Jonathan Hickman's "Dawn of X" storyline took a major shift this week, both narratively and structurally. Powers of X #3 takes a deep-dive into the dark future of "X-Men Year 100" timeline, and the final showdown between the few surviving X-Men of Asteroid K, and the Man-Machine Supremacy.
Thanks to the all the pieces that Hickman has arranged along this particular future timeline, Powers of X #3 culminates in a battle between two of biggest X-Men villains: Apocalypse and Nimrod!
Apocalypse's team of Future X-Men's embark on a mission takes them into the heart of the Man-Machine Supremacy's empire on Earth, for two-pronged attack. One team of X-Men attacks the Church of Ascendancy, a place of perverse cybernetic worship; the other team infiltrates a data bank housing a crucial secret: the origin date of Nimrod himself. When Nimrod senses the intrusion he shows up on the scene, leading to an epic fight between the advanced Sentinel and Apocalypse, the mutant Eternal! While this isn't the first time the two villains have fought (Powers of X #1 teased a previous bought), seeing the scene play out in full is a much more exciting experience!
As their respective character descriptions would indicate, Apocalypse and Nimrod are pretty evenly matched. Apocalypse is able to deal damage to the Sentinel leader - but Nimrod's advanced tech allows him to adapt pretty quickly, and mount some devastating counterattacks. It's a scene set against some tense heist-style action, as Apocalypse is covering Wolverine's retreat - but when last we see, Nimrod has split into three smaller versions of himself, and has Apocalypse overpowered and overwhelmed. As Nimrod ominously teases, while all six of his hands close around Apocalypse's head:
"Apocalypse... The mutant immortal. Older than the world... The fittest of all. How sad this must be... to know that natural selection has brought you here."1comments
As stated, Apocalyse and Nimrod have long been two of the deadliest foes that the X-Men face, which is why it's ironic that they've never had a major moment together before this. Both villains are attached to X-Men alternate timelines that are very popular with fans (namely the "Days of Future Past" timeline and "Age of Apocalypse" timeline), not to mention their ties to major characters like Bishop and Cable, who have themselves clashed in previous X-Men story arcs. With Power of X #3, Hickman is giving X-Men continuity a major fan-service moment in this "Nimrod vs. Apocalypse" battle - which is just one reason why this book (and the larger story arc it's set in) is making X-Men into a major pop-culture event again.
Powers of X 1, 2 & 3, and House of X 1 & 2 are all now on sale, with new issues of each book released in alternating weeks.