The mutant villain known as Apocalypse is several thousand years old and has been trying to conquer Earth for almost as long as he's been alive. Over that time, a number of adversaries have stepped forward to oppose his Darwinian vision of mutant supremacy, but his most persistent foes in the modern era have been the X-Men. So, Apocalypse's ties to the mutant band of heroes run deep. They even stretch out across the Multiverse to other realities, like the Age of Apocalypse, a dystopian dimension where Apocalypse succeeded in conquering Earth, but is still opposed by heroic mutant resistance fighters.
One of Apocalypse's biggest threats from that dimension, the all-powerful Nate Grey (the mutant known as X-Man), has recently resurfaced in the Marvel Universe and he's about to do something Apocalypse never could; transform the Earth into a mutant controlled utopia. What kind of place will Apocalypse have in this so-called Age of X-Man? Which familiar mutants will aid their former foe? And who will oppose him?
The answers to those questions and more will be explored this March in Age of X-Man: Apocalypse and the X-Tracts, a five-issue miniseries by writer Tim Seeley and artist Salvador Espin. CBR spoke with Seeley about the series.
CBR: Tim, all of the “Age of X-Man” books have some interesting setups, but Apocalypse and the X-Tracts, with the titular villain appearing to be a guru in charge of a band of '70s-style revolutionaries, looks to be the most out there and fun. How developed was this story when you were offered it? What was it like writing it?
Tim Seeley: Jordan D. White called me one morning and asked if I'd be interested in working on this big crossover. Lonnie and Zach [Nadler and Thompson, the writers of Age of X-Man: Alpha] had written a really detailed document about this world stuck in arrested development in the 1960s, and there was a rough idea for several books. The one Jordan was pitching me on was the one starring Kitty, Dazzler and two others I wasn't that familiar with (Evan & Eyeboy). It had the tantalizing description "the resistance." And I suddenly had this fully formed vision of a militant '60s X-Men team... like the Weather Underground meets Doom Patrol. Hippie, beatnik superhero revolutionaries. When I decided Apocalypse was going to be a combination of Professor X and Andy Warhol, I knew I had my in, and finally a use for my years of Art History college classes.
Let's talk about Apocalypse. What and who inspired this take on En Sabah Nur? How similar and how different is he to the Apocalypse readers are familiar with?
He's different in that, in this world, his many years of life have made him this messianic wanderer who is less obsessed with survival of the fittest and more interested in the evolution of the species. And, as a guy whose sort of prone to being in opposition to the status quo, here that means he's a peace-loving guru who has developed this philosophy, which is written in a series of scrolls called The X-Tracts.