By the time the “The Twelve” event starts, it feels like it’s been dragging on for months. Because it has. There was over a half-year of build up across the dozenish X-books with talk of Apocalypse and omens about twelve mutants necessary to stop his return.
So before Uncanny X-Men, which is the official launch of the event, we already know that Wolverine has been a skrull, Apocalypse is definitely alive and well, and that the future depends on “The Twelve.” Who are they?
- Jean Grey
- Mikhail Rasputin (seriously???)
- Professor X
- The Living Monolith
I’m sure you’ve already figured out the first bit twist: The Twelve are actually part of Apocalypse’s plan–not the thing that will stop him. And there are actually 13 necessary parts of his plan.
The Horsemen of Apocalypse kidnap all twelve characters listed above.
He puts them in bubbles instead of the more traditional tube prison (see my tubes tag below). Except that’s in Uncanny X-Men. In Cable #75, Apocalypse simply lashes the hero to an “X”.
Oddly, we learn in Cable #76 the truth about the Madelyne Pryor being that has been stalking the pages of X-Man for over a year:
She’s a ghost.
Why wasn’t this revealed in X-Man, where she’s been a key player for so long?
Once the Twelve are caught, we learn that X-Man is the final piece of the puzzle: Apocalypse will use his physical body, while draining the energy of The Twelve.
Of course, the plan gets foiled. Notably, Cyclops takes the life-force of Apocalypse that had been meant for Nate Grey, and ends the event as the next Apocalypse host.
The event leads right into another event: Ages of Apocalypse. Like the last time he was here, Apocalypse reinvents reality and turns the X-books upside down. Thankfully, it only lasts one month this time until reality is restored.
In the end, Cyclops is dead. (No, of course he’s not. We’ll get a “Search for Cyclops” miniseries before the end of the year.)
Jean blames Professor X, and quits.
Alan Davis’ art doesn’t save this story, especially when there’s so many other far less talented artists involved.
There’s not much originality here–it’s basically the same as the first big Apocalypse story, but with lesser stakes and lesser fallout.