I enjoy going back and reading older comics that ran before I ever got into comics. Considering I’ve only begun keeping up with comics in the past two or three years, I have a ton of material to work from. In these Revisited features, I’m planning on simply jotting down a few thoughts on each story as I read it. I unofficially began this feature last week with my thoughts on Age of Apocalypse, so this week, I’m taking a look at another Apocalypse book: Apocalypse the Twelve.

After reading about how the X-Men from another reality dealt with Apocalypse, I wanted to learn more about how the 616 X-Men fared against Apocalypse. While this isn’t their first encounter with one another (that occurred back in the 80’s with early X-Factor issues), this does occur post AoA so I thought the story would flow better since Bishop and Nate Grey escaped from AoA.

From the beginning of the story, it’s established that twelve specific mutants are destined to play some role in the fate of world thanks to the prophecy laid out in Destiny’s diaries. I thought the story did a great job leaving the reader in the dark about why these specific mutants were needed as well as what they were actually needed for. When these reasons are finally revealed in the last couple of issues, I felt that there was actually some thought on the writer’s part as to why those specific twelve were chosen. It wasn’t simply because most of them were popular, well known, powerful mutants. They each represented an aspect in creating a hugely powerful whole. From the elemental powers of Storm, Iceman, and Sunfire to magnetic control over the energy thanks to Magneto and Polaris, I felt that each of the twelve truly did play a vital piece of the puzzle in creating an ultimate power.

In that same vein, I also felt that Apocalypse acted incredibly clever. In my look at Age of Apocalypse, I was pretty unimpressed with how Apocalypse was written. I wanted a more active role from him instead of just ordering people around. While he still mainly ordered others to do his bidding, I thought in this story he did it with much more forethought. The whole time, I got the feeling that he had a plan. He was thinking three steps ahead at any given moment. He recruited the Skrulls to create distrust in ranks of the X-Men, he captured a few choice mutants in order to lure the rest of the twelve to his front door, and he did a great job playing off the emotions of his enemies in order to capture those that he needed. I got a very Batman vibe from his well made plan.

Despite all of his effort though, Magneto was still instrumental in throwing a wrench into his nearly rock solid plan. Just like in the Age of Apocalypse, Magneto played the thorn in the side of Big A. While Magneto was one of the strongest mutants during the events of AoA, in this story, he was the weakest. I thought that this drastic difference in power between the two versions of Magneto, although both ultimately led to problems for Apocalypse, was nothing short of fantastic. It just goes to show that Magneto will always be a present force with an impact on the X-Men universe regardless of the state that he’s in.

For all the good this story did though, I thought the cliffhanger ending was a complete tease. I was expecting a more solid conclusion to the story. Up until that final page, I had thoroughly enjoyed nearly every aspect of the arc. The final throw-down between all involved and ending with the sacrifice of Cyclops made for an awesome read. Leaving him taken over by Apocalypse with nothing more than a “Next: Ages of Apocalypse!” message irked me a bit. Needless to say, expect the next Revisited to be on Ages of Apocalypse.

Overall, I found these books to make for a great read. It wasn’t a lengthy crossover (like AoA) which helped it stay focused on an overall plot. The mystery of the twelve was built up perfectly with an extremely satisfying explanation. The action was solid and capped off by an excellent, climactic conclusion. Ultimately, I’ve found this to be one of, if not the most enjoyable Apocalypse story that I’ve read and would, without a doubt, recommend. I’ve got high hopes going into Ages of Apocalypse and I can only hope that it doesn’t disappoint.

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