Tears in Evan
All-New X-Men (vol.2) 011
Writer - Dennis Hopeless
Penciler - Mark Bagley
Inker - Andrew Hennessey
Colorist - Nolan Woodard
Letterer - VC's Cory Petit
Release Date: 07.13.2016
Cover Price: $3.99
Could it be? Is this the final part of the Apocalypse Wars in All-New X-Men? Don't play with a fella's heart here.
I gotta figure we're in for a rip-roaring, high octane, your ticket pays for the whole seat but you'll only need the edddddge kind of issue here! Marvel couldn't just return us to the status quo following this amazingly epic tale... could they? Read on...
Following up on the previous issue, Evan and En Sabah head out to rescue the crucified Beast, thankfully without their sassy partner from last chapter. Rather than encounter the battle they were expecting, they come across Li'l Pocc's daddy who just wants his little boy to come home.
After the father and son reu-union, Evan and Beast give chase. They find that Baal is planning on transforming his boy into what we all know as Apocalypse. Evan goes all teenage temper tantrum in an assault that can be compared to an infant punching a mighty redwood. He gets his ass handed to him, while Beast tries to retrieve the mask of Horus. He finds himself playing Let's Make a Deal with the Mystic, and has to spill the beans on one "future event" in order to procure it.
With the mask, Beast grabs an unwilling Evan and goes... back to the future, er, present. Once there, Evan throws another tantrum and we are (thankfully) promised something completely different come next issue.
Things look up when Hank and Evan begin discussing the potential ramifications of imposing their will on the adolescent En Sabah Nur. Things like "butterfly effect" and "irreparable consequences to the time line" are mentioned. Ya know, stuff that could result in something interesting... perhaps even moving the X-Men to their next position at the All-Inhuman No-Mutant Marvel.
Those hopes were quickly dashed, as the entire affair is undone via Mask of Horus magic. Hank and Evan return to the present, with only the chips on their shoulders. Hank may have seen something important, yet with the X-Titles being absent on the leaked Marvel Now (Again) list, I am not hopeful that this clue will ever bear fruit.
This is Evan's story more than anything. While the narrative is kind of just there, his characterization is quite well done. He may be Apocalypse, or the clone thereof... but at the moment, he's nothing more than a child. A petulant, and nauseatingly whiny child, but given the circumstances, I couldn't imagine him any other way.
Bits and Pieces:
I just can't help but feeling we just wasted the past... what was it, sixteen months telling this story. The very definition of an anti-climax, this would not have been satisfying as the end of a one-part story, much less the All-New strand of the Apocalypse Wars "epic". Mark Bagley still delivers, and gives the overall package a far less lackluster feel.