Comixology Sale Picks: X-Men: Age of Apocalypse

Comixology Sale Picks: X-Men: Age of Apocalypse
I've been trying to do a full buyer's guide for the AoA, and to be honest, between work and the complexity of the story, it's too much to do in the time I've got. This crossover is a real sprawler. So instead, here's the truncated version so you at least know what to buy. Get in quick, the sale's about to end!
Wait! What's an Age of Apocalypse?

In case you aren't aware, the Age of Apocalypse is a big alternate-universe storyline set in a world where Professor Xavier was killed and Magneto carried on his dream. Unfortunately, for reasons best explained elsewhere, the same event that killed Xavier also awakened Apocalypse early. So even though the X-Men exist, Apocalypse rules the world. For four months it replaced all of the X-Men books with differently-titled series set in the Age of Apocalypse instead of the main Marvel Universe. It's pretty badass.

The main storyline is absolutely huge, but what you need to know is that it all starts in X-Men Alpha, splits off into several different 4-issue series (all of which feature a different team of X-Men pursuing a different part of the plan to defeat Apocalypse) and then they all all converge on X-Men Omega to see if their plan worked. It's masterfully intricate, but it makes reading it sequentially a massive pain. There are also a few spin-off titles which have been bundled into this sale as well, so we'll show you how to skip those.

First, If you want to follow the story in its most basic form, you should probably buy these issues:

X-Men: Alpha
Astonishing X-Men #1-4
Amazing X-Men #1-4
Weapon X #1-4
X-Men: Omega

That's the bookends, the two core X-Men books and the Wolverine title. If you read only these, you might miss some plot points, but the gist of it will be understandable.
Optional (but recommended)

Also part of the main crossover, but less crucial to the overarching plot are the following titles.

X-Calibre #1-4
Generation Next #1-4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #1-4
Factor X #1-4
X-Man #1-4

These complete the main plot. If you can afford them it's worth buying them all. If you want some opinions, I personally like the Gambit title, which is about them going into space to steal the M'Kraan crystal, and Factor X, which is about Evil Cyclops and Havok and a good companion to Weapon X because Jean Grey crosses from one series into the other. If you buy these in addition to the series above, you'll be able to understand the whole story.

The sale also includes a bunch of stuff you don't have to read to understand the story, but which is fun (or not). I'll divide them into stuff that's good, and stuff that isn't.

Tales From the Age of Apocalypse: By The Light
Tales From the Age of Apocalypse: Sinister Bloodlines
X-Men Chronicles #1
X-Men Chronicles #2

These are all double-sized prequel stories set in the AoA, which fill out the backstory of that world's X-Men. I really enjoy them, but obviously don't read them until you've read the main crossover.

X-Universe #1-2
Blink #1-4

X-Men: Age of Apocalypse
X-Men Prime

X-Universe is about what happened to the human heroes in the AoA. It's not great. Blink #1-4 is a prequel set entirely in the negative zone where she has amnesia. It's also not great. X-Men: AOA is an absolutely dire sequel mini. And X-Men Prime is a one-shot which deals with the fallout of the AoA in the "main" Marvel Universe. Not really worth buying in this sale because it's not relevant to the crossover, only the books that came after it.

Hopefully that helps you decide what to buy. If you want a reading order (and god knows you'll need one) I suggest you use this list. (Click "show content"!)

And that's your lot. The Age of Apocalypse sale is here until the end of the day.