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X-Men+Fantastic Four: Doctor Doom’s New Soldiers Hearken Back To The Age of Apocalypse

Chip Zdarsky works in a classic Age of Apocalypse callback that meshes well inside the post-Jonathan Hickman X-Men universe of comics.

If you’re an old-head reader like me and finished X-Men + Fantastic Four #3 then you might have had a feeling of deja vu. Before we get too far into that – let’s do a little recap of the happenings between Marvel’s merry band of mutants and the first family.

**Spoilers**

X-Men + Fantastic Four: Doctor Doom’s New Soldiers Harken back to the Age of Apocalypse

Franklin Richards, the son of Reed and Sue Richards – Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, respectively – is one of, if not the most powerful mutant on the planet. Heck, at full-power he’s one of the most powerful beings in the whole Marvel Universe.

I inserted that ‘full power’ caveat, because at the moment, he’s not at his best. For reason’s unbeknownst to even Mr. Fantastic – Franklin is losing his powers. Matter of fact, the more he uses his powers, the faster they deplete as if his battery was running out.

X-Men + Fantastic Four: Doctor Doom’s New Soldiers Harken back to the Age of Apocalypse

Of course, being a mutant, Franklin’s welfare concerns the Krakoan nation. When Xavier, Magneto and the X-Men approach the Fantastic Four (F4), naturally, hostilities arose between the two factions of heroes. It ended with Franklin and his sister Valeria becoming stowaways aboard Kitty Pryde’s ship, the Marauder.

However, instead of disembarking on the shores of Krakoa, they – and everyone else aboard – are taken to ‘Doom Island’ by the ruler of Latveria himself. There, Doom played host to both sides and even claimed he could solve Franklin’s problems – though he reluctantly accepted assistance from Beast and Mr. Fantastic.

X-Men + Fantastic Four: Doctor Doom’s New Soldiers Harken back to the Age of Apocalypse

While there, and against Doom’s wishes, the X-Men and F4 investigate the island’s mutant population to perhaps extend safe passage to Krakoa. They locate and approach a pair of siblings that are seemingly terrified to speak on the matter. After expounding some Doom-laced propaganda, and briefly mentioning the fates of their friends – the conversation is interrupted by Doombots.

X-Men + Fantastic Four: Doctor Doom’s New Soldiers Harken back to the Age of Apocalypse

Wolverine sprang into action and engaged one – though Emma tried to intervene as something didn’t quite feel right. Wolverine doesn’t, or can’t, stand down and plunged his claws into one of the automatons but is stunned after finding blood on his hands.

X-Men + Fantastic Four: Doctor Doom’s New Soldiers Harken back to the Age of Apocalypse

If you can read the writing on the wall then I’m sure you’d come to the same conclusion as I. Doctor Doom’s tropical paradise isn’t secured by robots, but armor-clad mutants citizens – most likely under some sort of mental or chemical thrall.

From the reactions of the two children that Emma and Magneto attempted to speak with – these metal soldiers are the result of disobeying or trying to flee the nation of Latveria. I doubt this is going to go over well with Krakoa, especially the council – which, funny enough, includes Apocalypse.

X-Men + Fantastic Four: Doctor Doom’s New Soldiers Harken back to the Age of Apocalypse

There’s a reason I find that last bit interesting. In 1995’s classic X-Men story, the Age of Apocalypse, Apocaylse had taken over all of Northern America and plunged the rest of the world into chaos. If he didn’t control it, he waged war to do so.

He was able to conduct his campaign primarily because of one thing: Infinites. Alongside an endless supply of dupes supplied by Madrox (Multiple Man), Infinites functioned as Apocalyse’s army. Created from genetic material harvested from mutants and humans, they were manufactured soldiers. Sound familiar?

X-Men + Fantastic Four: Doctor Doom’s New Soldiers Harken back to the Age of Apocalypse

On occasion, the Infinites were also captured/enslaved mutants made to do Apocalypse’s bidding. Like much of Dawn of X – this hinted back to Mister Sinister’s work with the Chimera that would be used in the war against the Man-Machine alliance in Powers of X.

X-Men + Fantastic Four: Doctor Doom’s New Soldiers Harken back to the Age of Apocalypse

In the past, Doctor Doom hasn’t been much of a proponent against mutants. However, his new ‘Doombots’ combined with the production of Sentinels, and his speech about being ‘born with power’ opposed to earning it – Krakoa may have found a new enemy in Latveria.

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