Collects Age of X: Alpha , X-Men: Legacy #245–247, New Mutants #22–24, Age of X: Universe #1–2

Writer: Mike Carey
Artists: Clay Mann, Steve Kurth, Jay Leisten, Allen Martinez

This is an alternate dimension story where Professor Xavier never gathered up mutants. Mutants are hunted and killed in this world, and the x gene has been made illegal. However, Magneto has built Fortress X and the surviving mutants have gathered there to make their stand against the Sapiens League and the rest of the humanity.

Magneto is the leader of the remaining mutants, Cannonball is the field leader, and Basilisk, Scott Summers, is a tortured man who is considered to be somewhat of a loose cannon. Rogue goes by the name Legacy, or Reaper, and when a mutant is dying, she’s called in to absorb their memories so that she can remember them. Mutants with mental powers have been imprisoned by Magneto and Danger because they are too dangerous to mix with others.

But even in Fortress X, the mutants aren’t one happy family and a few of them suspect that something isn’t right.

This is yet another very grim and awful alternate dimension to the X-Men. If thing aren’t good for them in the usual Marvel continuity, it’s always possible for things to be even worse. In the Age of X: Universe comic we also get to see the other heroes: most of the Fantastic Four has been arrested for harboring mutants (Sue ratted her family to the police!), Iron Man is plagued with a technovirus and is a walking zombie, Banner was turned into the Hulk because of mutants, and Jessica Drew is an assassin. Captain America is trying to be the voice of reason.

I enjoyed this alternate universe, but I think it would have been more effective if the story would have focused on fewer characters. Now there are so many characters that it’s hard to do more than get a glimpse of each. I enjoyed most the first issue which has back stories for Basilisk, Cannonball, Husk, Wolverine, and Dr. Rao.