X-Men: Apocalypse is a bloated film that wants more than anything to be epic in scale. Stuck with a ponderous first 45 minutes resetting up the world of the X-Men one decade after the events of X-Men: First Class (where apparently only some of our characters have actually aged) the movie has to spend far too much time catching us up on current events. With the script hamstrung by the need to properly introduce not only the movie’s villain Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), which means flashbacks to ancient Egypt, but also several new characters who will make up both Apocalypse’s Four Horseman (Olivia Munn, Ben Hardy, Alexandra Shipp) and the new version of the X-Men (Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Lana Condor) it takes quite some time before director Bryan Singer‘s movie gets on track.
With the resurrection of Apocalypse, who begins recruiting new mutants for his army, the movie begins in earnest with Mystique‘s (Jennifer Lawrence) return to the mansion and Professor X‘s (James McAvoy) abduction. After an appearance by Stryker (Josh Helman), used only to shoehorn in a cameo of Singer’s favorite mutant, Mystique will gather a few mutants together to reform the X-Men.
The newest volume of All-New X-Men continues to focus on the time-displaced X-Men from the past and the friends they have made in the present. Issue #2 gives us more of X-23 (renamed Wolverine now) and Angel‘s romance, but it’s primary focus is to catch up on the younger Cyclops who feels trapped following the death of his older self.
Brian Michael Bendis’ run on Uncanny X-Men comes to an end with the return of the original volume’s numbering structure (in yet another example of Marvel’s bizarre system where 600 immediately follows 35). The oversized issue brings a close various plot threads explored in his run, finds a way to bring Cyclops (at least partially) back into the larger X-Men family, the Beast being called on his (many) questionable decisions, and makes a couple of statements concerning the love lives of some of the time-displaced X-Men that other writers will have to sort out.
Uncanny X-Men wraps up the Matthew Malloy storyline with a bit of a cheat and in a way that teaches Tempus a horrible lesson about how messing with the past to remove someone from all existence is a good thing for a hero to do. First, I don’t buy Professor Xavier taking such a stance. And second, Tempus’ threat to do the same to Cyclops is not only out of line but also empty as any erasing of the existence of Scott Summers (who matters far more in Marvel history than Mally) would lead to any number of dire futures completely destroyed by the Phoenix or ruled over by Apocalypse or Magneto.