Thankfully the current issue starts up right where Astonishing X-Men #63 left off. We are right in the thick of things and Iceman has lost his damn mind and the power from the sliver of the Apocalypse Seed is slowly consuming the world in ice.
What could possibly go wrong now?
Wolverine, Gambit, Karma, Warbird, and Kitty all make a desperate attempt to stop him while the world is freezing. While they are failing miserably, Kitty finally tries to phase through him and take out the Apocalypse seed splinter. While that’s a trick that might work with quite a few other things, this time it ends up knocking her unconscious as Iceman leaves them behind.
Wolverine and Gambit decide to take a little trip and visit Dark Beast where he is confined. They get him to confirm that he did indeed deposit the seed within Iceman and that is the cause of all of the problems. While Dark Beast harasses Gambit about his Death persona (who we haven’t seen pop up in awhile), he also says he doesn’t know if the changes that have occurred will be able to be reversed. The world itself might just be fascinatingly doomed.
As much as I was digging the last issue, I truly felt that this has too much thrown into it to really make strides in any direction. With everything that’s happened above, I haven’t even gotten to Bobby meeting with his parents, the surviving X-Men deciding on a game plan on how to take down Iceman, or Mystique hanging out with a shadow of Iceman’s personality. Various pieces of his soul have apparently made avatars for themselves to try to avoid the fact that the Apocalypse Seed is killing him. This shard claims that there is no way the main Bobby Drake can detect them as he is taken out by… you guessed it.. the real Iceman. He asks Mystique why she isn’t worried and she states he knows that his greatest fear is to be alone so even if he kills off the majority of the population of the Earth he doesn’t have it in himself to kill everyone.
So yes, a lot happened there but the true climax is what came next. Thor (who was a bit off the last issue) has come back into things full swing and is going head to head with Iceman. While Thor is finally presenting a challenge, he gets smacked down hard. While he’s out of commission, one of Bobby’s ex’s, Opal, show up and distracts him. She isn’t trying to but it’s just enough for him to not notice Thor come in and pretty much shatter him to pieces.
Of course nothing is ever quite that easy. As Thor is reaching down to grab the shard of The Apocalypse Seed, he’s stabbed from behind by a shard of ice which was held by Mystique. Let’s ignore that it seemed a bit too easy of a way to take down on Thor and focus on what happens next. Mystique takes the seed and swallows it.
Up until the last couple of panels, I was really hoping they would wrap things up this issue or make sure it’s wrapped up in the next. While I’m ready for this story arc to come to an end, I’m very curious as to how we’ll see the upcoming events unfold. I am also still curious how this Mystique is supposed to fit with what she’s doing in the other ongoing X titles.
ASTONISHING X-MEN #64
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta