Monday, June 27, 2016

Extraordinary X-Men #10 Review and **SPOILERS** - Marvel Mondays

Extraordinary X-Men 010
Writer - Jeff Lemire
Penciler - Humberto Ramos
Inker - Victor Olazaba
Colorist - Edgar Delgado
Letterer - VC's Joe Caramagna
Cover Price: $3.99

The Apocalypse Wars are in full-swing, and the three teams of X-Men are scattered across the time stream.  The Extraordinary team has been thrust one thousand years into the future in pursuit of some 600 artificial mutant embryos.  With mutantkind nearing its (most certainly not movie-universe mandated) extinction, Storm and the gang look to use those embryos to give their race it so desperately needs!

What happens then, when one of their own number becomes a horseman of Apocalypse?  Let's find out...

Being as though this is our first look at the Extraordinary X-Men title, perhaps some background information is in order.  Colossus, along with his new team of young X-Men were following up on a tip regarding the 600 mutant embryos.  Their travels brought them to Japan, where they came to find that those embryos were artificially manufactured by our old Age of Apocalypse era pal, the Sugar Man.  The resulting battle somehow sent Colossus and Company 1000 years into the future.

Storm's team of X-Men (roll call above) seek to rescue their time-lost teammates, and upon arrival find that their colossal comrade had become a Horseman of Apocalypse... which, at this point shouldn't be too much of a surprise.  It seems as though every time the X-Men fight Apocalypse at least one teammate briefly becomes a Horseman.

This issue opens with an amazing fight scene between the X-Men and the new Horsemen.  I get that Humberto Ramos may not be everyone's cup of tea, however his work here is wonderfully dynamic.  Stylized certainly... but dynamic, fluid, and a lot of fun to look at!

Special attention is paid to Magik in this issue.  Of late she has been something of a student to Dr. Strange.  I really appreciate that, as she is shown to be far less of a loose cannon in this issue than she has been since her return in the mid-to-late aughts.  This is a great piece of character development, and it's making me actually enjoy the character for the first time since the first New Mutants series way back when.

The team dynamic is taking a bit to get used to.  Storm is the team leader, however when it appeared that all hope was gone, has to be given a rallying pep-talk by Iceman of all people.  Don't get me wrong, I like this... it's just a bit jarring.  Bobby's development over the past year has been a lot of things to a lot of people... controversial, out of nowhere, good/bad/ugly... however, I do like him being the "voice of reason" here.  He's a founding member of the team, it's high time he started acting like it.

The old-Logan/young-Jean relationship is really fun to see... and thankfully not creepy at all.  I always liked Wolverine taking young people under his wing... the entire trope is kind of turned on his ear here though, as Jean is already more than capable of handling herself.  Very fun and novel approach.

The cliffhanger is solid... Having the X-Men walk into a situation they already know will likely be a trap is nothing new for them... however, it's doubtful they considered a symbiotic Fastball Special as part of the deal!  This bit really plays to Ramos' strengths...Venom is a character almost tailor made for his stylized pencils.

Bits and Pieces:

Overall, a very good issue of Extraordinary X-Men.  Definitely the strongest of the current X-Men titles, and truly the "flagship" of the X-Line.  This is probably the most "consistently good-to-great" book of the lot, and of the Marvel books I read is closest to the "top of the stack".  Lemire appears to be truly passionate about the characters, and Ramos stylized art gives this title a unique and exciting flair.  I find myself anxiously awaiting the next chapter.

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  1. I personally love Ramos and his style and that fastball special cliffhanger is the only art page I've ever wanted .... mommy are you listening for christmas?

    1. I agree! It's crazy to see how divisive Ramos' art is among some critics online. Some love him (I've been a fan since first seeing his Chiffhanger work), others absolutely despise him! I do think he is a wonderful fit on this series... the cliffhanger... awesome!


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