Have You Heard The News

Jun 28, 2023


Mad Cave Studios


Our friends at Mad Cave Studios are giving TheGWW.com readers a sweet deal on all their products. Hit the button to save 10% off your next Mad Cave purchase.

X-Men Before the Fall: The Heralds of Apocalypse cvr

By now, you may be wondering if you will ever get a chance to read the entire, accurate story.  There are many who would argue that wanting that is just being overly critical.  Besides, the past isn’t by any means a predicator of the future.  Or is it?  From writer Al Ewing, X-Men Before the Fall: The Heralds of Apocalypse is the bearer of bad news.  Orchis, you don’t know you’re messing with.  None of us have; except one Arakko warrior woman.  

X-Men Before the Fall: The Heralds of Apocalypse
Genesis and Revelations

Marvel Comics

Writer: Al Ewing
Artists: Luca Pizzari; Stefano Landini, Raphael Pimento
Colorist: Ceci De La Cruz
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham

As the issue opens, readers come face to face with the self-proclaimed first mutant for the first time since the conclusion of X of Swords.  The first foe of the Original 5 when they reunited to form X-Factor.  And what exactly is this one who once attempted ascension through the power of the Twelve doing?  Meditating.  Mind you this meditation is occurring mid hover over a mountain of dead Amenth daemons.  Now there is no evidence of blood on him or a blade in hand, so there isn’t any reason to believe this is because of Apocalypse.  Sorry it’s not Apocalypse anymore, the name is  -[A]-.  Which he quickly reminds readers while addressing an inquisitive daemon who approaches him with the one question.  What is strength?  

X-Men Before the Fall: The Heralds of Apocalypse img

X-Men Before the Fall: The Heralds of Apocalypse is as epically titled as they come; as well as accurately.  For within the pages of this Marvel comic readers gain additional insight, helping us understand the, forgive the cliche, genesis of the family of the mutant known as En Saban Nur.  And what led to his exodus from them and Arakko.  On page after page artists’ Luca Pizzari, Stefano Landini and Raphael Pimento combine to deliver a token of the blood spilt by the Arakko;  the lamentations of a land, a love that was split in two.  

Hard as it may be to believe, -[A]- is the more gentle spouse, at least in comparison to Genesis.  To quote the one who once wore the Annihilation helm, he is the mage while she is the warrior.  But if The Heralds of Apocalypse is any indicator it was not always this way; not in their beginning.  

Given glimpses of the two together, as well as their homeland from colorist Ceci De La Cruz, it is safe to say that Okkara was a paradise lost.  Much like Threshold.  Unlike those mutants, the Arakko were a warrior people, at least in their earlier days.   During the time depicted in this comic, however, Okkara and -[A]- knew peace.  The joy to his world could not have been greater, especially with the birth of his final progeny – Death.  It is during this recollection that readers get the reasoning behind why -[A]- chose to give his children these names.  This knowledge would suggest that these original “Horsemen” were not The Heralds of the Apocalypse.  To En Saban Nur, they were new hopes.  

Genesis, however, remembers how it was before this time.  And her dreams predict that legions will arrive; war will come again.  X-Men Before the Fall: Heralds of the Apocalypse shows her visions were accurate.  Pizzari,  Landini and Pimento extract the exact moment that this Arakko makes the decision that it forever shall be.  VC’s Travis Lanham fills in some blanks with The New History of Arakko, Chapters 1 & 2.  

X-Men Before the Fall: The Heralds of Apocalypse img

Ewing’s script assisted by the artistry advised not only on what Genesis did after donning the Annihilation helm but what the family has been up to since their return to Amenth after X of Swords.  Despite his present, past, even future sense of serenity, Heralds of Apocalypse showcases the levels of violence done in the name of -[A]- by his family.  Through realms and time.  Well maybe not the future yet, getting a little ahead of the story.  Though there is a storm coming.  Thanks to one of Excalibur’s mystical meddlers Marianna Stern of Coven Akkaba.  Projecting astrally to Amenth, Stern not only confirms the death of Tarn she breaks the  confidence.  -[A]- has kept a secret from Genesis and his children, of the casualties that befell Arakko during the battle with the Eternals; The Judgement War.  Genesis next actions are a precursor for the events taking place in X-Men Red #12.  

X-Men Before the Fall: The Heralds of Apocalypse is a complex canonization of the character En Saban Nur; expanding on the myth of this mutant.  Informing why -[A]- was so quick to act,  allying himself with Xavier upon the creation of Krakoa.  And you can’t overlook Betsy’s subtle nod to -[A]- during her letter to the Captain Britain Corps.  Or -[A]- influence on the Knights, and quite possibly the Legionnaires.  Matter of fact, wasn’t that another Herald of Apocalypse, Stryfe, attempting to destroy Threshold.  

X-Men Before the Fall: The Heralds of Apocalypse extends into and well beyond the activities in other X titles.  Before The Fall X because it is about what took place before there were X-Men.  En Saban Nur did not want an Age of Apocalypse.  Only a life with Genesis and the monuments of their love.  Now just as Annihilation did in the past, Orchis threatens his chance at peace.  This comic is a revelation of what is to come.   

And it’s all in his name.    

Score: 9.5