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Saturday, December 07, 2013 

Age of Apocalypse does not make a good premise for a movie

The X-Men movies' box office returns have been diminishing with each new entry, and with the news that the Age of Apocalypse crossover is going to be the basis of the next film in 2016, I don't think they're helping to restart anyone's interest much. That 1995 crossover - which saw the alteration of several X-Men series' from names like Generation X to Generation Next - was one of the most unnecessary ever published.

To make matters worse, Film School Rejects almost makes their site's name sound apt when they say En Sabah Nur is one of the dumbest villains created while the crossover by contrast was great! Are they kidding? Here's what they say about Apocalypse:
...Apocalypse is a lame villain because he just looks dumb. What is he? He’s a big metal guy who’s generally blue or purple, who has a big A on his belt, who has tubes connecting his back to his elbows for… some reason, and who has big goofy lips that generally make him look simple, or sometimes like he has to take a poop. Why?
Does it really matter how a villain dresses? It's when the heroes end up with sloppy costumes (or worse, with poorly written personalities) that it matters. We usually expect the villains to look ludicrous, though we do expect them to be formidable in combat, and that can include giving the heroes a hard time figuring out how to beat them with their brains. Furthermore, even villains are only as significant as the writer can make them, so I find it funny the writer's not lamenting how past writers let him down. He goes on to say that:
The silver lining to all of this is that there was one cool Apocalypse story that used the character right, and, due to the context clues available, a lot of fans are assuming that it’s the one that’s going to be used for the X-Men: Apocalypse movie. The story was called ‘The Age of Apocalypse,’ and it was about Charles Xavier’s crazy son going back in time and accidentally killing him before he could form the X-Men. The effect this had in the story was that the X-Men never existed, so they were never able to stop Apocalypse’s rise to power, so now our present is a horrifying dystopia not unlike the alternate 1985 in which Biff Tannen is the super-rich ruler of Hill Valley.

In this story Apocalypse rules the world, which is now full of ravaged and desolate landscapes. Mutants are his army, humans are kept in concentration camps, and even some of the most heroic of the X-Men have been turned villainous because of the environment in which they were born and raised. Finally, in ’The Age of Apocalypse,’ all of that infinite power the Apocalypse character has actually means something. Finally, his threats to take over the world and remold it into his own dark vision can be taken seriously and have some weight. Up to this point it was looking like making an Apocalypse story that was actually good would be an impossibility, but by completely destroying and remaking the world in which they told their stories the X-Men writers cracked the code.
This is hilarious. To be fair, if Age of Apocalypse had been contained to a simple miniseries, no matter the length, maybe the story could have worked out, but it was all embellished and padded out to clog every X-Men book published at the time. And that actually takes away the impact, by forcing so many characters into the story at once; the biggest problem since crossovers like Secret Wars brought down comicdom.

And why couldn't earlier stories with Apocalypse have weight? Why shouldn't past writers be able to write a suspenseful story in just 2-3 issues, as used to be the custom, before political correctness and editorial mandates decreed they'd have to be 6 or more issues in length? The fool writing that article fails to acknowledge that AoA was a line-wide crossover and even today, it's not something anybody worried about their money would care to spend on even in trades. Stuffing that story into every single X-book just so we see how all X-members are affected by this alternate reality gets tiresome, and again, if they'd just have kept it relegated to a single miniseries, it might have worked out better. But that too depends on just how talented the writers assigned to such a project would be, and if it were Fabian Nicieza and Scott Lobdell, then I'd say the chances are slim.

They do mention the Days of Future Past story, which was far better, because that was limited to just 2-3 issues in 1981, and made for far better movie material. But using such a borefest as AoA for the basis of a movie is only proving they're turning this film franchise into a joke.

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I like Apocalypse, but I never cared for AOA. Especially since it took every Marvel title and was constantly regurgitated over the years.

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