Round 1, Fight
Welcome to battle 16 of Round One!
Where E is for Extinction
Age of Ultron vs Marvel Zombies
E is for Extinction is about the X-Men. We open with a class of X-Men sometime after Professor X is murdered and Scott Summers has been relegated to the role of aging boy-scout. The mutants are still at odds with the humans, but the tables have turned. Mutants are the oppressive majority with a few rogue humans who are running around constantly trying to steal mutant powers. If that weren’t upsidedown enough, Magneto is the leader of the X-men.
In this future world where Doom is God, couples go to fertility specialists (Beast is some kind of OBGYN in this world, I guess?) to make sure their children are of superior stock, a.k.a mutant.
Buried within the story is the idea that evolution can evolve. Magneto is still trying to make the world a better place for mutants. He believes the only way to do this is to eradicate humankind. So, in this comic, rather than being a genocidal maniac, he would like to see human simply bred out of the population. A couple goes to see Beast, the mutant fertility specialist (groan.) They want to be able to genetically manipulate their unborn child into being a mutant. Beast explains how rare sperm with the mutant gene used to be. Ten years ago, one out of every 20 men had any sperm with the mutant gene. In the present day, Beast admits that he hasn’t found a fertile male without them. That is some speedy evolution. Not only is that a change in the genetic makeup of mankind, but the social sector. In a single generation, mutants went from being the outcasts to being the fittest and most desireable race. That’s a big swing in a relatively short amount of time. Even Cyclops is conflicted.
E for Extinction is a pretty interesting take on an old X-men theme. I especially like the focus on Scott Summers, besides the fact that he is teaming up with Wolverine. #Dream-team.
Next up we have Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies. It is so hard to keep up with this comic. This world is very dangerous. People are caught between an army of robots that people stopped caring about once Jurassic World came out versus a team of zombies people stopped caring about a decade ago. Of course there are some interesting questions raised. What happens if you drop a human in between a group that hates imperfection (humans) and a group that loves things that have delicious heads made up of delicious fruitcake (humans). Wackiness? Sure. But it’s the kind of wackiness you’ve been getting every God damn Wednesday from half a dozen other Secret Wars comics. It’s not bad. It’s not great. It went up against E is for Extinction. If someone had thought to name their comic MZVAOU is for Marvel Zombies vs Age of Ultron, maybe they would have fared better. But E takes advantage of the fact that it is in a whole new world, where the rules of who your characters are or how your art is supposed to be drawn don’t apply. So, good job MSVAOU, but in the meantime, E moves on to Round 2.