Hello and welcome to another edition of Ye Olde School Café! This time I’ll be focusing in on something so big it had to be contained in an omnibus. Back in 1988, Marvel had an idea to have their annuals actually tie together to create one giant story. A story about a man or someone who used to be a man named Herbert Edgar Wyndham. We’ll get into his origins a bit later during this event, but for now just realize the scope of this book. It covers eleven annuals, and has credits from Louise Simonson, Steve Englehart, Tom Defalco, David Michelinie, Mark Bagley, Mark Texeira, Ron Lim, Al Milgrom, and a host of others.
This tale spans multiple locations ranging from Atlantis, the deep reaches of outer space, and even Mount Wundagore! We’ll see Apocalypse vs. The High Evolutionary, witness the birth of Bova and the twins of Magneto, and even the beginnings of Herbert Edgar Wyndham. Oh, and the Hulk will make an appearance towards the end that can’t be missed! Brace yourself, we’re about to dive into one of the biggest stories in the history of Marvel Comics!
Our story begins in X-Factor Annual #3 (the cover is one of my all time favorites). Deep underground, the Purifiers are killing the Mole Man’s subterranean forces. One of them proves to be more than they can handle, though, and he seems to have some telepathic abilities. On the other side of the world, inside a secret base, Apocalypse is taunting Caliban. He tells him that it’s time to confront the High Evolutionary about his recent actions. X-Factor, using Jean Grey’s telepathy, has found the location of the creature that has the telepathic abilities. As the Purifiers contact the High Evolutionary, Apocalypse pops right into his ship and startles him. The two almost immediately begin to fight.
Underground, Jean, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, and Angel are all trying to calm these savage underground dwellers down. That’s easier said than done, and they find that out the hard way. Jean eventually uses her powers to calm them down and figure out what’s going on. Back in space, the Evolutionary and Apocalypse are sparring, physically and verbally. The verbal part is more important (although I think Apocalypse kicks his butt), as they discuss the subterranean creatures. The Evolutionary believes they are genetic dead ends, but Apocalypse thinks otherwise. He then uses his transporter to whisk the two of them to the location of the creatures and X-Factor. They watch as the Purifiers attack these helpless creatures, and X-Factor tries to help.
The Evolutionary explains that the creature only uses his powers as a frightened animal would. Out of fear, but more importantly, not intelligently. As the Purifiers corner the telepathic creature, X-Factor zeroes in on them and attacks. The creature in a moment of pain does use his powers intelligently, and Apocalypse laughs at the Evolutionary. Apocalypse then tells the Evolutionary that he actually helps him in his efforts to cull the weak from the strong. He teleports away, in laughter, and leaves the Evolutionary to ponder what has happened. Beast then talks with the telepath, Valor, and invites him to be a part of their family. He quickly thinks about it, thanks him, and then declines the offer due to the fact that he wants to stay and help his fellow people.
Well, that’s it for now, but be back next week for the crazy man himself, Frank Castle, A.K.A. The Punisher, who will enter the mix, and so will the Silver Surfer and Ikaris of the Eternals! See you next week!