WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Age of X-Man Omega #1 by Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler, Simone Buonfantino, Tríona Farrell and VC's Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
When Marvel Comics announced Uncanny X-Men would feature a 10-issue weekly event titled "X-Men Disassembled," it marked a new era for the mutants. The series heralded the returns of fan-favorite characters such as Nate Grey (aka X-Man) and Legion, who played a crucial role in the finale that left the team presumed dead.
However, readers quickly discovered the X-Men were secretly taken to a new world where everyone is a mutant. No longer persecuted for being different, the X-Men found themselves with fake memories in the appropriately titled "Age of X-Man."
Like many Utopias before it, the Age of X-Man held many dark secrets. Certain individuals began to remember their old lives in the Marvel Prime Universe. No matter how hard X-Man tried, he couldn't stop those memories once the floodgates opened; t was only a matter of time before the X-Men in the Age of X-Man were reunited with their teammates in the Marvel U.
A Whole New Plane Of Existence
Although Age of X-Man shares a few similarities with the popular Age of Apocalypse, the two are indeed different. For example, Age of Apocalypse took place in an alternate universe, whereas Age of X-Man is a new plane of existence, created by the combined efforts of X-Man and a Life Seed he possessed, just before he fell in battle. It allowed him to create hope out of thin air, but fissures in the air tease that everything isn't as it seems.
Bishop and the cast of Age of X-Man: Prisoner X are the first to confront X-Man over his deception. X-Man attempts to explain his thought process to his Marvelous X-Men, who try to protect Nate from their attack. Once Apocalypse's X-Tracts show up, all parties are on hand to hear the truth.
At one point a fissure opens, revealing a scene from Uncanny X-Men #21. with Cyclops, Havok, Mirage and Mystique squaring off against Office of National Emergency soldiers. Later, other X-Men begin to revert to their pre-Age of X-Man appearances. Surprisingly, while a majority of the X-Men are furious with Nate for his deception, there are a few who wish to remain in his Age of X-Man world.
Bishop, who some could argue has suffered the most in this false reality, tries to be the voice of reason among his teammates by urging them to leave the world behind. However, X-Man offers up a solution by handing over the Life Seed that helped him create the utopia. Once the X-Men have passed back through the breach, Magneto will plunge the Life Seed in Nate's chest, destroying the Age of X-Man once and for all.
But instead of using the Life Seed, Magneto and Nate sit down to discuss how they both can help one another. Nate allowed Magneto to live in a world that was the exact opposite of what he was born into. Because of this, Magneto hands the Life Seed back to Nate to allow the Age of X-Man to live on. Once Magneto exits, his Age of X-Man counterpart reappears, which possibly means he left a part of himself behind.
The lingering question is how will all of this factor into writer Johnathan Hickman's upcoming run on the X-Men titles. House of X #1 by Hickman and artist Pepe Larraz goes on sale this week, and over the weekend Marvel unveiled its Dawn of X lineup featuring X-Men, Excalibur, New Mutants, Fallen Angels, Mauraders and X-Force. Though many of the X-Men that returned from the Age of X-Man will find themselves spread out among the six titles, we have to wonder how their time spent there will impact future stories.
Luckily, we only have a few short days to wait before we learn how the X-Men's new era in the Marvel Universe will unfold.