first page but from the second it’s very clear that she’s taken it in even more so then Logan had with her face changing to match Apocalypse’s visage.

The issue itself is split between two main points. The first of which is the epic battle between Jean and these creatures. This isn’t the first time that Jean has held within herself a cosmic force capable of great destruction. Unlike the Phoenix force though the power this seed has given her wasn’t for renewal but just destruction, and she’s reveling in it. As the issue progresses she is clearly enjoying herself more and more as she slays these monsters by the droves but even her newly given power won’t be enough to stop them all.

The second part of the issue mainly focuses on Prophet and Sage. Prophet believes he has much of what needs to be done figured out and Sage confirms it. There isn’t a way to completely destroy all of these creatures. Jean can stop many of them but they don’t have enough power to kill them all. That leaves only one option – in order to save the multiverse they need to trap these beings in one of it’s universes where they cannot escape.

They are already coming to the Age of Apocalypse so there really is only one place to realistically trap them. Prophet has made this decision and it’s really one of the largest tragedies they’ve shown. After years under Apocalypse’s rule, followed by decimation under Wolverine’s humanity and the level headed mutants have finally found a peace of sorts. Now their entire world and universe must be sacrificed to save the rest of existence.

There have already been a lot of deaths for both the X-Treme X-Men and Age of Apocalypse teams and it looks like there is still going to be a lot more to soon follow. I’m curious as to who they are going to let live at this point and carry over into the 616 Universe. I’m still fully secure that the Astonishing X-Men and those from 616 will survive – but I wonder who else will?

It would be too much of an easy out to kill off everyone not from 616 and I feel that they really need at least one other character to come back with them. I’m just wondering who they will choose. I’ve been iffy on how I’ve felt about this issue but seeing Jean in full on Apocalypse power and knowing the event is nearing it’s end I’m finally starting to really enjoy where they are going with it.

Writer: Marjorie Liu
Colorist: Klebs Junior
Artist: Matteo Buffagni