What happened, who’s left, what is next? The world is a shell of its former self. The world is now in the Dark Ages!
To understand what is going on, we have to start over ten billion years ago. A living machine named the Unmaker was conceived with one job, to consume black holes. However, it would instead go after other areas in the galaxy. It successfully took out other worlds and entire galaxies. Enough with its nonsense, the Living Tribunal defeated and imprisoned the Unmaker. He currently resides within Earth’s core. Now, the problem is being dealt with by those on the planet. This is especially important for our heroes protecting it. Now, here is Peter Parker’s retelling of the beginning of the Dark Ages.
It is Friday afternoon in New Jersey. Peter is having pizza with Mary Jane, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones. Meanwhile, May Parker and Dani Cage play around. May is sticking to the ceiling with MJ not too happy about that. Peter is then told to get her down. He listens, but all of a sudden he is hit with a massive Spider-Sense episode. Peter, May, Miles, and Gwen feel it at the same time too. A child, Lunella Lafayette going by Moon Girl realizes there is an issue as well. She calls her dinosaur, Devil to take her to the Baxter Building to speak with Reed Richards. According to Peter, she is the smartest person in the world.
At the X-Mansion, Professor X and Jean Grey also feel the impending danger. Even the world’s first mutant, Apocalypse feels it coming. Back in New Jersey, Peter explains his abilities warned him about the incoming event. He then heads out to speak with Reed Richards and Sue Storm. He does this after hoping MJ and May get to safety. Reed is busy with work but is interpreted by Johnny. He tells Reed about Devil being in their lobby. Suddenly, the Fantastic Four and Devil feel the first of many tremors. Reed and Sue’s daughter, Val is talking with Moon Girl about the tremors. The two conclude that the world is going to end.
The heroes are then visited by Uatu the Watcher; he confirms the statement from the kids. He tells them that they have hours. He then explains the situation with the backstory. The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Val, and Moon Girl prep for what’s next. They gather a list of the smartest heroes on Earth. The likes of Black Panther, Beast, Iron Man, Hulk, and more are involved.
We then get a makeshift team of The Thing, Invisible Woman, Scarlet Witch, Vision, and Dr. Strange. They are tasked with using their unique abilities to take out the Unmaker head-on. With a force field by Sue, they go through a portal to the Earth’s core. We see this team are now confronted by the menace. The tremors then make their way to Africa. T’Challa tells Shuri to help in the fight. Other locations, such as Nepal, Canada, and Atlantics have been devastated. The Runaways, the Champions, the X-Men, and the Avengers are some of the many heroes trying to save everyone they can.
Iron Man radios Reed for information surrounding the Earth’s core. We see The Thing charging after the Unmaker, but he is vaporized. Wanda attempts to use her reality-bending powers to erase the being. Yet, she is erased as Vision looks on in horror. The android then enters the Unmaker’s head. As Sue struggles to keep hold of the force field, Strange makes a plan.
He decides to use the help of other realities. He is gathering a weapon, with no electrical function to stop the enemy. This is both good and bad, as the Unmaker realizes what is going on. It pierced the force field and Strange with a spear, killing him. With his dying breath, he tells Sue to “live” and teleports her out of the core. Strange’s portal remained open, meaning that all tech on Earth shut down. Nick Fury dying as his plane came down. Tony’s suit shut down as he fell with one leg left. Antman’s suit was fried too. Even artificial life was no longer active. Even Peter’s web-shooters stopped functioning.
After his fall, Peter rose to see that his home was crashing down. This understandably worried him as MJ and May were still in there. He removes his mask, asking for assistance from Jessica and Luke. Jessica even told Peter that MJ was saving lives too. A worried Spider-Man is clawing his way through the debris. He sees that not only his daughter May helped too, but MJ survived.
Peter is relieved to see that the love of his life is safe. It has been seven years seen that day. An older Spider-Man has a new suit, with his retelling at a campfire. We then see he was talking to some of the remaining heroes/allies on Earth. Miles Morlaes has a symbiote. Iron Man has a steampunk suit. Beast looks more like a beast. Apocalypse is on the side of good. Other heroes are also on the panel listening to Peter’s perspective.
This was a dark and enjoyable issue. Tom Taylor deserves a lot of praise for his writing here! Having at least one hero explain what happened is great. Peter starting and ending the story was a nice way to show important the story is. The “light at the end of the tunnel” line was beautiful. I love how it was said while his daughter was also helping people. The stakes are high with the deaths of The Thing and Dr. Strange being the first of many. I actually got vibes from the DCeased storyline. That is how great the story is! I expect more of this!
As for the art of Dark Ages #1, Iban Coello and Brian Reber killed it! Details always matter and they show! The one-shot of the Unmaker was awesome to look at. Even more of Devil, Spider-Man, and The Watcher. The illustrations are nothing but storytelling. I also loved the shot of the team Peter was talking with. I fell in love with the new suit of our heroes. Iron Man, Miles, and Peter had the best new designs. This is not me taking any credit away from the other heroes’ new looks.
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